Ed Reed on the Super Bowl: "This is the ultimate"
Ravens coach John Harbaugh has been to the Super Bowl before, in 2004 when he was an assistant coach with the Eagles. He knows well all the hype and hoopla that surround the game, but he stressed that for the Ravens, all of that is secondary.
"It will be very important for us to understand that this is a business trip, first and foremost," Harbaugh said at a news conference on Wednesday.
"This is indeed a total business trip," running back Ray Rice added. "The goal is to go down there and win."
The Ravens will practice at their Owings Mills facility this week, then fly to New Orleans on Monday to prepare to face the 49ers next Sunday.
Family and friends of Ravens players and staff will descend on New Orleans, too, and the lure of Bourbon Street, the French Quarter and Super Bowl Week nightlife could easily be a distraction. Harbaugh, though, said that the Ravens "have a plan for that," and that priority No. 1 will certainly be the 49ers.
"You can do all those other things anytime," he said. "You can do 'em next week if you want. But you're not gonna be going to the Super Bowl next week. You're gonna be going to the Super Bowl this week."
"It's a very special moment," he added, "so let's enjoy all the things pertaining to the football game, preparation and all those things, and a little time with our families and that will be our priority. And I'll be shocked if our guys have their focus anywhere other than that."
Quarterback Joe Flacco added, "I think we all know what's at stake for this game."
Still, Flacco sounded eager to get to New Orleans and soak in the atmosphere at his first Super Bowl.
"I think you have to enjoy it," he said. "There's going to be certain points of being down there that you have to enjoy. This is something that doesn't come up very often."