Ravens' final practice is family affair

Ravens' final practice is family affair
February 2, 2013, 6:15 pm
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NEW ORLEANS -- Finally, it’s time to play the game.

All the hoopla, all the hype, and as of Saturday afternoon, all the practices are over. It’s on to Super Bowl XLVII here on Sunday for the Ravens and the 49ers at the Mercedes- Benz Superdome.

The Ravens held their final practice of the season on Saturday, but the workout at the Superdome was just a 15-minute affair that pool reporter Brian Allee-Walsh said “more resembled a pep rally and backyard social than a serious walk-through the day before a game.”

Super Bowl practices have been closed to the media all week except for a designated pool reporter who is allowed to witness each team’s workout.

Fitting in the first Super Bowl pitting two brothers against each other, the Ravens’ final practice was a family affair, attended by some 600 family and friends of the players. Ravens coach John Harbaugh took the field with his daughter, Alison.

“That has been the whole story line of the whole week,” Harbaugh said. “In a sense that's how we did it growing up, when we were kids. We grew up around dad's teams.

"Most of the time in the NFL it's not that way,” he added. “Most of the time there is the separation of families and it's considered to be a distraction. I just think the opposite. For me, it's a distraction when people are more worried about their families not being allowed to be a part of it. When the families are included, the kids get to the know the players, and I think guys have a better sense of well being. I think this is a good example of it right here.''

The team has appeared loose and relaxed throughout the week, and Harbaugh on Saturday described the Ravens’ work in New Orleans this week as “effective.”

“We have been very effective,” Harbaugh said. “We've gotten everything we've needed to get done, that's the No. 1 thing.”