By Samuel Njoku
The Ravens held their final week of practice at Owings Mills on Saturday and will now get ready to travel to New Orleans for their big Super Bowl match against the San Francisco 49ers next week. The large amount of story lines in the big game has taken over most of the headlines. But at the end of the day, it all boils down to playing football. The team that does that the best will walk out of the Superdome as world champions.
During this time of the year, teams will pull any number of resources to give them an edge in the contest. For Baltimore, one of their strengths may be their experience over the other competitor.
“Obviously, having had an opportunity to go there a couple of times, it does breed some familiar ground,” stated Offensive Coordinator Jim Caldwell. “You certainly don’t feel as much anxiety going in. There are no unknowns, because you sense that you are going to have a pretty good idea of what happens, and that’s comforting in itself. It’s tough to relay that, transfer that information, because one has to experience some things themselves. But nevertheless, I know it’s a situation where the players are certainly going to enjoy the stage that they have an opportunity to play on. I know they are certainly thankful for – and the big thing that you can tell them – is that we’ll have a good time in that regard, but our main focus is on the game, on what happens between those white lines.”
What happens between those white lines will have a lot to do with Colin Kaepernick; a quarterback who makes his living out of both throwing the football and running downfield. Baltimore has dealt with Michael Vick and Robert Griffin this year – two quarterbacks with a similar skill set. The Ravens hope that familiarity will help them out on the big stage.
“Hopefully we’ve learned a lot and try to eliminate some of the negative things that we did in both of those games, stated Dean Pees. “He probably is a good analogy. He is probably a good combination of both of those guys in some ways. He’s not exactly like either one of them, but he has traits that are similar to both. Certainly, we have looked at both of those games, and we will try to correct the things that we didn’t do very well in both of those games.”
The Ravens will use all their resources to get an edge on the competition in the days ahead. With the distractions that lay ahead as the Super Bowl approaches, the Ravens coaching staff will need to keep the players focused. The story lines in this contest may be riveting, but a football game will be played when it’s all said and done. For Baltimore, they hope the story ends with a Super Bowl title.
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Samuel Njoku was born and raised in Baltimore, MD and is a graduate of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. Samuel has covered the Ravens for Examiner.com since 2010. Prior to 2010, Samuel was an avid blogger and radio personality in Salisbury, MD. He can be reached for comments at SamuelN870@gmail.com. His work can be found on Examiner.com. You can also follow him on Twitter @Ravens_Examiner.