Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco insisted he was only joking during the final seconds of the Super Bowl when he was captured on camera saying he or his teammates should tackle San Francisco 49ers returner Ted Ginn Jr. if he broke into the open field.
Toward the end of a press conference to announce his $120.6 million contract that makes him the highest-paid player in the NFL, Flacco cleared up what happened.
"I saw that people were kind of geting a little mad at me for that," Flacco said Monday afternoon. "There was four seconds left in the game, and that was probably the only time all year that I was really, really nervous. I thought it was a pretty funny thing to kind of get my mind off of the fact that there is a possibility that he could run this thing back. I'm sure if I did do that, I'm sure that they could probably give the guy a touchdown.
"I don't know. But it's the Super Bowl, man. I'm doing anything I can to win that game. [Laughter]. Yeah, not really serious. They all looked at me like I was crazy. I told the linemen and they kind of backed up for a second like, 'What are you talking about?' [Laughter] But, hey, it was just all in good fun, kind of to distract my mind a little bit."
As punter Sam Koch was about to kick to Ginn following a safety, Flacco was telling tight end Dennis Pitta and offensive linemen Marshal Yanda and Matt Birk that they shouldn't let Ginn run down the field. If anyone had followed Flacco's advice and run onto the field from the sideline, it would have been an illegal tackle and would have caused the 49ers to be awarde a touchdown.
"If he starts to break it, go tackle him," Flacco told Pitta. "They might be able to give them a touchdown on that? I don't know."
Then, Flacco told Yanda and Birk: "Hey! If he breaks this. If he busts it for some reason? Tackle him! Go tackle him. I don't know what the rule is on that, but."
Yanda responded by saying: "Why don't you?"
And then Flacco exclaimed: "I'm going to!"
For the record, the final tackle of the Super Bowl was made by reserve linebacker Josh Bynes.
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