The AFC champion Ravens' Super Bowl agenda for the next few days has taken on a double-pronged approach.
The major priorities are making sure that the players get as rested and healthy as possible before returning to practice Thursday. The players are off Tuesday and Wednesday except for use of the training room, working out and watching game tape of the San Francisco 49ers.
"You go to sleep at night," Harbaugh said when asked about recharging the batteries. "You sleep, and you get up and you go in to work. That’s what we’ll do. We’ll be going to bed at night. It will be work, it really will be work. We’ve got too much work to do. We’re in season. This is the biggest game of the year. This is the best two weeks of the NFL football season. It’s the weeks that you work for. The thing I am so happy about is our guys, we get to be together.
"It’s such a great moment because we get to be together for two more weeks with this football team. Where you’re sitting right now is where they sit in team meeting, and you look out and you see these guys. This group will never be together again as that group. They will never be the same. That’s the way it is with every team. So, to extend that now for two weeks into the ultimate game is really the ultimate opportunity, and we’re going to do everything we can to make the most of it.”
The coaching staff is extremely busy devising a game plan and scouting the NFC champion 49ers, who last played the Ravens on Nov. 24, 2011 when John Harbaugh's squad defeated his younger brother Jim's team, 16-6, at M&T Bank Stadium.
"We will be preparing this week as if we are playing the game this week," John Harbaugh said. "So, that’s how you do it. We’ll be going to work right away. The destination is a three-and-a-half to four-hour window two weeks from [Sunday], but we’ll have to get as far down the road in our preparation this week as we possibly can, and we’ll try to take advantage of every minute we possibly can to get ready to play this team.
"This team that we are going to play is a great football team. They are extremely well-coached, I’d have to say. Jim has done a great job with the team. They are tough, they’re hard-nosed, they’re physical, they play field-position football. They’ve added the element of big plays this year. They are a big-time, big-play threat, so all of those things. We are just going to have to get prepared for a really great football team, and we’ll go to work on that this week.”
Working in conjunction with vice president of operations Bob Eller and many other staff members, the Ravens are trying to address any logistical issues involving travel and Super Bowl tickets to accomodate the players and cut down on any potential distractions.
"The preparation is a little bit different," Harbaugh said. "That’s stuff that we have to get done quickly this week. Our organization did a great job of organizing that for everybody. That was streamlined. The guys have now [Monday], [Tuesday] and Wednesday to get that all straightened out, and by Wednesday we really want to have it all done as much as possible and in the hands of their wives, so they don’t have to think about it.
"Then, they can go to work and think about football as we prepare this week, and especially when we get out there. We don’t want to have to deal with too many of those logistical things. Bob Eller and our whole organization do a great job of being there for the guys whatever needs they have. Guys just have to realize that it’s limited. There are limited resources, and we have to share amongst a lot of people. I think our guys get that, too.”
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