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Flacco no fan of cold-weather Super Bowl

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Flacco no fan of cold-weather Super Bowl

NEW ORLEANS (AP) Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco apologized for his word selection in criticizing the NFL's decision to hold next year's Super Bowl in an outdoor stadium at a cold-weather site.

On Monday, Flacco was asked about the game being played at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey.

``I think it's retarded. I probably shouldn't say that. I think it's stupid,'' he said.

On Tuesday, he was contrite.

``Obviously, it was a poor choice of words,'' he said. ``At home, I have a close relationship with Special Olympics. I didn't mean to offend anyone.''

Flacco would like nothing more than to return to the Super Bowl next year, even if it might be in freezing conditions for the first time. It's in his home state to boot.

The fifth-year pro from Audubon, N.J., preparing for Sunday's Super Bowl against the San Francisco 49ers, is not a fan of playing the next big game in East Rutherford.

``I think it's obvious reasons,'' Flacco said. ``They've done it the way they've been doing it for 47 years. There's a lot that goes into this game, more than just playing the game: It's about the fans and it's about the players that played for the right to get there. There are a lot of things that go into it and it's just kind of a crazy decision, I believe.''

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NFL HONORS: Celebrity presenters for ``NFL Honors,'' the TV show featuring The Associated Press awards, will include Steve Carell and Channing Tatum.

The program will air Saturday night, Super Bowl eve, from 9-11 p.m. EST on CBS, which also is televising the game on Sunday.

Other presenters will include Connie Britton, Jason Clarke, Josh Charles, Craig Ferguson, Nina Dobrev, Jeremy Renner, Olivia Munn, and Zoe Saldana.

The AP will present the league's MVP, Coach of the Year, Comeback Player of the Year, Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year, and Offensive and Defensive Rookies of the Year during ``NFL Honors.''

Actor Alec Baldwin will host the show, which will feature live performances from One Republic and New Orleans' natives The Soul Rebels.

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NECKLACE? WHAT NECKLACE? 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh was asked about the ``necklace'' he wears on the sideline during games that includes a Sharpie. He seemed taken aback.

``Well I take great offense that you call it a necklace. It's a whistle,'' he said with a smile, drawing laughs from the media. ``It's a coaches' whistle that coaches have long worn around their neck. I believe every coach should have a whistle. It's hard to imagine going out to practice without a whistle.

``Then I just put a pen onto the whistle string. It's not complicated at all. If I need a pen, it's just right there.''

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MOSS WANTS MORE: Last week, the Ravens' Ed Reed said he plans to be back for another season. On Tuesday, the 49ers' Randy Moss said he wants to come back, too.

One of the first questions Moss was asked when the 49ers kicked off Super Bowl media day Tuesday was whether Sunday's game would be the final one of his 14-year, five-team, potential Hall of Fame career.

``I've thought about it,'' the 35-year-old Moss said, ``I do want to play another year.''

Moss has seen limited playing time this season with 28 catches for 434 yards and three TDs, plus five catches for 71 yards in the playoffs.

The 34-year-old Reed promised to be ``playing next year,'' ending speculation he was about to call it a career. Reed, a nine-time Pro Bowler and probable Hall of Famer, is finishing his 11th season, and was one of only two players on the Ravens' defense to start all 16 regular-season games. He has a club record 61 interceptions and the NFL-record of 1,541 yards in interception returns.

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NEVER TUCKERED OUT: Ravens kicker Justin Tucker was extremely patient telling every single person just how much it means to be an undrafted rookie in the Super Bowl.

Even the guy who asked him to answer a series of questions in hash tags, Twitter-style.

``In Twitter hash tags? All right, let's try it out,'' Tucker responded to the odd request in a day full of them.

Being at the Super Bowl? ``Hash tag, awesome.''

Beyonce Knowles? ``Hash tag, awesome.''

Destiny's Child reunion? ``I mean, hash tag, awesomer, I guess. That's a pretty good group.''

Winning the Super Bowl? ``Hash tag, unbelievable.''

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DANCIN' NINER: The 49ers' podium move of the day goes to Vernon Davis. The tight end sat up straight in his seat and demonstrated longtime long-snapper Brian Jennings' unique pregame ritual for the media day crowd. Davis crossed his arms in front of his face and fluttered them in a smooth, downward motion.

Yoga or tai chi, perhaps?

``It's yoga, tai chi,'' Davis said. ``It's weird, but it works for him.''

Davis' pregame routine sounds rather boring in comparison: He eats lots of vegetables and a chicken breast.

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MARYLAND CONNECTION: The University of Maryland has produced several notable NFL quarterbacks, including Boomer Esiason, Frank Reich and Neil O'Donnell.

The quality of quarterbacks in College Park hasn't been up to that standard lately, but there will be two Terrapins with solid hands playing in the Super Bowl.

Tight end Vernon Davis will start for San Francisco and wide receiver Torrey Smith is starting for Baltimore.

``He's one of the greatest Terps,'' Smith said of Davis. ``He's a great guy and we hang out in the offseason.''

This isn't for bragging rights.

``We're not really playing against each other since we're on the same side of the ball,'' Smith said. ``And so, either way, the University of Maryland wins.''

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Preview and prediction for Week 3: Ravens at Jaguars

Preview and prediction for Week 3: Ravens at Jaguars

What: Ravens (2-0) at Jaguars (0-2)

When: Sunday, 1 p.m.

Where: EverBank Field, Jacksonville

Five questions you should ask:

1. Can the Ravens get their rushing attack going?

Jacksonville ranks 25th in run defense, and Melvin Gordon of the Chargers ran for 102 yards against the Jaguars last week. If Justin Forsett and Terrance West can’t combine for at least 100 yards, it will raise more concerns about the state of the Ravens’ running game.

RELATED: Dumervil one of 3 questionable for Ravens

2. Can the Ravens’ secondary control Jaguars receivers Allen Hurns and Allen Robinson?

Both Hurns and Robinson caught a touchdown pass last year in Baltimore, when the Jaguars beat the Ravens. Expect Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles to test Ravens’ corners Jimmy Smith and Shareece Wright, looking to strike with some big plays.

3. Will Jaguars running back Chris Ivory be a problem for the Ravens?

After missing the first two games with an undisclosed illness, Ivory is expected back against the Ravens. A 1,000-yard rusher with the Jets last season, Ivory is a physical runner who the Ravens will have to gang tackle.

4. Will the Ravens’ offense have another sluggish start?

The Ravens don’t have a first quarter touchdown yet this season. It hasn’t stopped them from going 2-0, but another slow start, especially on the road, could lead to a deficit from which they don’t escape. Offensive coordinator Marc Trestman and quarterback Joe Flacco both want to see the offense start faster.

5. Do the Ravens keep banking wins in September, before the schedule gets tougher?

The Ravens haven’t been 3-0 since 2009. No matter how favorable the schedule has been, there’s nothing wrong with stacking wins early. The Jaguars figure to be desperate, and road wins in the NFL are rarely easy. The Ravens may need their best game so far to leave Jacksonville with a win.

Prediction

The Jaguars are more desperate, but I think the Ravens are the better team. I see Justin Tucker winning a close game with a late field goal.

Ravens 23, Jaguars 20 

MORE RAVENS: Fantasy Football: Updated Week 3 rankings

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Ravens Week 3 Injury Report: Dumervil questionable, did not practice Friday

Ravens Week 3 Injury Report: Dumervil questionable, did not practice Friday

Ravens linebacker Elvis Dumervil did not practice on Friday and is listed as questionable for Sunday's game at Jacksonville.

Dumervil missed much of training camp and the first two games after recovering from offseason foot surgery, but he returned to practice on a limited basis earlier this week.  

On the Ravens' official injury report for the game, rookie running back Kenneth Dixon (knee) is out. In addition to Dumervil, guard John Urschel (shoulder) and tackle Ronnie Stanley (foot) are questionable.

RELATED: RAVENS LOOKING TO PUT 2015 LOSS TO JAGS BEHIND THEM

Stanley, though, was a full participant in practice Thursday and Friday and he said earlier this week that he intends to play on Sunday. Urschel practiced fully all week but has been inactive in both games thus far.

Dumervil said earlier this week that he hoped to play Sunday.

Before this season, Dumervil had missed just one game in three seasons with the Ravens. The Ravens have struggled to get pressure off the edge in the first two games. Four of the team's five sacks through two games have been recorded by defensive linemen.

One notable absence at Friday's light walk-through practice was starting center Jeremy Zuttah. Coach John Harbaugh did not elaborate on his absence except to say it was not injury-related. Zuttah has struggled at times this year, and Urschel or Ryan Jensen could be options to play center.

Dixon, who suffered a knee injury in the third preseason game, has not returned to practice but was seen running sprints on a far field on Friday. Earlier this week, coach John Harbaugh said Dixon "seems to be on schedule" to return, without giving a specific timeframe.

For Jacksonville, starting left tackle Kelvin Beachum has been declared out with a concussion, as has backup tight end Ben Koyack (knee). Five Jaguars are listed as questionable: cornerback Prince Amukamara (hamstring), safety Tashaun Gipson (hamstring), running back Chris Ivory (general medical),  center Brandon Linder (knee) and defensive end Jared Odrick (tricep).

RELATED: FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 3 RANKINGS