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Flacco no fan of cold-weather Super Bowl


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.''


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.


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.''


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.


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.''


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.


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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Ravens put Ben Watson and Kyle Arrington on IR, release nine others

Ravens put Ben Watson and Kyle Arrington on IR, release nine others

OWINGS MILLS – The Ravens put tight end Ben Watson (Achilles) and cornerback Kyle Arrington (concussion) on season-ending injured reserve Monday, and released nine other players.

Those moves trimmed the roster from 90 to 79 players. Four more players must be let go by Tuesday’s 4 p.m. deadline to reach 75 players.

Watson was injured in Saturday night’s preseason win over the Lions, while Arrington had not practiced in several weeks and wasn’t going to make the 53-man roster.

Arrington is a seven-year NFL veteran who played with the Ravens last season, but they drafted two cornerbacks who made Arrington expendable – Tavon Young (fourth round) and Maurice Canady (sixth round).

The nine players released were guard Jarrell Broxton, defensive tackle Trevon Coley, wide receivers Dobson Collins, Chuck Jacobs, and Darius White; linebackers Kavell Conner and Mario Ojemudia, center Anthony Fabiano and quarterback Jerrod Johnson.

MORE RAVENS: Harbaugh calls for preseason changes

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Ravens' Terrance West sees more opportunity after Kenneth Dixon injury

Ravens' Terrance West sees more opportunity after Kenneth Dixon injury

Terrance West came to Ravens camp trying to carve out a spot in the Ravens crowded backfield.

Now after having one of the most impressive training camps of anyone on the 90-man roster, and after impressive rookie running back Kenneth Dixon suffered a knee injury against the Lions on Saturday night, West could have a major role in the Ravens offense, especially early in the season.

Based on playing time against the Lions, West appears to have leap-frogged Buck Allen on the Ravens depth chart, something Dixon seemed to have done as well.

That would leave West at No. 2 behind Justin Forsett at least as long as Dixon is sidelined, which is expected to be four to six weeks.

In three preseason games this month, West has 25 carries for 101 yards and two touchdowns.

West played in six games for the Ravens last year after being promoted from the practice squad, rushing 46 times for 180 yards. Still, with Forsett, Allen and Lorenzo Taliaferro all returning, and with Dixon arriving as a fourth-round pick, there was no guarantee there would be a spot for West this fall.

But throughout camp, West showed quickness and explosiveness and consistent effort. In short, he showed a sense of urgency as if his job depended on it, which, essentially, it did.

"My mindset (going into training camp) was just coming to work and being ready," West said after Saturday's game. "I wanted to show the coaches I was serious about making this team."

Now after seeing his career stall amid questions about his work ethic and discipline -- first in Cleveland as a third-round pick and then in Tennessee after a trade -- West, the Baltimore native and former Towson star, appears to be right at home with his hometown team.

West, though, did not take much comfort in his role expanding because of an injury to Dixon.

"Everybody wants to play," West said, "but at the same time we compete and we love each other. To see him go down, it hurts all of us."

MORE RAVENS: Ravens put two players on IR, release nine others

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Dixon to miss four to six weeks, won't need surgery

Dixon to miss four to six weeks, won't need surgery

It appears Ravens rookie running back Kenneth Dixon’s knee injury is not serious. Dixon is expected to miss four to six weeks with an MCL tear that will not require surgery, CSN has confirmed.

Dixon was injured during Saturday night’s preseason game against the Lions, after gaining 41 yards on just six carries. Dixon has the potential to be an impact rookie as a fourth-round pick, showing excellent acceleration and the ability to make people miss, while leading the Ravens in preseason rushing.

Dixon has quickly impressed Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco.

“Kenneth Dixon has had a run each week where you thought he was down for five seconds and he gets six, seven, eight, nine more yards out of it,” Flacco said. “You can see in practice how shifty he is and how well he sees things and some of the cuts he makes. I think he has been pretty impressive transferring that over to the games.”

If Dixon misses four weeks, he would return Week 3 of the regular season, which means he would not be placed on the injured list. The Ravens still have Justin Forsett, Buck Allen, and Terrance West on the running back depth chart, along with Lorenzo Taliaferro, who has been on the PUP list (foot) since the start of training camp. The Ravens are not expected to carry more than four running backs, along with fullback Kyle Juszczyk.