NEW ORLEANS (AP) Baltimore Ravens starters Dannell Ellerbe and Dennis Pitta practiced Wednesday in heavy winds at Tulane University, looking sharp despite nagging injuries.
Inside linebacker Ellerbe has been bothered by an ankle injury, while tight end Pitta has a thigh problem. Both moved freely in Baltimore's first practice in New Orleans.
Ellerbe said earlier this week ``I'm definitely playing in this game,'' and Pitta echoed those sentiments.
The Ravens practiced for nearly 2 hours on a makeshift 80-yard field stretching across the outfield at Tulane's Greer Field baseball stadium. Unlike the San Francisco 49ers, who worked out at the Saints' indoor facility, Baltimore dealt with wind gusts up to 24 mph.
Baltimore had the option of working at the Saints' indoor facility late in the afternoon or early Wednesday evening, after the 49ers finished. But coach John Harbaugh said he and the players preferred to practice on schedule in mid-afternoon.
``We had a great practice,'' Harbaugh said as his players left the field. ``We didn't like the wind, but we got all of our work done. Spirits are high. They looked great.
``Our players are upbeat and happy. They don't complain about anything.''
In past Super Bowls here, teams have practiced on Tulane's football field. But that field is under construction because the school is building a new on-campus stadium.
In addition to the field Baltimore practiced on Wednesday, Tulane has another 50-yard field that kickers and punters are using.
Ravens great Ray Lewis will soon have his own line of bourbons called Ray's Reserve, according to The Spirit Business.
It won't be a profit-driven enterprise. Instead, only 100 bottles will be produced for charity.
The proceeds from their sale will go to the Time to Shine Scholaship & Internship Program for Women, which helps high-school aged women pursue educational and professional opportunities.
However, Lewis intends to give the first two bottles away as gifts to incoming president Donald Trump and vice president Mike Pence.
“I have been thoroughly impressed with president-elect Trump and his desire to help inner city kids and provide better education opportunities for women,” Lewis said.
The bourbon will go on sale starting February 15.
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Joe D’Alessandris has been named the Ravens’ new offensive line coach, the team announced Thursday. D’Allesandris was tabbed to replace Juan Castillo, who left the Ravens to become the Bills offensive line coach.
D’Alessandris has been an offensive line coach with the Chargers (2013-15), Bills (2010), and Chiefs (2008-09), and he has been a coach at the college or pro level since 1979.
“I feel very privileged and honored to come work with such a tremendous organization,” said D’Alessandris in a statement released by the team. “I very much look forward to the tremendous opportunity of working for (coach) John Harbaugh and (general manager) Ozzie Newsome on an incredible staff.”
Harbaugh said D’Alessandris had the credentials to improve the offensive line in all areas.
“We had a number of very good, qualified candidates for this position, and we have the right fit with Joe,” Harbaugh said in a statement. “He’s a hard-nosed, experienced coach, who is an excellent teacher. He’ll be able to work with our veterans to get the most out of them, and he’ll take our young linemen to higher levels.”
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