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Ravens say hands off to Lombardi Trophy - for now

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Ravens say hands off to Lombardi Trophy - for now

NEW ORLEANS (AP) The Baltimore Ravens don't want to have anything to do with the Vince Lombardi Trophy - unless they earn the right to hoist it after the Super Bowl.

Asked Wednesday whether he's considered how great it would be to grasp the trophy after Sunday night's game against the San Francisco 49ers, Ravens coach John Harbaugh scoffed at the suggestion.

``I have given no thought to that,'' he said. ``You don't earn the right to even think about that until you've won the football game and become the one true champion. We're not the one true champion at this point. We're going to fight like crazy to earn that award.''

Last week, CBS brought a faux Lombardi Trophy to the Ravens' training facility and asked each player to pose with the hardware.

Linebacker Ray Lewis nixed the idea.

``I told my team, don't ever take pictures with nothing that's not yours, nothing that you haven't earned,'' Lewis said. ``When we hold that Lombardi, whoever holds that Lombardi next Sunday, you've earned it when you touch it. And don't fool yourself and try to trick yourself (by saying), `This feels great.' Don't go through that. I don't believe in jinxes and all that, I just believe in don't set yourself up for something. Just really work for it.''

Lewis grasped the coveted trophy in 2001, after the Ravens beat the New York Giants 34-7 for their only Super Bowl win. That trophy is prominently displayed at the entrance to the team's training complex.

Running back Ray Rice, who is playing in his first Super Bowl, has no desire to hold the trophy until the Ravens earn it.

``We have to work to get that,'' he said. ``I don't want to see the Super Bowl trophy unless it's rightfully ours.''

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TEAM GLEASON: Steve Gleason sure knows how to get people's attention.

The former special teams player - a hero in New Orleans since he blocked a punt for a touchdown in the Saints' first home game after Hurricane Katrina - was accompanied by a brass band and some famous friends as he made the rounds at the Super Bowl media center Wednesday to raise awareness for The Team Gleason House for Innovative Living. The house, located near New Orleans' BioDistrict, uses cutting-edge technology to help people with incurable neuro-muscular disorders like ALS or MS live more independently.

Gleason was diagnosed in January 2011 with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, which causes gradual paralysis.

``This disease, for far too long, has been left underfunded and ignored,'' said former Saints linebacker Scott Fujita, who has remained good friends with Gleason. ``That is not acceptable. That's just not acceptable. ... That is the challenge, to get this on people's radar.''

Gleason's appearance Wednesday was a start. Fujita, New Orleans mayor Mitch Landrieu and political pundits James Carville and Mary Matalin joined Gleason at a news conference to celebrate Chase Bank's $350,000 grant to Team Gleason House. A new public service announcement featuring Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, Ray Lewis, Clay Matthews and Herm Edwards also was unveiled.

Using an eye-controlled computer, Gleason gave a speech and answered questions. He had the audience in tears and, a few minutes later, roaring with laughter. Similar technology will let residents at Team Gleason control lights, doors, window shades, televisions and room temperature.

``A terminal disease can really mess with your mind. Honestly, it makes you want to run away to the moon,'' Gleason said. ``I did not want to fade away quietly.''

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SAFETIES SHINE: While several talented linebackers could be a big focus in the Super Bowl, the last line of defense for each team is filled with big-play stars.

``All four safeties in the scheme are four of the premier safeties in football,'' Harbaugh said.

For Baltimore, it's free safety Ed Reed and strong safety Bernard Pollard. San Francisco's side features Dashon Goldson and Donte Whitner.

It's a tossup which team has more talent.

Ravens receiver Jacoby Jones is impressed by all four of them.

``Ed, of course, is the greatest and Bernard Pollard,'' he said. ``Look at their side, No. 38 (Goldson), me and him came out together and played together in the East-West Shrine Game. He actually played corner in college. He's got good ball skills. And 31 (Whitner), him and Pollard are just alike, smash-mouth.''

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TOUCHDOWN, MOSS: Guess who burned Baltimore cornerback Cary Williams for his first NFL touchdown? That would be Randy Moss, the guy who will be on the other side of the ball again Sunday.

Williams was playing for Tennessee in October 2009 when Moss scored on a 40-yard flea flicker, the first of his three touchdowns in a 59-0 rout.

So, Williams isn't about to question whether Moss still has it at age 35 - even if he's no longer the dynamic receiver of his early days in the NFL.

``He's a guy who can get over top the defense at any moment,'' Williams said. ``He's a threat out there regardless. Randy Moss introduced me to the NFL.''

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NO VACATION: Ravens linebacker and special teams standout Brendon Ayanbadejo learned a valuable lesson when he played in the Super Bowl with Chicago after the 2006 season.

``My last Super Bowl experience was in Miami, and we were kind of happy just to be there,'' he recalled. ``It's like a vacation, You get there, you're enamored, you're in Miami and your team made it.''

It did not end well: Indianapolis 29, Bears 17.

``If you want to go to a Super Bowl and you want to enjoy it, wait until you're not playing,'' Ayanbadejo said. ``That's the mentality of this team. It's all about business, it's all about winning. After we win the game, then we'll enjoy it.''

One of these days, he hopes to savor the Super Bowl experience without having to think about the game.

``In the future, when you're retired and after the Ravens have won five Super Bowls in a row and you've got a ring on every finger,'' he said, ``then you can go to the Super Bowl as a fan and you can enjoy it and do the night life and the parties and all the things afterward.''

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AP Sports Writers Janie McCauley and Nancy Armour contributed to this report.

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Suggs, Smith among six Ravens named to PUP list

Suggs, Smith among six Ravens named to PUP list

The Ravens announced six players placed on the physically unable to perform list Saturday - linebacker Terrell Suggs, wide receivers Steve Smith Sr. and Breshad Perriman, linebacker Elvis Dumervil, running back Trent Richardson, and cornerback Jumal Rolle.

Quarterback Joe Flacco (knee), cornerback Jimmy Smith (foot), tight end Dennis Pitta (hip), and cornerback Will Davis (knee) were not placed on PUP, indicating they were ready for the team’s first full-team training camp practice Thursday.

Any player on the PUP list can be activated and return to practice at any point prior to the regular season. Once a player is placed on the regular-season PUP list, he must sit out at least the first six weeks of the regular season.

RELATED: WILL SMITH'S BODY BETRAY HIM AGAIN?

Rolle (Achilles injury) is expected to miss the entire season. Here’s the breakdown on the other five PUP list players:

Suggs – He still has not fully recovered from his season-ending Achilles injury suffered in Week 1 last September. Suggs is scheduled to meet with the media Wednesday, where further details about his progress should be revealed.

Smith Sr. – Also recovering from a season-ending Achilles injury suffered in November. Smith said he would not care if he missed the entire preseason. His priority is to be ready by Week 1.

Perriman – He suffered a knee injury during minicamp which did not require season-ending surgery. However, Perriman has still not played a preseason or regular season game since being drafted in the first round in 2015. After two knee injuries in two years, the Ravens have every reason to be cautious with Perriman until they think he is ready to return.

Dumervil – He had offseason foot surgery after playing through pain last season. Dumervil missed mandatory minicamp, but did not sound concerned about being ready for Week 1.

Richardson – His lingering hamstring issue could ruin his bid for an NFL comeback. The Ravens are deep at running back, and Richardson needs to get healthy to have any chance to win a roster spot.

MORE RAVENS: FLACCO HAS LONG ODDS FOR MVP

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Best case, worst case scenario for WR Steve Smith Sr.

Best case, worst case scenario for WR Steve Smith Sr.

Clifton Brown and Bo Smolka are taking turns putting 25 key Ravens under the microscope leading up to veterans reporting to training camp. They’ll speculate on a best-case, worst-case scenario for at least one player every day, concluding with quarterback Joe Flacco on July 25.

UNDER THE MICROSCOPE: Steve Smith Sr., 37-year-old wide receiver

Best-case scenario for Smith:

He enjoys a typical 1,000-yard season, and he remains the Ravens’ top receiver.

Why it could happen:

It’s dangerous to bet against Smith making a full recovery from Achilles surgery, even in the twilight of his career. Few athletes perform with more of a chip on their shoulder than Smith, who is always driven to prove doubters wrong. He’s a technician at route running, he studies film diligently, and he’s a master at using his body and hands to ward off defenders. Smith never relied on pure speed to be a top receiver. So even if he’s a tad less explosive, Smith has the talent to end his career playing at a high level.

Worst-case scenario for Smith:

Smith’s body betrays him, and the Ravens’ depth at wide receiver reduces his playing time and role.

Why it could happen:

Father Time is undefeated, and may finally be calling for Smith. The older an athlete gets, the harder it gets to recover from injuries. With their deep group of tight ends, and the addition of wide receivers Mike Wallace and rookie Chris Moore, the Ravens may not be as dependent on Smith as they have been. Even if Smith is healthy, his role in the offense might be less prominent.

RELATED: FLACCO HAS LONG ODDS FOR MVP

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Flacco has same MVP odds as Winston and Mariota

Flacco has same MVP odds as Winston and Mariota

Joe Flacco has been a Super Bowl MVP and has won 10 playoff games. Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston have played one NFL season.

However, all three of those quarterbacks have been given the same odds (100/1) of winning next season’s MVP award by sportsbook Bovada.lv.

People who think Flacco is an elite quarterback may view that as disrespect. But the Bovada.lv odds throw even more shade at Flacco.

Sixteen quarterbacks are given a better chance of winning the MVP award in 2016 than Flacco. Some of the names you would expect, like Aaron Rodgers, who is the favorite at 4/1, followed by Ben Roethlisberger (7/1), Cam Newton (15/2), Russell Wilson (8/1), and Tom Brady (9/1).

But do Blake Bortles (66/1) of the Jaguars or Brock Osweiler of the Texans (66/1) really have a better chance of winning the MVP than Flacco? According to Bovada.lv they do. That’s also an indication that not much is expected from the Ravens overall after their 5-11 season. The better your team does, the better your chances of winning the MVP.

Newton won the MVP last year starting at 50/1 odds. So if you believe in Flacco and the Ravens, those 100/1 MVP odds for Flacco may look like an enticing play.

RELATED: Can Dumervil lead a rebirth of Ravens's pass rush?