Joe Flacco on Ray Lewis: A lot of his speeches “didn’t even make sense”

Originally posted on SI Wire:

Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco said he will take on more of a leadership role this season. (Harry How/Getty Images)

Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco said he will take on more of a leadership role this season. (Harry How/Getty Images)

Retired NFL linebacker and new televison analyst Ray Lewis was known for his fiery pre-game speeches, attempting to pump his Baltimore Raven teammates up for 60 minutes of football.

While some could argue what the speeches really did for the team, one person who didn’t quite understand them was quarterback and Super Bowl MVP Joe Flacco.

In an interview with ESPN the Magazine, Flacco said that he is taking on more of a leadership role this season, but not the way that Lewis did it.

“That’s not me,” Flacco says. “I love Ray, and I love how he always spoke from the heart, but if you listened to those speeches, a lot of them didn’t even make sense. He meant everything he was saying, but I didn’t know what…

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Did Ravens err by trading Anquan Boldin to 49ers?

Samuel:

Aside from me being an Anquan Boldin fan since his rookie year, this trade was a steal for the 49ers and who knows? Maybe it will work out. He possesses the same qualities like Michael Crabtree, so maybe that’s a sign of what passing game could look like in San Francisco.

Originally posted on Audibles - SI.com:

Anquan Boldin caught five touchdown passes during the Baltimore Ravens' Super Bowl run. (Kevin Terrell/AP)

Anquan Boldin caught four touchdown passes during the Baltimore Ravens’ Super Bowl run. (Kevin Terrell/AP)

If you can’t beat ‘em, get ‘em to join you.

After shining during the Baltimore Ravens’ playoff run and hauling in a key touchdown pass in the Super Bowl, Anquan Boldin reportedly was traded to San Francisco on Monday, with the 49ers sending a sixth-round pick to the Ravens.

The 32-year-old Boldin has one year left on his current contract at $6 million. The Ravens deemed that price tag too expensive and reportedly asked Boldin to take a pay cut, which the veteran receiver refused. So, general manager Ozzie Newsome did what he could to turn around some value for Boldin, while clearing that $6 million off the books.

But does that financial relief clear the Ravens’ decision to deal a key member of their Super Bowl championship team?

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An optimist’s outlook on the 49ers

So close.

Having covered the San Francisco 49ers as a beat writer for three seasons and having also cheered for them since my childhood, it’s sad for me to see them get this far, but fall short of the Super Bowl win.

It’s harder for me because in those three years, I met a lot of great players, coaches and staff members. I feel for them because I see them work hard every single day to get to their ultimate goal.

Even though I am emotionally invested in this team, it’s been almost half a day since the game ended and I don’t feel all too bad or sad. In fact, I feel OK. I am disappointed, but I’m not moping around.

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My predictions for Super Bowl Sunday

Got enough of these two? Well, you’re going to get more!

Here it is, folks. After two weeks of nonsense, the game is finally here. The Ravens and 49ers will face off in the Super Bowl today!

This isn’t going to be a long analysis of every aspect of the game or anything like that. In fact I want to keep this as simple as possible. After all, I am not John or Jim Harbaugh, so it’s not my job to analyze a game to the core. Instead, I am going to point out 10 things that stand out to me in this game.

And who knows? I could be completely wrong, but this is the fun of it, right?

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Nike unveils uniform outfit for Ravens and 49ers in the Super Bowl

New cleats for the 49ers and Ravens.

Nike has just unveiled the new cleats and gloves the players have the option of wearing for the Super Bowl this Sunday.

CHECK OUT THE NEW GEAR RIGHT HERE

The uniforms remain the same except for the Super Bowl patch. As confirmed last week, the 49ers are the home team and will wear their red jerseys. The Ravens are in the whites.

Let’s get a closer look at what the two teams will be wearing.

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Are Randy Moss’ comments on being the greatest receiver ever crazy? Actually, not really…

Randy Moss made waves during Super Bowl Media Day.

Super Bowl Media Day gives us a bunch of great opportunities for nonsensical questions from media to players in hopes of one quote that could be used and spun into 500 different stories.

Randy Moss obliged the media with this comment about being the greatest receiver ever.

“Now that I’m older, I do think I’m the greatest receiver to ever do it. I don’t think numbers stand. Because you can talk about this and this, I think I’ve had … this year has been a down year for me statistically. The year before I retired was a down year, and Oakland was a down year. I don’t really live on numbers — I really live on impact and what you’re able to do on that field.”

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The curse of Twitter: Losers just don’t know when to stop

When Kyle Williams and David Akers received death threats for their struggles with the 49ers, I felt disgusted about it because those people don’t get that it’s just a game and it’s not a matter of life or death.

But as you can see from the above tweet, apparently it had to do with life and death and Patriots fans took to Twitter to get at Torrey Smith about it.

Smith lost his brother to a motorcycle accident earlier this season and playing through it has been tough for him. But Smith continued to be a professional and I am glad to see him experience such a great season.

Patriots fans, however, saw this as a target for them as their bitterness got the best of them.

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I’m cheering for these guys in the Super Bowl

Two warriors from The U.

Even though I grew up a 49ers fan, I am a fan of other players on other teams. It’s hard not to be a fan of other players because there are so many talents and personalities that you just can’t get enough of.

For me, the above two players are two of my favorites of all time. There’s a certain mystique about both Ray Lewis and Ed Reed.

With Reed, his ball-hawking skills continue to amaze me. Even though he’s fallen off a little this year, if you look at his overall career, you can’t ignore the kind of impact he’s had on the game. He’s a game changer and one of the very few NFL players I am always cheering for no matter who they’re playing.

He’s been through a lot in his life, including the loss of his brother two years ago and his contemplation of stepping away from the game.

Plus, he went to The U, which makes him even cooler in my book. This is his first Super Bowl.

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My predictions for today’s championship games in the NFL

Who’s going to the Super Bowl? Check out my predictions below.

Can Frank Gore run over the Falcons?

SAN FRANCISCO (2) VS ATLANTA (1)

After what the 49ers did to the Packers last week you’d think they would steamroll their way to the Super Bowl. But the Falcons are tougher than most people give them credit for. Their secondary isn’t that great which might be the 49ers’ best chance to score. But their front seven is pretty solid (if John Abraham is healthy) and the 49ers need to figure out how to run against a well-coached Mike Nolan defense.

On the other hand, the 49ers will have their hands full trying to stop the Falcons offense. Jacquizz Rodgers is turning into a great backup for Michael Turner and the 1-2 punch could give the 49ers some problems. The biggest concern is the passing game. Tony Gonzalez continues to play at a high level and the wide receivers of Julio Jones and Roddy White have caused matchup problems all year. The 49ers have to be careful on the intricate passing routes they have.

The biggest factor will come down to Colin Kaepernick. He was able to bounce back after an interception last week. Can he avoid that and play well from the start? That will determine if the 49ers can silence the loud home crowd early in the game.

Ultimately, the 49ers defense likely will set the tone for the 49ers here.

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