NEW ORLEANS -- 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."
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.
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.
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.