DEREK J. AMAYA
Associate Managing Editor
The storylines behind Super Bowl XLVII go beyond the Baltimore Ravens’ middle linebacker Ray Lewis retiring, the San Francisco 49ers’ quarterback Colin Kaepernick changing the way quarterbacks play and the Harbaugh brothers coaching against each other.
Players such as Kaepernick, who played for former Western Athletic Conference team University of Nevada Wolf Pack, and Ravens’ safety Ed Reed, who is from Destrehan, may be familiar to Tech fans.
At the Super Bowl media day held in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, Kaepernick said even though he is from a small school, he never doubted his ability to play at the pro level.
“A lot of people underestimate smaller schools and think the talent isn’t good,” he said. “But we are always ready to play.”
Kaepernick said it has always been his dream to play in the Super Bowl and he is proud of where he came from and being able to represent his family and friends.
The 49ers run a lot of read option pistol plays, the same offense invented at Kaepernick’s alma mater, and said if the Ravens’ defense cannot stop it, they will keep running plays from the formation.
“[At Nevada] we exclusively ran the pistol in college,” he said. “[The 49ers] run only a few plays from it. We’ll keep running from it if it works.”
Ravens’ safety Ed Reed said playing Kaepernick and the 49ers offense will be a difficult task, but he feels the Ravens’ defense will be able to contain them.
“Kaepernick is a great quarterback and poses a problem,” Reed said. “But we beat some of the best quarterbacks in the playoff already in [Denver Broncos’ Peyton] Manning and [New England Patriots’ Tom] Brady.”
Reed, born and raised in south Louisiana, played at Destrehan High School, an area highly recruited by Tech.
“It’s very important to get back to my state,” he said. “I have a lot of fans here saying how happy they are seeing a local coming to play in the Super Bowl.”
New Orleans is hosting the Super Bowl this year, while also celebrating Mardi Gras in the same two week period.
Players and head coaches from both teams made comments about how much it means to the city after it was hit by the Hurricane Katrina. With all of the events going on within the next week, the city is sure to attract a lot of positive attention and revenue.
“We love our city,” Reed said. “New Orleanians do not get out of the city very much because we love to be here.”
Reed, who has been in the league for 11 years, is still questionable to be returning next season and has pondered retiring. Some New Orleans Saints fans feel he should retire with the team he is a fan of.
“They have asked me about joining the black and gold,” Reed said, laughing. “But at this point of my career, I really don’t see that happening.”
Throughout media day, players gave their opinions on the big game and everyone said how much they want to win the coveted Lombardi Trophy.
The Super Bowl kickoff at 5:30 Sunday, Feb. 3, at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on CBS.
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