(Reuters) – Profile of the San Francisco 49ers, who qualified for the February 3 Super Bowl in New Orleans by winning the National Football Conference (NFC) championship two weeks ago. Founded: Established in 1946 as a charter member of the All-America Football Conference and joined the National Football League in 1950 after the two leagues merged. – - NFC titles (season): 6 (1981, 1984, 1988, 1989, 1994, 2012) – - Super Bowl titles: 5 (1981, 1984, 1988, 1989, 1994) – - Head coach: Jim Harbaugh. …
Feb 1 (Reuters) – Facts and figures about the city of New Orleans and the Superdome, site of Sunday’s Super Bowl game between the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers: NEW ORLEANS 51st largest U.S. city with a population of 360,740 Founded in 1718, the city was named for Philip II, Duke of Orleans Nicknamed “The Big Easy,” New Orleans is most famous for its French Quarter, jazz music and annual Mardi Gras It has hosted 10 Super Bowls, including this year’s, the most by any city. The first three were held at the Tulane Stadium which was demolished in 1979 and 1980. …
BLING IT: A look at the 46 Super Bowl championship rings
Feb 1 (Reuters) – Profile of the San Francisco 49ers, who qualified for the Feb. 3 Super Bowl in New Orleans by winning the National Football Conference (NFC) championship two weeks ago. Founded: Established in 1946 as a charter member of the All-America Football Conference and joined the National Football League in 1950 after the two leagues merged. – - NFC titles (season): 6 (1981, 1984, 1988, 1989, 1994, 2012) – - Super Bowl titles: 5 (1981, 1984, 1988, 1989, 1994) – - Head coach: Jim Harbaugh. …
What’s ahead : Thursday marked the final day players for the San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens would be available to the media and now their full focus turns to Super Bowl XLVII. The head coaches are not off the hook, however, and 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh will address the media at 8:30 a.m. CT and Ravens head coach John Harbaugh will follow him at 9:30 a.m. CT.
• NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will give his “state of the NFL” address at 11:30 a.m. CT.
• The 49ers and Ravens both practiced at the New Orleans Saints’ facility on Thursday, with their sessions overlapping by 10 minutes .
• Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs addressed his teammates for two minutes following their practice on Thursday.
• 49ers CEO Jed York weighed in on the comments made by cornerback Chris Culliver.
• Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti believes his team has a franchise quarterback in Joe Flacco and intends to keep him in Baltimore for a very long time.
• 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s college coach, Nevada’s Chris Ault, discusses the pistol offense .
• Hall of Fame 49ers quarterback Steve Young is jealous of the pistol , writes Matt Maiocco of CSN Bay Area.
• 49ers backup quarterback Alex Smith makes sense for the Kansas City Chiefs, former NFL quarterback Trent Dilfer thinks.
• Smith is due $8.5 million in total cash compensation in 2013, including a $1 million roster on the third day of the 2013 league year (which begins on March 12), but that salary is not an issue for the 49ers, CEO Jed York says.
• Alex Boone’s move from tackle to guard has paid off for the 49ers, writes Matt Kawahara of The Sacramento Bee.
• The interior of the 49ers offensive line and Ravens defensive tackle Haloti Ngata will be a key match-up to watch on Sunday, writes Matt Vensel of The Baltimore Sun.
• Conversely, 49ers defensive tackle Justin Smith will go head-to-head with Ravens second-round pick Kelechi Osomele, who moved from right tackle to left guard at the start of the postseason.
• Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle has another key match-up : Ravens fullback Vonta Leach vs. 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis.
• Running back Ray Rice’s conversion on 4th-and-29 against the San Diego Chargers was a key play in the Ravens’ storybook season.
• There’s something special about these Ravens, writes Michael Silver of Yahoo! Sports.
- The Ravens will make their second Super Bowl appearance in franchise history. They defeated the NYG, 34-7 in SB XXXV.
- The Ravens (.650, 13-7) have the highest postseason win percentage of any team.
- The Ravens had 6 players selected to the 2013 Pro Bowl (Jacoby Jones, Vonta Leach, Haloti Ngata, Ed Reed, Ray Rice, Marshal Yanda).
- Four players on the Ravens’ active roster have played in a Super Bowl – Ray Lewis, Brendon Ayanbadejo, Anquan Boldin, and James Ihedigbo.
- With a win John Harbaugh will surpass Tom Flores (8) for the most postseason wins by a head coach in his first five seasons in NFL history.
- Joe Flacco has 8 TDs, 0 INTs and a 114.7 passer rating in the 2012 postseason.
- Flacco registered his sixth career playoff road win last week, surpassing Eli Manning (5) for the most in NFL history by a quarterback.
- Flacco tied the NFL single-game postseason record for most touchdown passes of 30+ yards (70, 59, 32) in the Divisional round vs. Denver.
- Flacco is the first quarterback in the Super Bowl era to win a postseason game in each of his first five seasons.
- Flacco has an 8-4 postseason record. With a win, he would tie Tom Brady (9) for most playoff wins by a quarterback in the first 5 seasons of his career all-time.
- Flacco had a career-best 3,817 passing yards in 2012, 2nd-most in a season by a Raven.
- Including the postseason, Baltimore is 32-3 (.914) when Flacco has a 100+ passer rating.
- In his only career meeting vs. the 49ers, Flacco posted a 100.1 passer rating.
- Ray Rice is averaging 105.3 scrimmage yards per game in 2012 postseason.
- Rice (1,621) reached 1,600 scrimmage yards for the 4th season in row.
- Rice led AFC running backs with 61 catches in 2012.
- Rookie running back Bernard Pierce is averaging 6.3 yards per carry in the postseason (27 att., 169 yards).
- Torrey Smith has 9 receptions for 198 yards (22 avg.) with 2 TDs in the 2012 postseason.
- Smith averages 22.2 yards per catch in five career postseason games (13 receptions, 289 yards). Smith had a career-best in receiving yards (855) and TDs (8) in 2012.
- Anquan Boldin is averaging 92 receiving yards per game in three playoff games in 2012.
- Boldin had career-best 2 TD receptions in AFC Championship vs. New England.
- Since 2010, Boldin has five postseason TD catches, tied for most in NFL during that span (Vernon Davis, 5).
- 14 of Boldin’s 16 receptions in the 2012 postseason have been for 1st downs.
- For his career in the postseason, Boldin has 46 receptions for 702 yards (15.3 avg.) with 6 TDs.
- Boldin registered 8 receptions for 84 yards in Super Bowl XLIII with Cardinals.
- Boldin has 7 TD receptions in the regular season vs. the 49ers, most against any opponent.
- Jacob Jones had the 2nd-longest postseason TD reception in franchise annals in Divisional Playoffs vs. Denver. (Shannon Sharpe, 96 yards).
- Jones ranked 1st in NFL with 30.7 kick return average in 2012.
- Jones tied the league-high with 3 kick-return TDs (2 KO, 1 PR) this season.
- Jones attended Marion Abramson HS in New Orleans, LA.
- Dennis Pitta had a TD reception in his only career meeting vs. the 49ers.
- Pitta has 2 TD catches in three postseason games this season.
- Pitta (7) tied Todd Heap (7 in ’05) for most TD receptions by a TE in franchise history this season.
- The Ravens defense tied the franchise regular-season record with 9 sacks in their last game vs. San Francisco.
- Defense has forced 8 turnovers (5 INTs, 3 fumbles) in 3 postseason games in ’12…
- Ray Lewis has played in 20 career postseason games (13-7, .650).
- Lewis has a NFL-best 44 tackles in 2012 playoffs.
- Lewis was named MVP of Super Bowl XXXV.
- Ed Reed has 8 career postseason INTs, tied for 4th-most in NFL history.
- Reed attended Destrehan HS in St. Rose, LA.
- Safety Bernard Pollard had team-high 98 tackles in 2012.
- Cornerback Corey Graham became the fourth Raven to register 2 INTs in a playoff game vs. Denver.
- Graham & CB Cary Williams have 2 INTs apiece in the 2012 postseason.
- Terrell Suggs has 12 career postseason sacks, tied for 3rd-most since sacks became official statistic.
- Suggs tied his career-best with 3 sacks in his last game vs. San Francisco.
- Linebacker Paul Kruger led the team with career-best 9 sacks in 2012.
- Justin Tucker made a 47-yard game-winning FG in OT vs. Denver, in Divisional Playoffs, tied for 3rd-longest OT field goal in NFL postseason history and longest ever by rookie.
The NFL is a copycat league, and reaching the Super Bowl in 2014 will come as a result of copying some of the blueprint that the San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens followed this season, while also adding a slight blend of your own style.
For the New Orleans Saints, that style will not require huge schematic changes—though, to some extent, the team is prepared to do that with the impending move to a 3-4 defense. It will, however, require a slight change in overall mentality.
Yet it will not require a huge personnel shift. The Saints already have one of the most talented rosters in the NFL, and Will Smith, Jonathan Vilma, Brodrick Bunkley and Jermon Bushrod should all be allowed to walk, primarily for salary cap reasons.
Even without those four “star players”, the Saints will remain an immensely talented team. And if Smith is willing to cut his salary by about 75 percent, then the Saints will be even better off.
It is obvious that the team needs a great young outside linebacker to get after opposing quarterbacks, and it needs an elite nose tackle to occupy blockers. Also, it will need a young offensive tackle to keep Drew Brees upright and unabated on his blindside if Bushrod is allowed to leave.
Aside from that, the team does not have too many needs heading into next season. Most of the team’s needs center around depth and building for the future.
The team’s mentality, though, must change. Production in key areas will determine if the Saints are able to make it to New York for the Super Bowl in February 2014.
Here are four guidelines that the Saints must follow in order to accomplish that goal next season.
Four New Orleans Saints players joined Gloria Smith on Thursday morning to raise the front wall on her new Central City home, also adding their autographs to the framework.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — An oddity for this Super Bowl has both teams’ former owners as finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Right guard Alex Boone arrives for work most days and swears at left guard Mike Iupati. From Boone, it’s always considered a term of endearment directed at his 49ers offensive linemates.