Super Bowl notebook: Final ‘practice’ is plenty laid-back

Ravens center Matt Birk, bottom, plays with his children on the Mercedes-Benz Superdome field after a walkthrough Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Ravens center Matt Birk, bottom, plays with his children on the Mercedes-Benz Superdome field after a walkthrough Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

NEW ORLEANS — With all the heavy lifting complete for Super Bowl XLVII, the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers scaled things back considerably Saturday for their final “practice” before Sunday’s game.

The Ravens and 49ers held 15-minute sessions in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome with a little more than 24 hours remaining until game time, their workouts consisting of stretching, conditioning and playing catch in front of family members and friends.

When asked to summarize his team’s work this past week, Ravens coach John Harbaugh said, “We have been very effective. We’ve gotten everything we’ve needed to get done — that’s the No. 1 thing.”

49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said he brought his team to the Superdome to get used to the lights because they looked a little brighter Tuesday at Media Day than when they played the Saints on Nov. 25.

“I feel good,” he said of his team. “The preparation has been outstanding, very focused. The players care about winning, and they care about this team. That’s complimentary to the players and the way their focus has been.”

Dent returns to N.O.

Former Chicago Bears defensive end Richard Dent, the MVP of Super Bowl XX, which was played in the Superdome, will participate in the Vince Lombardi Trophy ceremony Sunday night.

Dent will carry the trophy to the stage in the middle of the Superdome floor and hand it to Commissioner Roger Goodell, who will present it to the team owner(s) of the new Super Bowl champion.

Dent, a 2011 inductee into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, will be the eighth former Super Bowl star to participate in the ceremony.

B-r-r-r-r-r!

Goodell said Friday the weather at Super Bowl XLVIII, which will be played Feb. 2, 2014, in East Rutherford, N.J., will have an impact on future decisions for open-air, cold-weather sites.

On Saturday, with Super Bowl XLVIII exactly one year away, the temperature at the kickoff time of 6:30 p.m. EST at MetLife Stadium was 30 degrees. Factor in a 10-mph wind from the west-southwest, and the feel-like temperature was a chilly 21.

In Chicago, which also hopes to get into the Super Bowl mix, it was 15 degrees.

Beating the best

On the way to New Orleans, the Ravens became the first team to beat Tom Brady and Peyton Manning — who have combined for seven Super Bowl appearances — in the same postseason.

They also started the playoffs by beating rookie sensation Andrew Luck and now face another young star in Colin Kaepernick, who has started just nine games in his two-year career, to finish their postseason run.

A new voice

Local fans who are lucky enough to have tickets to Sunday’s game will probably notice quickly that Jerry Romig, the voice of the Superdome’s PA system, won’t be at the microphone after working the first six Super Bowls in the stadium.

The NFL in 2006 hired Alan Roach to be the voice of the Super Bowl, Pro Bowl, International Series games and draft.

The MVP vote

During the fourth quarter of Sunday’s game, fans will be able to vote for the Super Bowl MVP at www.NFL.com. The fan vote will count as 20 percent of the overall total, with the remaining 80 percent determined by media.

Quote of the week

“He’s a really big kid. He has an enormous head. … As soon as he grows into that head, he is going to be something. We don’t have a 40 (time) on him yet and it’s early, but expectations are high for young Jack.”

49ers coach Jim Harbaugh on whether he intends to let his 5-month-old son Jack play football.