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Ravens' reputation for gab not yet displayed at SB

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Ravens' reputation for gab not yet displayed at SB

NEW ORLEANS (AP) The Baltimore Ravens' reputation for trash-talking arrived at the Super Bowl before they did.

While the Ravens were en route from Baltimore to the Big Easy, the San Francisco 49ers were already preparing for war of words with the chattiest team in the NFL.

``Most teams don't really talk that much, but I've heard stories about them talking a lot,'' San Francisco guard Alex Boone said. ``Guys have told me not to get into it with them. We're not here to get into a yelling match.''

That might change a bit Sunday when both teams play for the NFL championship at the Superdome.

The Ravens developed their swagger years ago under coach Brian Billick, who rarely backed away from a microphone and made no effort to put a muzzle on his players, most notably Shannon Sharpe and Tony Siragusa - both of whom are now being paid to blab as television commentators.

Baltimore's current coach, John Harbaugh, doesn't encourage such brashness. But he won't stop it, either. After the Ravens beat New England to win the AFC championship, Baltimore safety Bernard Pollard insisted that Patriots quarterback Tom Brady should be fined for a leg-up slide even though Brady apologized afterward.

Linebacker Terrell Suggs topped that in an interview with Yahoo Sports, calling the Patriots ``arrogant'' and telling them ``to have fun at the Pro Bowl.''

Now that he's on football's biggest stage, Suggs has taken it down a few decibels, judging by his tone at Monday's media interviews. Here's a bulletin: He said nothing the 49ers might consider clipping from a newspaper and pinning to the bulletin board for motivation.

``I'm going to talk to you guys with the obligated time that I'm supposed to talk to you guys ... and I'm going to stick to that,'' Suggs said.

Asked if he might say something juicy later in the week, Suggs replied, ``Nothing I do is scripted. You've got to wait and see what I come up with.''

It might be worth the wait, although Harbaugh seems to think Suggs and the rest of the team will resist the temptation.

``Our guys are class guys. We'll play with character, we'll play with class,'' Harbaugh said. ``We'll be a tough, hard-nosed football team. That's the way we'll play. Before the game, after the game.''

That's not what the 49ers have heard.

``Talk is cheap. I'll leave it at that,'' linebacker NaVorro Bowman said. ``We've all got to play with those pads on. That's what does the talking for us.''

Linebacker Ray Lewis does much of the talking for the Baltimore defense. After leading the unit in an emotional chant following each pregame workout, Lewis yells the signals on the field and usually has something bold to say to an opponent he's dropped to the turf.

``Ray and Suggs, they like to talk a lot but they're great players, so it's kind of warranted,'' 49ers fullback Bruce Miller said.

``I think that's just the way they motivate their team,'' San Francisco cornerback Tarrell Brown added. ``Everybody feeds off that. Whatever works for them, that's good.''

When Lewis told his teammates earlier this month that he was going to retire after the current postseason run, Suggs thought the team's vocal leader was merely gearing up for another speech.

``He always talks to the team before the game, the middle of the season and going into the playoffs,'' Suggs said. ``I thought it was another day at the office, but he said some key words. It struck me. He said maybe it was time to start doing something else and it just kind of puzzled me and then it hit me. It really focused our team, not only to get it done for him, but just how precious this time and these moments are. You don't get these opportunities every day.''

Lewis may the most prolific talker on the team, but he's not the only one who enjoys yapping. As soon as they got off the plane from Baltimore, Suggs, Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Matt Birk, Ray Rice and Joe Flacco were made available to the media.

While Lewis discussed, among other things, his pending retirement, his family and his love for God, Reed talked about everything from his training habits to his experience as a punt, pass and kick participant in New Orleans more than two decades ago.

None of it was going to get the 49ers riled up before Sunday's game, which is just the way Harbaugh likes it.

``I think we're very respectful of our opponents,'' the coach said. ``We always have been, and our opponents have respected us over the years. The team we're playing is built the same way. We've got a lot of respect for the 49ers. We've got a lot of respect for their coach, the coaching staff, their players, and I expect it to be played in that way.''

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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Get to know Earl Thomas and Mark Ingram

Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Get to know Earl Thomas and Mark Ingram

We are here to help you get your workweek started with the latest Baltimore Ravens news.

Player Notes: 

Running back Mark Ingram is bringing two Pro Bowls, 1,321 rushing yards and 50 rushing touchdowns to the Ravens, but there's a lot about him you may not know. Did you know that his father, Mark Ingram Sr., was drafted at No. 28 overall just like his son? Probably not. Here's five things to know about Ingram via the Ravens' website. 

Safety Earl Thomas isn't just talented on the field, but off the field as well. Thomas can play piano, drums, saxophone and the organ. During his freshman year of high school, Thomas would change out of his football uniform at halftime into his band uniform to perform and then back again. Here's five things to know about Thomas via the Ravens' website

Former Ravens wide receiver Jeremy Maclin is retiring from the game. The 30-year-old made the announcement at his wife's baby shower over the weekend. Selected 19th overall by the Eagles in the 2009 NFL Draft, Maclin played for the Eagles, Chiefs and the Ravens.

Outside linebacker Tim Williams is ready to be a defensive leader for the Ravens in 2019. With the departures of Eric Weddle, Terrell Suggs, C.J. Mosley and Za'Darius Smith in free agency, Williams is ready to be "that man" for the NFL's No.1 defense. 

Williams has yet to play a full season for the Ravens after being drafted in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft. In 2018, the linebacker saw action in only sevens games due to hamstring and ankle injuries. 

In AFC news, Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski announced his retirement from the league Sunday via Instagram. The 29-year-old finishes his career with 521 receptions for 7,861 yards, 79 touchdowns and three Super Bowl championship. 

Looking Ahead: 

March 24-27: Annual League Meeting in Phoenix, Az.

April 15: Voluntary OTA's may begin

April 19: Deadline for restricted free agents to sign offer sheets

MORE RAVENS NEWS: 

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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Congratulations pour in for Robert Griffin III after re-signing with Ravens

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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Congratulations pour in for Robert Griffin III after re-signing with Ravens

You've made it to Friday and the Baltimore Ravens secured their backup quarterback. What more could we ask for?

Here's the latest news surrounding the Ravens.

Player Notes: 

The Ravens and QB Robert Griffin III agreed in principle to a two-year deal Thursday. A solid option behind Lamar Jackson, players around the league are happy to see the 2012 Offensive Rookie of the Year remain in the NFL.

The Ravens' newest member of their special teams unit, Justin Bethel, doesn't just have skills on the field but off the field as well. Bethel and his brothers have their own jazz band called House of Bethel, where the Raven plays the drums. In the music video for their single called, "The New Boss," Bethel has nearly a minute long drum solo

ESPN's Mel Kiper re-graded the Ravens' 2018 draft class, bringing them from a B-plus to an A-minus. One of the more stronger classes in recent history, the additions of Jackson, Mark Andrews, Hayden Hurst and Orlando Brown Jr. served the Ravens well in 2018. 

Is Action Jackson a hockey guy? The Ravens QB was spotted Thursday night at an Arizona Coyotes game. 

Looking Ahead: 

March 24-27: Annual League Meeting in Phoenix, Az.

April 15: Voluntary OTA's may begin

April 19: Deadline for restricted free agents to sign offer sheets

MORE RAVENS NEWS: