Posted: Jan 29, 2013 2:11 PM by NBC Sports
Updated: Feb 13, 2013 12:26 PM
NEW ORLEANS - On a day that is often more about goofy questions, Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis faced tough queries about an unsolved murder and a report coming out that he used a banned substance to recover from injury this season.
The worldwide media descended upon Super Bowl XVII Tuesday, hoping anyone from the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers will say anything wacky, or controversial, five days before Super Bowl XLVII.
"As hard as it is for them (victim's family), I don't believe honestly that that this is the appropriate time to talk about it," Lewis said about the double-murder case from 12 years ago. "Because of the sympathy I have for that family, nobody here is qualified to ask those questions. I live with it everyday of my life."
Lewis was initially indicted in the case but was later cleared.
Lewis also denied a report in Sports Illustrated that Lewis obtained a deer-antler velvet extract after tearing his triceps in October, a substance banned by the NFL.
Lewis was just one of the main storylines, the other being rising star quarterback Colin Kaepernick of the 49ers.
"It's just another football game," 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick told NFL Network's Deion Sanders if he was nervous.
Sanders asked if Alex Smith, the man he replaced in midseason, had helped him much, Kaepernick replied, "Alex is a great guy, he's been phenomenal through all this. He's done everything he can to help me."
And Kaepernick won't hide his now-famous arm tattoos. "Always no sleeves. Gotta show those tattoos." He added that those tattoos include two psalms from the Bible as his inspirations.
Kaepernick said he was a better baseball player but his "dream was to play in the NFL."
49ers receiver Randy Moss said, "I didn't come here wanting to be a leader. This team has enough leaders. If there's anything I can give to the young guys, it's experience. I didn't want to lead by my mouth, I wanted to lead by my game."
Moss also later said he thought he was the best receiver ever to play the game.
49ers coach Jim Harbaugh was asked if he won fights with his brother John, coach of the Ravens, when they were kids.
"Who won, who lost, I really can't remember. Both want to desperately win, we understand the other side of that and will do everything we can to make sure that doesn't happen."
49ers receiver Michael Crabtree said he's different now because of "more opportunity."
Crabtree said Moss has been a great influence. "He's my big brother, he's legendary."
Of Kaepernick, Crabtree said he "is the man right now, the man with the hot hand.
Sanders asked Alex Smith if it bothered him that he didn't get his own podium at Media Day, Smith said it didn't bother him.
But he was honest about the struggles of being demoted during the season, despite being the No. 3-ranked QB in the league at that time.
"It's tough, I'm not going to lie to you," Smith said. "I feel like I was playing my best football before the injury, but you deal with it, you move on. It's a team game, the coach made his decision. But I'm not going to pout. I love the locker room we have, and that's bigger than me.
"You try to get through it, you stay ready for your next opportunity. I can't dwell on what I can't control."
During the Ravens' portion of Media Day, Ray Lewis said that the difference between his previous Super Bowl in 2000 and now is that now he's a "leader" and not a "follower."
"Shannon (Sharpe) was always trying to tell me what I had to do, what I had to give up."
Lewis also said he is trying to win his second Super Bowl for his grandmother, who he said was on life support in a hospital.
"My whole legacy is I've always tried to grab someone to be a better person."
Lewis was also asked about the unsolved double-murder case that he was initially indicted for, but eventually cleared of involvement in.
Ravens coach John Harbaugh talked about the football battles he had with his brother, 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh, when they were kids.
When asked who won most of the the battles, John Harbaugh said, "Most of the time I won, I was older. He (Jim) would probably refute that. We would argue about who cut the grass last."
When asked how he'd console Jim if the Ravens won, John said, "We're way past consolation. There have been enough battles. There's no consolation between brothers. It's not necessary, and it's not welcome."
"The biggest things is that we love each other. There's no loser in this game. I coudn't be more proud of him. I would just tell him I love him and I'll see him next time."
In response to a question about his father calling him "dull," Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco responded, "I believe that it means I'm carrying myself in a good manner, not giving anybody a reason to like me or dislike me. I don't know if I'm dull, but I'm probably close to it."
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