Texans' Arian Foster likely to undergo heart procedure Houston Texans running back Arian Foster likely will undergo a heart procedure in about a month after an irregular heartbeat reappeared and forced him out of a Week 16 game against theMinnesota Vikings, NFL Network's Alex Flanagan reported Thursday. Foster has had an issue with his heart since he was 12 years old and has had about eight incidents where his heart began to race uncontrollably. Week 16 was the first time it happened during a game, Flanagan reported. The most significant effect is a shortness of breath. Doctors told Foster that former NBA player Hakeem Olajuwan had the same ailment. His spells were brought on by drinking cold water. They're trying to figure out what triggers the episode for Foster. He thinks it could be stress. The procedure is called an ablation. Heart surgery is always a scary thing. That's especially worrisome for a professional athlete who's dependent upon his body functioning at a high level. Hopefully, stress isn't the issue because there's plenty of that in the NFL -- even for a three-time Pro Bowl selection such as Foster. Leroy Hill of Seattle Seahawks held on $150,000 bail SEATTLE -- Seahawks linebacker Leroy Hill has made his first court appearance since he was accused of assaulting his girlfriend. Hill made an initial appearance in King County District Court. He is being held on $150,000 bail and has a second court appearance scheduled for Friday. According to a probable cause statement released during Thursday's hearing, Hill's girlfriend told police she was assaulted numerous times for more than five hours on Tuesday. The woman told police she was struck 15 to 20 times by Hill, including being hit with a bottle of alcohol in the legs and torso. The woman told police she was restrained from leaving his residence for most of the day, and had her cellphone taken by Hill. The statement also says Hill used a knife to cut up two of the woman's purses and a pair of shoes. Hill is being held on investigation of third-degree assault-domestic violence and unlawful imprisonment-domestic violence. Both are felonies in Washington state. Ed Reed: Roger Goodell needs 'help at the fining process' Normally, Baltimore Ravens safety Ed Reed complaining about NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and the league office cracking down on players being fined too much wouldn't count as big news. But this is the Super Bowl, so here we go. "If you're just somebody who is upstairs just wearing a suit who is just fining people and stuff like that for the wrong things; we're policing the wrong things," Reed said. "I really don't know what to say about our commissioner, honestly. It's probably more him and his staff that came up with the things that we're being fined for. It's not just Mr. Goodell. I think he needs more help at the fining process and not just have do-boys that want to please you. "That was my first impression of it so I decided I would stay as far away as possible, just stay away from the principal." Reed goes on to complain about being unfairly fined over his career. "The way they have fined me has been ridiculous honestly. ... I think I topped the charts." Jerry Rice to Randy Moss: I didn't take plays off NEW ORLEANS -- Hall of Famer Jerry Rice has a strong opinion on who's the greatest NFL wide receiver of all time, but he won't come out and say he is the best. The former San Francisco 49ers star turned television man will offer one thought to dissenter Randy Moss, Check the stats. "I know he says you can't bring the stats into the scenario, but I think that's part of being the best receiver to play the game," Rice said Thursday. "I'm just having fun with it right now. I think the thing is, I never took any plays off and I always gave 100 percent. Also, you put my numbers up against Randy's and my body of work compared to his, and there's a big difference." During Media Day Tuesday at the Superdome, Moss declared himself "the greatest receiver ever to play this game." The 35-year-old Moss, who returned to the league this season after a year off, Moss made 28 catches for 434 yards and three touchdowns this season. In 2007, he broke Rice's single-season record for touchdown catches with 23. Rice had 22 in 1987. Rice had 14 1,000-yard seasons. Moss is second with 10. Rice, who played the first 16 of his 21 NFL seasons with San Francisco from 1985-2000, holds virtually every significant receiving mark. That includes most career receptions (1,549); yards receiving (22,895); total touchdowns (208); and combined net yards (23,546) in his career with San Francisco, Oakland and Seattle. Rice gives Moss the nod for pure talent and athletic ability, but that's not all it takes. "The thing about me guys -- and I still say this today -- I think Randy Moss was the most talented," Rice said. "But along with being the most talented, you have to work hard -- every season, every play. I was not the most talented, but I was going to outwork you. He probably could have been the greatest player ever to play the game. He's 6-5, could run a 4.3. Could outjump you. Struck fear in the heart of the defense. But you have to have it here, in your heart." Rice later pointed out that he wasn't questioning Moss' heart, just emphasizing his own. "This is how I impacted the game," Rice said, holding up the sparkly 1988-89 championship ring on his middle right finger, "with Super Bowl rings. I'm hoping he can go out there and win his first one and be a big factor." Roger Goodell to give NFL State of the League speech An incredible week of star power on "NFL AM" concludes today with another A-list slate, headlined by Joe Gibbs and Doug Williams reuniting for the 25th anniversary of Super Bowl XXII, comedian Tracy Morgan, Arian Foster (who told NFL Network's Alex Flanagan that he will likely undergo heart surgery in about a month), Victor Cruz, Clay Matthews, Alfred Morris and more. Join us live from New Orleans beginning at 6 a.m. ET on NFL Network. Here's what else is on tap for Friday: » With health and safety news at the forefront of the week's debate, don't miss Commissioner Roger Goodell's annual State of the League address live from Super Bowl XLVII at 12:30 p.m. ET on NFL Network. And don't miss "Super Bowl Live" throughout the day, as sports stars and other celebrities come and go with abandon. » NFL Evolution reported on Thursday's health and safety conference in New Orleans, where the NFL said it wants to have independent neurological specialists on the sidelines in time for the 2013 season. » What were the 10 best plays of the 2012 season? We've whittled the list to 20 highlights, and today is yourlast chance to cast your vote. We'll reveal the winner at the NFL Honors ceremony on Saturday. » Jeff Darlington has a story of three NFL stars playing inSuper Bowl XLVII -- Ed Reed, Vernon Davis and Torrey Smith -- who all endured trying times with respect to their brothers. » Adam Schein offers nine predictions for a Super Sunday in The Schein Nine. » Our Super Debate asks if the San Francisco 49erswould be in the Super Bowl if they had landed Peyton Manning. » Daniel Jeremiah has the advanced scouting reports for both Super Bowl teams. » Our NFL Honors Instant Debate settles the question of who should be Comeback Player of the Year, ahead ofSaturday's NFL Honors ceremony. » Happy birthday to New England Patriots defensive endRob Ninkovich, who turns 29 on Friday. Randy Moss picks his five best NFL players ever San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Randy Moss made news earlier this week when he called himself the best wide receiver in NFL history. Some have taken Moss to task for his personnel evaluation skills, but I didn't think it was that crazy an assessment. Moss is probably the best deep threat in league history and he certainly has a case to be in the top-five receivers overall. So who are the best five players at any position? Moss was asked that at the49ers' final media availability. He immediatley took quarterbacks out of the mix because he believes they have their own group. Moss' choices: "Walter Payton, Jerry Rice, Barry Sanders," Moss replied immediately. And then, a pause. "Ummmmm ... you gotta put Terrell Owens in there." No, no you don't. This choice is not going to help Moss get a general manager job. So, that's four. "How many is that?" Moss then asked. (Four, we told him.) "Did I say me?" This was a light moment in a week Moss dominated in so many ways, speaking on issues silly and heavy. Moss won Media Day and it was outstanding hearing him talk the rest of the week too. It would be even cooler if Moss some noise on Sunday. Moss has one more chance to change the way you think about him. Steve Young 'really jealous' of 49ers' pistol formation San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman told Around the League on Thursday that the team doesn't run a "pistol offense." (They just use the pistol formation.) No matter what you call it, former 49ersquarterback Steve Young wishes he played when the concept was around. "I'm actually really jealous about the pistol. I think it's such a cool thing," Young told Comcast SportsNet Bay Area. Young believes the formation and the49ers' coaching staff have helped ease Colin Kaepernick into the NFL beautifully. They don't always ask Kaepernick to make complex reads, according to Young, but they do ask him to make "complex throws" down the field. "The pistol isn't going to go away, but the job in the long run is going to be to deliver the ball from the pocket," Young said. "This is a wonderful bridge for young players. "Look what's happened to these mobile guys, my heroes, my guys. There's this bridge now that they can have success, get more confidence, go to the Super Bowl." Matt Maiocco points out an incredible stat: Young never even took a snap out of the shotgun during his career. Not one. Kaepernick might be a descendent of Young in the history of mobile quarterbacks, but the game has dramatically changed since the last 49ers Super Bowl. DeMarcus Ware talks about infamous Cowboys window Jerry Jones famously said last summer that the window of opportunity was closing on the Dallas Cowboys. It became a stubborn narrative that followed the team well into the 2012 season. After another 8-8 in Big D, the space provided in that metaphorical window isn't any bigger. Linebacker DeMarcus Ware -- in New Orleans for Super Bowl XLVII -- talked about the Cowboys' uncertain future on Thursday. "We haven't been that consistent team that we need to be," Ware told ESPN Radio. "Everybody tells us the opportunity, the gate is closing, the door is closing. The door is always closing each year because it's a business deal to have certain guys on the team." Ware has some prime years left, but he's coming off the most difficult season of his career. He underwent shoulder surgery recently, and might need an elbow procedure as well, according to ESPN. Ware played through those injuries, as well as a fractured wrist. "I was being a warrior out there," he said. Ware expressed disappointment by Jones' decision to fire defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, though he praised new coordinator Monte Kiffin and the potential of his 4-3 scheme in which Ware is expected to move from linebacker to defensive end. Having just completed his eighth season, he knows changes are expected when a team doesn't get the job done. "I can say we've been underachieving at times," he said. "We give it what we have. But I can say we haven't been that consistent team. I wouldn't say underachieving." Whether they're inconsistent or underachieving, the Cowboysneed to get better. Another down year and Jones will be tempted to blow up a team that's wrestled with mediocrity for too long. Jim Harbaugh, John Harbaugh a study in contrasts It was hard not to notice the contrasts. John Harbaugh arrived to the first Super Bowl press conference that involved two brothers in a sharp-looking suit. Jim Harbaugh arrived with a pullover, hat, and khakis that stopped five inches before his shoes. John Harbaugh gave an opening statement. Jim Harbaugh merely followed him by saying, "I concur." When the family took pictures after the press conference with both parents and their 97- year-old grandfather, Jim bolted off the stage once his responsibility was over. Jim Harbaugh made it all about the players. He wanted the game to start. It's almost surprising he agreed to the concept of the joint brother interview in the first place. Here's what else we learned from the session: 1. Jim Harbaugh set the tone early, asked about a childhood memory where one of the brothers displayed gutsiness. His answer: "My memories are of this season right now. ... The way our players have played, that's why our players are here. Not because of any coaching decisions or anything when we were kids." 2. There were plenty of compliments thrown around. John Harbaugh called Jim the best coach in the NFL. Jim responded that their father Jack was even better. 3. Jim Harbaugh said his mom "competed like a maniac." That's the first time I've heard a mom described that way. The biggest lesson Jim learned from her was that she believed in us. "She made it clear we were to have each other's back, no matter what," John said. 4. Jim on New Orleans hospitality: "I like the way they talk." 5. Jim Harbaugh strained believability when he said "this week has not been any different" than a normal week. 6. The one time Jim Harbaugh broke script was when he was asked about his son Jay, a coaching intern on the Ravens. Jim almost got emotional saying how it "means the world" that his son is doing a great job. This was an unprecedented, sometimes awkward press conference. It's the last time we'll hear from the coaches until Sunday night. For Jim Harbaugh, it seems like the game can't get here soon enough. Jim Harbaugh's son helping Ravens prepare for Sunday NEW ORLEANS -- Jim Harbaugh was predictably tight-lipped during Friday's joint news conference with his brother, John, but the San Francisco 49ers coach showed a hint of emotion discussing his oldest son's role in Super Bowl XLVII. Jay Harbaugh works as an intern on John's Baltimore Ravens staff, meaning he's laboring to help his uncle beat his father. "I'm really, really thankful and proud at the same time that Jay is doing what he loves to do," Jim said. "That's a real blessing and he's doing it with the Baltimore Ravens, with a tremendous organization and great coaches around to mentor and to teach him, and especially John being there and hiring him, and I hear he's doing a phenomenal job, which, again, I'm really proud of." Young Jay finds himself in a strange spot, but Jim said he's resisted the temptation to chat up his offspring for inside information. "This week, you know, I haven't been talking to him or calling him or anything," Jim said. "Sent him a few texts just to tell him how I feel about him. ... I've heard he's done a great job and that means the world." "I couldn't fathom even considering not being all in with the team that I'm a part of," Jay told told Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times. "Any true competitor feels the exact same way. You have to be totally all in with your team, sold on the vision. Otherwise, there's no point. No point to being a part of it, putting in all the time that you do and making the sacrifices. ... In some alternate universe, if I was conflicted, it would just confuse my dad. It would confuse any true competitor because you can't reconcile those things in your head. If you're all in, you're all in. There's no wavering there. It's an all-or- nothing proposition for that whole week." So it's two Harbaughs against one on Sunday, and John seems pleased to have the advantage in this area. "The way we look at it, you talk about the philosophical difference or whatever, maybe that will tip the scale," John said. "Maybe that will be our edge -- you know, it will be Jay." Play of the Year? Ray Rice's fourth-and-29 miracle will endure The night before Super Bowl XLVII, the NFL will salute its best players and plays from the 2012 season with "NFL Honors," a star-studded football and entertainment event at the Mahalia Jackson Theatre in New Orleans. Just like last year, Alec Baldwin will host the proceedings, which will be broadcast on CBS at 9 p.m. ET on Saturday night. One of the awards that will be presented at "NFL Honors" is the 2012 Play of the Year. There are 20 official nominees available for viewing here, but what is your pick? The Ultimate Super Bowl Fantasy Lineup Super Bowl XLVII has more than its share of fantasy football superstars. From Ray Rice to Frank Gore, Michael Crabtree and Colin Kaepernick, it's an owner's paradise. That had me thinking - if I could construct a solid fantasy lineup from just one Super Bowl, what would a lineup look like if I used all 46 title games? In the spirit of this Sunday's championship tilt in New Orleans between the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers, I went back into the archives and found the best single- game performances for each of the major fantasy positions based on NFL.com's standard scoring system (minus negative points). So without further ado, here's the "perfect" fantasy Super Bowl lineup. Steve Young, QB, San Francisco 49ers (Super Bowl XXIX): Young's 325-yard, six- touchdown performance in a 49-26 win over the San Diego Chargers was the greatest ever for a quarterback in the Super Bowl. The versatile field general from BYU completed 67 percent of his passes, didn't throw an interception and even led the Niners in rushing yards (49). Furthermore, Young also shattered the previous record of five touchdown passes (Joe Montana, Super Bowl XXIV) in the big game and finished with a total of 41.9 fantasy points. Terrell Davis, RB, Denver Broncos (Super Bowl XXXII):Despite the effects of a migraine headache that hindered him in the first quarter, Davis was still able to put the Broncos on his broad shoulders and lead them to a 31-24 win over theGreen Bay Packers. He rushed for 157 yards with a Super Bowl-record three touchdowns, and scored a solid 34.5 fantasy points, the most of any player at his position in the big game. Davis, whose scores all came on 1-yard runs, was awarded MVP honors for his outstanding efforts. Timmy Smith, RB, Washington Redskins (Super Bowl XXII): Smith came out of nowhere to rush for what is still aSuper Bowl-record 204 yards with two touchdowns and 33.3 fantasy points in a 42-10 win over the Broncos. Amazingly, he rushed for more yards in that game than he did in the entire 1987 season (126). Smith's Super Bowl success didn't open a window to the future, either. He would end up rushing for just 476 yards over the next two seasons combined before being out of football altogether after the 1990 campaign. Jerry Rice, WR, San Francisco 49ers (Super Bowl XXIX):Considered the greatest wide receiver to ever put on the helmet and pads, Rice was a touchdown machine on the NFL's grandest stage during his illustrious career. He had 10 receptions for 149 yards with three touchdowns - the second time he scored three times in the big game - and scored a ridiculous 33.9 fantasy points in a 49-26 win over the Chargers. Rice wasted little time getting into the stat sheets, scoring on a 44-yard pass from Young three plays into the contest. Ricky Sanders, WR, Washington Redskins (Super Bowl XXII): Sanders was a machine against the Broncos, posting nine receptions for what was a record 193 yards with two touchdowns and 31.3 fantasy points. The speedster from Texas State averaged a solid 21.4 yards per reception and found the end zone on long downfield strikes of 80 and 50 yards from MVP Doug Williams. His yardage total in the game would have accounted for 31 percent of his yards during the entire 1987 season, so it was the definition of a breakout performance. Marcus Allen, R/W, Los Angeles Raiders (Super Bowl XVIII): There were some great performances to choose from at the flex position, but it was hard not to start Allen. He led the Raidersto their third title with what was a Super Bowl-record 191 rushing yards and two touchdowns in a 38-9 win over the Redskins. The most memorable moment of the game, and one that will live in Super Bowllore forever, was Allen's 74-yard run in the third quarter that put his team ahead 35-6. He would finish with 32.9 fantasy points. Dan Ross, TE, Cincinnati Bengals (Super Bowl XVI): Tight end has not been a productive position in Super Bowls, so Ross' performance against the 49ers was far and away the best from a fantasy perspective. He led all receivers in the contest with 11 catches, was second to Cris Collinsworth in receiving yards with 102, and found the end zone twice in a 26-21 loss. Ross, who scored touchdowns on passes of 4 and 3 yards from Ken Anderson, would have been an elite tight end in the early '80s if fantasy football was as popular back then. Don Chandler, K, Green Bay Packers (Super Bowl II): The oldest performance at the major fantasy positions came from Chandler, who helped kick Green Bay to a second consecutive Super Bowl championship in a 33-14 win over the Raiders. He connected on field goals of 39, 20, 43 and 31 yards, while also adding three extra points. While not as famous as the kicker he opposed in this contest, the immortal George Blanda, Chandler was a real hero in this title tilt. He retired after 12 years with the New York Giants and Packers. Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense (Super Bowl XXXVII): Touchdowns are like gold in fantasy football, and the Buccaneers defense had no shortage of them in Super Bowl XXXVII. In fact, this unit found the end zone three times against the Raiders - Dwight Smith scored on interception returns of 44 and 50 yards, and Derrick Brooks found the end zone on a 44-yard interception return of his own. Tampa Bay forced five interceptions in all, recorded five sacks and posted 33 fantasy points in standard leagues. Tales of Jim and John Harbaugh's camping trip NEW ORLEANS -- The Harbaugh brothers weren't in the mood to dish on their childhoods during Friday's joint news conference, but we managed to glean information out of another member of the clan. Bob Cipiti, Jim and John's uncle, told me of a camping trip into the wilderness gone very wrong when the Harbaugh boys were young. "We were going to go fishing," Cipiti said. "They were in Ann Arbor then, and I picked them up. We went a couple hours north of Michigan to some lake, set the camper up, and we're ready to go fishing. "Well, Jim didn't want to go. He wanted to stay in the camper and we had a little TV set there we had plugged in. It probably only got two channels, and he just wanted to stay in and relax. Well John and I went fishing. Came back two hours later -- and Jim had eaten all the food. It was all gone. So John and I had to go out and buy more food for the rest of weekend." If Uncle Bob is still upset about Jim plowing through the rations, he hid it well. If John's still up in arms, he'll have a chance to even the score on Sunday. Randy Moss, Ed Reed among Super Bowl's future Hall of Famers This might be the greatest article of all time. Well, if Randy Moss had edited it, he would say so. The eccentric San Francisco 49ers wideout with 156 touchdowns to his name made a bit of news -- er, caused a minor stir -- this week when he made the following proclamation: "I really do think I'm the greatest receiver to ever play this game." It wasn't a totally outrageous comment; Moss certainly belongs in a discussion of the top five. And -- unlike Jerry Rice -- it got me thinking about more than which receiver has the most street cred. We know Moss is a Hall of Fame player; his fate in that area was decided long before Super Bowl Media Day. But what about the other participants in Super Bowl XLVII? With Saturday's Hall of Fame vote on the Class of 2013 looming, I thought I'd pick out the players in New Orleans who are Hall bound ... or at least have a shot to be. Consider this a somewhat comprehensive list -- although I'm not going to speculate on whether Bernard Piercesomeday rushes for 100,000 yards. You'll no doubt be surprised by how many players on both teams are compiling historic credentials, or at least have that brand of upside. Of course, you're welcome to share your own thoughts on the matter at the usual dropbox:@Harrison_NFL. I've split the candidates up by team (and alphabetically), with the Baltimore Ravens first. We begin with a guy who came into the league with the 1998 Vikings, just like Moss... BALTIMORE RAVENS Matt Birk, C: Yep, Birk has much in common with Moss. Except not at all. Still, it is possible that the long-time veteran is enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Famesomeday. He's likeable and has a great reputation (which plays a role with some voters), and he's played 14 seasons at center, for crying out loud. A two-time All-Pro and Walter Payton Man of the Year (2011), Birk has the résumé. But it's a tough road for a center, and he's never been considered dominant. Only one center has made the Hall in the past 15 years (Dermontti Dawson). Anquan Boldin, WR: Never say never -- Boldin has been awfully productive. Yet, I think No. 81 will get caught in a numbers game. For all his catches (772), does anyone think he's better than Cris Carter, Tim Brown or Andre Reed, none of whom are in the Hall? What about Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne? Or Larry Fitzgerald? Joe Flacco, QB: Even if the Ravens win Super Bowl XLVII, Flacco would need to have an awesome game to start getting any buzz as a potential all-time great. Honestly, does anyone put Flacco up there with Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Drew Brees ... or even Aaron Rodgers? Yes, Flacco's team beat Brady's and Manning's in the playoffs this season, and yes, you have to tip your cap to his 54-26 career record as a starter, but color me ultra-conservative (or not) in saying the jury is waaaaay out on Flacco as a Hall of Fame-caliber player. Ray Lewis, LB: Not to be anticlimactic, but I'm going to be anticlimactic. Lewis will be a first-ballot inductee come 2018. He's a two-time Defensive Player of the Year (2000, 2003) and a Super Bowl MVP (XXXV). Lewis was named to the NFL's All-Decade Team of the 2000s and has played 17 seasons. Haloti Ngata, DT: Interesting case here. Considered the premier player at the defensive tackle position two years ago, Ngata has lost a bit of that cachet since. Nonetheless, he's been named first- or second-team All-Pro by The Associated Press for five straight years. He has thus far been overshadowed to some extent by Lewis, Ed Reed and Terrell Suggs, but if Ngata keeps up his solid play for two or three more years, I think he gets in -- even if, as someone who's never been a "sack" guy in the Ravens' defense, he doesn't have gaudy numbers. Ed Reed, S: Is this a serious question? He's a Hall of Famerright now. Reed might be the best safety of all time, right up there with Ronnie Lott and, obviously, Randy Moss (kidding). He's an eight-time All-Pro, a Defensive Player of the Year winner (2004) and a member of the 2000s All-Decade Team. Oh, and he has 61 career interceptions. Next! Ray Rice, RB: Through five seasons, Rice has gained more than 8,200 yards from scrimmage. If he doubles that total -- i.e., keeps it up for five more years -- there's no way hedoesn't end up in the Hall of Fame. However, Rice has never been considered the best at his position, and he doesn't have a grab basket of spectacular Adrian Peterson/Barry Sanders-esque highlight runs to his name. Think of Rice as a Curtis Martin -- or, better yet, Thurman Thomas -- type of guy. Both Martin and Thomas are already in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Terrell Suggs, LB: Not seeing it. Hall of Very Good, perhaps? Suggs has been a solid pass rusher and overall defensive player, collecting 84.5 sacks through 10 seasons. Even coupled with a Defensive Player of the Year Award (2011), the pecking order of great defenders on the Ravens goes like this: 1) Reed, 2) Lewis, 3) Ngata and 4) Suggs -- at least to these eyes. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS David Akers, K: Don't laugh. This guy has had a heckuva career. He's a six-time Pro Bowler who currently sits 14th on the league's all-time scoring list. But he's a kicker. And what's more, he doesn't have much in the way of signature kicks on his résumé, unlike, say, Adam Vinatieri. NaVorro Bowman, LB: I thought about leaving the young linebacker off my list of prospective inductees, but here Bowman is. Why? Because in three short years, he's already been named a first-team All-Pro twice. He's a sure tackler, effective in coverage, and just doesn't get overmatched. His position is not currently stockpiled with tons of great players under 30. The Houston Texans' Brian Cushing, Dallas Cowboys' Sean Lee andArizona Cardinals' Daryl Washington immediately spring to mind, but at this juncture, Bowman is an early front-runner for a spot. Vernon Davis, TE: With the numbers he's put up thus far, the offense he plays in, and the rough start to his career ("Cannot win with him!"), Davis is a real long shot. An effective player for several years, Davis' pace (345 career receptions) through seven seasons is well behind contemporaries Tony Gonzalez and Jason Witten. Davis caught just 41 balls this season, so obviously something would have to change -- either the scenery or the offensive scheme. Frank Gore, RB: Gore is becoming quite the compiler. He's already the 49ers' all-time leading rusher with 8,839 yards. How long can he keep it up? If Gore puts together three more 1,200-yard years, all of a sudden he'll be at 12K. There are just three running backs who've eclipsed that barrier who aren't in the Pro Football Hall of Fame: LaDainian Tomlinson, Jerome Bettis and Edgerrin James. Right now, though, Gore would have to wait behind those guys on my ballot. Randy Moss, WR: Next question. David Akers, K: Don't laugh. This guy has had a heckuva career. He's a six-time Pro Bowler who currently sits 14th on the league's all-time scoring list. But he's a kicker. And what's more, he doesn't have much in the way of signature kicks on his résumé, unlike, say, Adam Vinatieri. NaVorro Bowman, LB: I thought about leaving the young linebacker off my list of prospective inductees, but here Bowman is. Why? Because in three short years, he's already been named a first-team All-Pro twice. He's a sure tackler, effective in coverage, and just doesn't get overmatched. His position is not currently stockpiled with tons of great players under 30. The Houston Texans' Brian Cushing, Dallas Cowboys' Sean Lee andArizona Cardinals' Daryl Washington immediately spring to mind, but at this juncture, Bowman is an early front-runner for a spot. Vernon Davis, TE: With the numbers he's put up thus far, the offense he plays in, and the rough start to his career ("Cannot win with him!"), Davis is a real long shot. An effective player for several years, Davis' pace (345 career receptions) through seven seasons is well behind contemporaries Tony Gonzalez and Jason Witten. Davis caught just 41 balls this season, so obviously something would have to change -- either the scenery or the offensive scheme. Frank Gore, RB: Gore is becoming quite the compiler. He's already the 49ers' all-time leading rusher with 8,839 yards. How long can he keep it up? If Gore puts together three more 1,200-yard years, all of a sudden he'll be at 12K. There are just three running backs who've eclipsed that barrier who aren't in the Pro Football Hall of Fame: LaDainian Tomlinson, Jerome Bettis and Edgerrin James. Right now, though, Gore would have to wait behind those guys on my ballot. Randy Moss, WR: Next question. Eddie DeBartolo, Art Modell Hall of Fame worthy despite critics Eddie DeBartolo Jr. is a Hall of Famer. There, I said it. You can take the riverboat gambling casino fiasco legal blahbitty blah from the 1990s and shove it up someone's tailpipe. The former San Francisco 49ers owner, one of 17 men awaiting a Saturday phone call saying "You're in," certainly deserves to be a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Strike that; he doesn't just deserve to be in, he is a Hall of Fame owner. Art Modell might be a longer shot than DeBartolo, as very few have completely forgotten what happened in 1995, when he moved the Cleveland Browns to Baltimore. But after much deliberation, I think he similarly deserves a bust in the museum in that town in northeast Ohio. With the San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens teeing it up in Super Bowl XLVII, it's both ironic and appropriate that the central figure in each organization's development is up for entry to the Hall of Fame. While each have their detractors, DeBartolo and Modell are key figures in league history -- period. (It should be noted that I chose Bill Parcells as this year's "contributor" on my simulated Hall of Fame ballot for NFL.com. However, the Big Tuna's legacy or candidacy in no way adversely impacts Modell's or DeBartolo's case for being Hall worthy.) When DeBartolo and his father, Edward Sr., acquired the San Francisco 49ers in 1977, the team hadn't made the playoffs in five years. The Niners went down before they went up, but then came a few master strokes: hiring head coach Bill Walsh and general manager John McVay, as well as team president Carmen Policy, who would one day be named the NFL's Executive of the Year. The 49erswon five Super Bowls in DeBartolo's 23 years running the team. The decision to hire Walsh in 1979 -- three years after the Cincinnati Bengals had passed on a chance to do the same -- altered not only the course of the San Francisco franchise but the course of NFL history. Walsh's stamp is still all over offenses around the league. If DeBartolo hadn't hired Walsh, who knows if that stamp ever would have stuck? Putting the Super Bowls and Walsh's impact aside for a moment, let's remember that the Niners assembled a string of 16 straight winning seasons from 1983 to 1998. There was an expectation in the air at the 49ers' complex that emanated from the top down, an expectation that was fully realized with five Lombardi Trophies. The 49ers owner created a winning atmosphere, his team traveling in -- and becoming the symbol of -- class. DeBartolo crafted and nurtured a culture around one of the league's most successful franchises. That's enough for inclusion in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in my book. Meanwhile, DeBartolo's elder contemporary helped transform the culture of the NFL overall. As chairman of the labor committee in 1968, Modell helped negotiate the NFL's first labor agreement. He also had a hand in developing NFL Films, as its first chairman in the 1960s. Most significantly, he chaired the NFL's broadcast committee, helping to negotiate the league's television contracts for 31 years. I get it: Television money doesn't excite you. Well, guess what? Without shared television revenue in the NFL (a concept that Modell championed), we wouldn't have a competitive Green Bay Packers team in the playoff mix every year, because they wouldn't be able to afford being there. Those large dollars -- evenly distributed among all the teams -- comprise a large part of Modell's legacy. Football-wise, Modell made a gutsy move early in his stewardship of the Cleveland Browns by firing a legendary coach (Paul Brown) in 1963 because he felt his club needed the shakeup. Enter Blanton Collier -- and an NFL title for the Browns in 1964. Cleveland made the NFL Championship Game the next year, and was in the playoffs for five of the next seven seasons. Let us not forget, too, that Modell was the first guy to giveBill Belichick a head-coaching opportunity. And he was also the first guy to hire an African-American general manager (Ozzie Newsome). Like DeBartolo -- like many in big business -- Modell has his scandal: moving the Browns. Perhaps the case for departing Cleveland still isn't strong enough, but like most choices in business, the decision to bolt town ultimately boiled down to money. Nonetheless, at least in this writer's view, that fact doesn't diminish all that Modell did for the league ... like shifting the Browns from the NFL to the AFC during the AFL-NFL merger in 1970. Flawed character? Probably. Aren't we all? There are less deserving people in the Pro Football Hall of Fame right now. Before he died, I asked Modell if -- despite all the backlash sparked by moving his team to Baltimore, and despite his own regrets -- he was proud of his accomplishments. "I've made mistakes in my life, but who doesn't?" he said. Hopefully, the Hall of Fame voters won't make the mistake of never putting DeBartolo and Modell where they belong: in that classic room in Canton with all the busts in it. Eli the orangutan picks Baltimore Ravens in Super Bowl XLVII The Baltimore Ravens have the ape in their corner for Super Bowl XLVII. An orangutan at a Utah zoo has predicted the winning Super Bowlteam each of the past five years. The ape, named Eli, is picking the Baltimore Ravens to beat the San Francisco 49ers this time around. Eli made his pick by knocking down a papier mache goal post decorated with the Ravens logo. He ignored the 49ers post. Eli's pick of the Ravens is consistent with the prognostication ofPrincess the camel. But Boone the black rhino, named after49ers offensive lineman Alex Boone, is going with San Francisco. Hogle Zoo spokeswoman Erica Hansen said Eli has hesitated in years past, but charged toward the Ravens side this year. He then joined his mate and daughter in chowing down on the edible posts. At least he's confident. Arian Foster: I do not plan to undergo a heart operation HOUSTON -- Texans running back Arian Foster said he has not spoken with his doctors about "any surgery," disputing a report that he was likely to undergo a heart procedure in about a month. "I am feeling well and am as exuberant as ever," he said in a statement Friday. The NFL Network reported Thursday that Foster was considering an ablation procedure because of a heart condition that forced him from a game late this season. Such a procedure involves use of a catheter to correct structural problems that can lead to an abnormal heartbeat, according to the Mayo Clinic's website. "As of now, I have no complications with my blood pumper," Foster said. "There was a casual conversation with a reporter about my particular condition that turned public. But I have not, nor do I plan to any time in the near future, have conversations with my doctors about any surgery." During the third quarter of Houston's 23-6 loss to the Minnesota Vikings on Dec. 23, Foster left the game because of an irregular heartbeat. Coach Gary Kubiak said Foster also experienced the problem in a practice. Foster said he's known about his heart issue since he was 12 years old. Texans general manager Rick Smith said in a statement Friday that the team is "comfortable" with the health of their 26-year-old running back. "Our medical team continues to monitor it," Smith said. "He missed one-half of a practice and one-half of a game, and our doctors treated him." Foster rushed for 1,424 yards and 15 touchdowns in 2012. He was invited to the Pro Bowl for the third time in his three full NFL seasons. An undrafted free agent in 2009, Foster worked his way up from the Texans' practice squad to become the NFL's leading rusher in 2010 (1,616 yards). Last March, Foster signed a five-year, $43.5 million contract. Roger Goodell: NFL will look at eliminating certain low blocks NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says the league will look at eliminating certain low blocks and improve the quality of playing fields as part of a program to improve player safety. In his annual message on the state of the league two days before Sunday's Super Bowl, Goodell said neurosurgeons will also be added to game day medical staffs. Goodell pledged to pioneer new approaches to safety and will continue to make it a priority. He said he welcomed recent comments by President Barack Obama about football safety, and said there are improvements constantly in treating head injuries. He said the game can be made safer while making football better. Roger Goodell: Minority hiring rate 'not acceptable' NEW ORLEANS -- The Rooney Rule has been a hot topic of conversation after a hiring cycle that included no minority hires among the 15 new head coaches and general managers this offseason. At his state of the league news conference Friday, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell made it clear that the results were "not acceptable." "The Rooney Rule has been very effective," Goodell said. "We have to look to see what the next generation is. We have to take it to another level." Goodell went on to say that the league is committed to finding an answer that will allow the league's talent to excel. He said there will be many conversations to this end. "We want to make sure we have the best people in the best possible positions," Goodell said. "We didn't have the outcomes we wanted." Goodell stressed that "full diversity" is important to the future of the league. It's clear that changes are coming. Goodell confident HGH testing in place by next season NEW ORLEANS -- NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Friday expressed confidence that human growth hormone testing will be in place when teams kick off next season. "I believe that HGH testing is going to happen prior to the 2013 NFL season. It's the right thing to do for the players," Goodell told reporters during his annual state of the league news conference. Said Goodell: "It's the right thing to do for the integrity of the game. And it's also the right thing to do, to send the right message to everybody else in sports: You don't have to play the game by taking performance-enhancing drugs. The science is there. There is no question about that." The commissioner pointed to the Olympics and Major League Baseball as vehicles that have already moved the ball on HGH testing, and he's correct on this front -- the NFL has fallen behind on the issue. Goodell pointed out the league and the NFL Players Association agreed to testing in the new collective bargaining agreement two years ago. That was treated as a major victory in the days following the lockout, but there's been little progress since. The union still has questions about the appeals process behind HGH testing, but the commissioner downplayed speculation his authority to discipline is holding up an agreement with the NFLPA. "With all due respect, we gave them, as part of HGH, arbitration -- third-party arbitration," Goodell told NFL Network's Rich Eisen. "It wouldn't be my decision. They can move toward a system that is more of a third-party system, particularly as it relates to drug testing, so that's counter-intuitive for me." Testing is long overdue, but until the NFL and the union bridge their differences over this issue, HGH monitoring remains more of a hope than a reality. Roger Goodell expresses regrets about bounty scandal NEW ORLEANS -- It was just a matter of time before the question was asked. During his state of the union address on Thursday, in the city where his controversial decision-making process made him public enemy No. 1, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was asked if he had any regrets about how he handled the New Orleans Saints bounty investigation. Before he replied, Goodell chose to clarify one especially strong belief. "Well, let me just let me take a moment and get back to, make sure everyone is clear and on the record. There is no question that there was a bounty program in place for three years," Goodell said. "I think that is bad for the players, for the game and I think the message is incredibly clear. And I don't believe bounties are going to be part of football moving forward. That's good for everybody. So I do think that message has come through clear." "As it relates to the regrets, I think my biggest regret is that we aren't all recognizing that this is a collective responsibility to get them out of the game and make the game safer," he said. "Clearly, the teams, the NFL, the coaching staffs, executives and players, we all share that responsibility. And that's what I regret that I wasn't able to make that point clearly enough with the union and others. But that is something that we're going to be incredibly relentless on." In December, former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue -- appointed by Goodell for a second round of player appeals -- vacated the suspensions of four players tied to the Saints' bounty program. Tagliabue said at the time that Goodell had found himself in an "impossible" spot, explaining that the controversy was "overshadowing everything Roger had accomplished in terms of emphasizing player safety." At the height of the bounty scandal, pictures of Goodell were posted in restaurants throughout New Orleans with the message, "Do not serve this man." Goodell was asked about the city's hospitality toward him this week. "I couldn't feel more welcome here. When you look back at it, my picture was in every restaurant, I had a float in the Mardi Gras parade, we got a voodoo doll," he said, drawing laughs. "I'm serious, the people here have been incredible." Mike McCarthy's eyes told Donald Driver he was done Donald Driver knew his time in a Green Bay Packers jersey was over with one look at coach Mike McCarthy. The two had their season-ending meeting after the Packers lost to the 49ers in the playoffsand the 14-year veteran could tell what was coming. "I just kind of knew in his eyes," the wide receiver who spent his entire career in Green Bay told Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter Tom Silverstein. "When you've known a guy for so long and you're friends, it's hard for him to tell you that they're not going to bring me back. I just kind of looked at him, and I just kind of knew that that's what they were going to do. "I just wanted to make it easy on the organization, not put any pressure on them and just be able to walk away on my own terms and not have them say, 'We're not going to bring you back.' " Driver announced his retirement this week and with it the fact he will always be known as a Green Bay Packer. A retirement ceremony will be held Wednesday in the Lambeau Field Atrium. That last distinction was important to him. “It was just time, sitting down with the wife and kids," Driver said. "I've always said I never want to wear another uniform. I've always said that I owe it to the fans to retire a Packer. "I feel like I can still play, but if I can't play for my organization, then I can't play for anyone else. I'm happy with the decision I made." Packers fans are also grateful. Agree with it or not, that means something in Green Bay. Brett Favre's legacy is the No. 1 example. Some fans will never get over the retirement back-and-forth and his career ending with the hated Vikings. Driver will always enjoy revered status in Wisconsin. Roger Goodell says league studying playoff expansion NEW ORLEANS -- NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell's annual state of the league address was largely focused on player health and safety, like so many NFL conversations this week. But there were plenty of other key topics. Goodell expressed optimism about HGH testing, displeasure about minority hiring, and stood strong in his comments about the Saints' bounty controversy. Some other things we learned: 1. NFL Network's Rich Eisen interviewed Goodell after the press conference and asked about expanding the playoffs. "I didn't say we're going to do it. I said we're going to study it," Goodell said. Goodell also mentioned reducing the preseason to two or three games. We haven't heard him mention three as a possibility before. 2. Goodell stressed repeatedly that the NFL needs to "take the head out of the game." He wants to continue escalating discipline when it comes to hits that cause injuries. 3. Goodell got some laughs when talking about his welcome in New Orleans: "I couldn't feel more welcome. My picture is in every restaurant. I had a float in a Mardi Gras parade. I've got a Voodoo doll. ... I'm serious, people here have been incredible," Goodell said. He's been out on the town the last two nights with some of the people he worked with in the days after Hurricane Katrina and lauded the city repeatedly. "I appreciate the passion" of the fans, Goodell said. 4. Goodell didn't seem to want to get involved in the topic of the Washington Redskins possibly changing their nickname. 5. On the New York Super Bowl: "Undoubtedly the game next year is going to have an impact on future decisions for open-air, cold-weather sites ... The community prepared for this ... The plans that have been developed for the Super Bowl, I think are extraordinary. "The game of football is made to be played in the elements. Now, we hope they're not extreme, on one hand, but we'll be prepared for that if that's the case." Troy Aikman: Cowboys should draft their next QB NEW ORLEANS -- This is not a story about Troy Aikman believing the Dallas Cowboys should replaceTony Romo. Let's make that clear up front. Now ... During a Thursday appearance on "NFL.com Super Bowl Live," Aikman was asked if the Cowboysshould think about drafting another quarterback with Romo closing in on his 33rd birthday. "I like the way the Packers did it for all those years," Aikman said. "To bring a guy in essentially every season, whether you draft him in the fourth round or fifth round or third round, whatever it might be. I think there's something to be said for that." "I don't think they need another quarterback -- make that clear -- but because of Tony's age they certainly have to start addressing who the guy is going to be who comes in after him, and if there's a guy that they can pick up and maybe develop in the third or fourth round. I think that's a real positive thing." The Packers have enjoyed the ultimate embarrassment of riches, going from one MVP quarterback in Brett Favre to another in Aaron Rodgers. Green Bay has drafted 12 quarterbacks since 1992, giving them more opportunities to hit on the next franchise star. The Cowboys aren't guaranteed their own Hall of Famer, but considering Life After Romo isn't such a bad idea. Bruce Arians has yet to vet Cardinals QB Kevin Kolb New Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians has yet to evaluate Kevin Kolb, but has seen good moments from the quarterback. We've all seen the bad moments as he's yet to complete 60 percent of his passes in two seasons in Arizona. Kolb has thrown 17 touchdowns and 11 interceptions in just 15 games after being brought in to be the franchise quarterback in 2011. "I'm looking forward to meeting with Kevin and we'll cross that bridge as soon as we have to," Arians told ESPN.com's Mike Sando in New Orleans. "I've seen enough film to know that he is good enough, but we have to protect him a lot better. When he is healthy, he has had some good moments. He has had some not-so-good moments. We have to protect him better, run the ball better." Kolb is due a $2 million bonus in March and a $9 million salary in 2013. He signed a six- year, $63.5 million contract before the 2011 season. This for a quarterback who couldn't hold onto the starting job last season. The Cardinals will likely want to rework those numbers if they plan to keep him on the roster. Kolb's future becomes more of a question mark when you consider Arians brings a downfield passing attack that doesn't exactly fit his skill set. "Offensively, we need to get some guys healthy, evaluate our quarterback position and if there is a guy behind door No. 2 that could help us more, we might go that way," Arians said. "Or we'll make the ones we have better. "You look at what you've got, but I do like to throw the ball vertically up the field. Once you get an established running game, you can hit big shots up the field off your play- action passes. With the receiving crew we have, we would be crazy not to put the ball upfield." JohnMara: Victor Cruz asking too much from Giants Victor Cruz wants to remain a New York Giant. The organization wants the same for its young wide receiver. But the two parties are not close to deal. Cruz will be a restricted free agent and has been one of the biggest bargains in football the last two seasons. He made $540,000 in 2012. Giants owner John Mara was asked if a deal will get done before next season? "I hope so, and we certainly want him back," Mara told Newsday's Bob Glauber reported. "But, like with any player, there's a limit to where we're going to go (monetarily). He's been a terrific player for us, he's a fan favorite, he does a lot for our franchise, but there is a limit. But I hope we can get him back, and you know what, this is the best place for him to be playing. He's become such a fan favorite, he's become so popular in this area. "I think it's in his best interest to stay. But that's sales pitch anyway. I think we'll get something done. ... But if not, God bless him, we'll wish him luck." Mara believes Cruz will test the market and he should command a first-round tender as a receiver with 2,628 yards, 19 touchdowns and a Pro Bowl selection in the last two seasons. "In an ideal world, yeah, we would like to have him back," Mara said. "But I understand he's going to test the market and he's entitled to do that but we'll see what happens down the road. ... There's a limit with any player, you have a salary cap, if you spend too much money on him, that's going to limit what you can do in other areas where we have needs. So I'm hopeful that we're going to be able to make a deal. We have a year to get that worked out. "(He) is a high priority, he absolutely is, but he's not our only priority. You have to have 53 guys signed and we have some needs in other areas, too. But listen, we do want him back and he is certainly a priority and I'm still optimistic about it." Mara flat-out said Cruz has asked for too much money "right now...but that's his agent," The Star Ledger's Jenny Vrentas reported. That's normal. Cruz goes with a high number and the Giants go low and they meet somewhere in the middle. That's negotiation. Cruz is entering his fourth year in the NFL and has put up huge numbers with Eli Manning being the only other Pro Bowl talent at the offensive skill positions. The Giants would be unwise to let Cruz walk after they developed him from an undrafted rookie free agent. DeSean Jackson is very excited about Chip Kelly DeSean Jackson expects big things from new Philadelphia Eagles coach Chip Kelly. After watching Kelly lay waste to the Pac-12 for a while, the Eagles wide receiver expects more of the same at the pro level. Jackson told the guys at NFL.com Kelly would be "going to make defensive coordinators crazy." Jackson's goals are modest. He's hoping to touch the ball 15 to 20 times per game with roughly three to five touchdowns per contest. San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman also spoke with Around the League about Kelly's transition to the NFL earlier this week. "I'm sure it will be interesting," Roman said. "I think it will work to a certain extent. I've coached in the Pac-12. I've coached in the NFL. It's different. It's just different for a lot of reasons. You've got to be able to adapt week to week and from college to pro. I believe he'll be able to make the right decisions and adapt. I tend to expect the same thing. In time, Kelly should make defensive coordinators crazy. He's just not going to do it in the same way that he did it at Oregon. Arthur Blank laughs off talk of Falcons' L.A. courtship Atlanta Falcons fans were given a scare earlier this week when a report surfaced that team owner Arthur Blank has been courted by business interests in Los Angeles about a possible move. Blank -- in New Orleans for Super Bowl XLVII -- dismissed the speculation on Friday. "It was humorous," Blank told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "My reaction was: Where did this come from? It certainly didn't come from us. "But in any event, what's most important to our fans in the city, the region and the state is we're committed to Atlanta and to getting this stadium deal done and we're making progress and working to make this a win-win situation for everybody." The Falcons are seeking a new open-air stadium in the downtown sector to replace the aging Georgia Dome. Blank said he was "confident and comfortable" with the current state of negotiations with the city of Atlanta, but wouldn't confirm or deny a new funding deal could be completed by next week. Blank said he feels "fairly good" about the situation. "We're continuing to make progress. ... The timetable I think is coming closer. Whether it's next week or not, I'm not sure." So breathe easy, Falcons fans. Everything appears on the right track. As for you football fans in L.A., stay patient. You're day will come eventually. Maybe. Ray Lewis practices for last time as member of Baltimore Ravens NEW ORLEANS -- Linebacker Ray Lewis, drafted in the first round in the history of the new Baltimore Ravens in 1996 and retiring after Sunday's Super Bowl against San Francisco, walked off the practice field for the last time Friday as the Ravens concluded full-scale workouts at the New Orleans Saints' practice facility. The Ravens will have a short walk-through Saturday, but players don't even break a sweat in those sessions. This was it after 17 seasons of practices for Lewis, who seemed somber and serious for much of the practice, as he has all week. There were little reminders of the last practice for Lewis. As he always does on Friday, running backRay Rice, mentored by Lewis since being drafted by the Ravens in 2008, wore Lewis' No. 52 and at one point shouted to Lewis and pointed to the number on his jersey. The Ravens play music at most practice sessions, and the first two songs played at the practice session were Lewis favorites: "Spiritual," a gospel number by Donald Lawrence and Company, and "Hot in Herre" by Nelly, the song the Ravens blared when Lewis was introduced at home games. Lewis wore No. 1 without a name on the back, a Friday game-week tradition dating back to 2001. When the 65-minute practice ended, Lewis walked off the Saints' grass field onto a team bus, talking with tackle Bryant McKinnie all the way. Outward signs of emotion by Lewis if he was feeling any? None. The game could also be the last one for 36-year-old center Matt Birk, whose plans for 2013 are unclear, and the last one in Baltimore for free- agent-to-be Ed Reed, but many eyes on the sidelines were fixed on Lewis. "I didn't even think of it," said coach John Harbaughbefore boarding the bus for the 15- minute trip back to Baltimore's team hotel in downtown New Orleans. "That's not where Ray's head is either, I'm sure. He's thinking about the game. We all are." The Ravens, practicing under blue skies with 8-mph winds and a temperature of 63 degrees, preceded the49ers on the field late Friday morning. The two teams have been in a rare practice-sharing arrangement because Baltimore's practice site eight miles away at Tulane had artificial turf, and the Ravens players preferred grass. That necessitated Baltimore following San Francisco on the Saints' field late Thursday afternoon, and the two teams switched Friday: Ravensfirst, Niners second. As the Ravens finished their work and boarded five buses outside the fence next to the field, the 49ers players and coached disembarked in the parking lot next to the building. There was no contact between the two teams. Baltimore couldn't be healthier heading into the biggest game of its season. For the third consecutive day, all 53 players on the active roster were full participants in practice, a rarity for any Super Bowl team after four preseason games, 16 regular-season games and three playoff games. Asked for his review of the practice week, Harbaugh said: "It was an A-plus. A-plus-plus. We're at the stage where we're clicking on all cylinders and practicing very, very well. We've had a few assignment errors, but they've been corrected right away. I'm very pleased with how the week has gone." After practice, Harbaugh gathered the team at midfield and thanked them, he said, "for how hard they've worked both this week and this season, and for who they are." He urged his players earlier in the day to get some time to themselves and rest. "Family, we love 'em, but they're not playing in the game. Only the players are, and they need to be at their best Sunday at 6:30," Harbaugh said. He told them to stay well-hydrated in the next 48 hours before the game. Jim Harbaugh keeps 49ers' practice business as usual NEW ORLEANS -- San Francisco 49ers Jim Harbaugh accomplished his coaching plan of trying to make Super Bowl week a normal week for his team both in practice and in preparation. The players responded by being efficient. On Friday, the 49ers held an 80-minute practice at the New Orleans Saints indoor facility in Metairie, La., with practice ending 15 minutes early. If you include Wednesday and Thursday, the 49ers went through their normal week of work with 40 minutes less time on the practice field. "We got everything done we normally do," Harbaugh said. "There were only one or two repeats. The whole tempo was good in and out of the huddle and that might reflect that the most. There was good attention to detail and a crisp tempo." Harbaugh decided to practice indoors Friday because the 49ers are playing in a dome Sunday. He said he thought it was better for the players to get used to the lights and the artificial turf surface rather than being outside as the team was Thursday. The team also brought out the noise. The 49ers used the "12 Man Crowd Simulator" on offense, defense and special teams, which was a first for this team. "Normally, we would use the noise for just one side of the ball," Harbaugh said. "If it's a home game, we'd use it for the defense. If it's a road game, we'd use it for the offense and special teams. But this is a neutral site." Punter Andy Lee hit the ceiling several times with his powerful leg and had to lower his trajectory on some just to get his punts downfield. "I'm glad he didn't hit those lights," Harbaugh said. " David Akers didn't miss a kick all week. Those guys had good weeks."The 49ers coach also praised the way quarterback Colin Kaepernick has handled the three days of work in New Orleans. "Exemplary," he said of his quarterback. "That's the way he always is since we've known him. This is always the way he handles himself -- a plus, plus. He's very focused on the game plan. He's ready to go." Linebackers Ahmad Brooks and Aldon Smith were limited for the third consecutive day, but they will be listed as probable, according to Harbaugh. Any player with an injury will be probable, Harbaugh said. The 49ers will hold a walk through Saturday at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome to conclude their preparation for Super Bowl XLVII. They also don't plan to move hotels Saturday night. "We're staying at the hotel," he said. "Unless we change our mind." Green Bay Packers missed out on Ray Lewis by one pick From the "what if" file, we take you back to the spring of 1996. Ray Lewis is a middle linebacker out of the University of Miami considered too small by many teams. The Green Bay Packers were not one of them. The Packers had already written Lewis' name on the card to be the 27th selection of the 1996 NFL Draft. The Baltimore Ravens grabbed him at No. 26 and the rest is history. "That's what happened," Kansas City Chiefs general manager John Dorsey told Milwaukee Journal Sentinal reporter Bob McGinn. "You never know." Dorsey worked in the Packers' front office for 22 years before the Chiefshired him after the regular season. Green Bay took tackle John Michelsinstead. This would be another chapter in the legacy of former Packers general manager Ron Wolf. He wanted Lewis and sent Dorsey to Miami for a private workout and interview before the draft. "Ray Lewis was 'Wolfie's' guy all the way," Dorsey said. "It would have been a hell of a pick. "I left there thinking we for sure are going to get this player. I thought it'd be great if he was a Packer." Lewis is already an NFL legend and mentioned among the greatest linebackers of all time. Imagine the story if he'd have played in Green Bay behind Reggie White and Gilbert Brown. Packers greats are viewed through a different historical light than the stars of many other organizations. Lewis was the face of a Ravens defense that had to win games with an average offense. In Green Bay, he'd have played with Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers. Who doesn't enjoy a good "what if" from 17 years ago? John Harbaugh: Ravens' final practice an 'A++' NEW ORLEANS -- The Harbaugh brothers never stop competing, even when talking up their practices. San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh has spent Super Bowl week taking about his team's near perfect practices. As the Ravens wrapped up their serious on-field work on Friday, John Harbaughtried to top him. "It was an A-plus. A-plus-plus," Harbaugh told Peter King on Friday in the official Baltimore Ravens pool report. "We're at the stage where we're clicking on all cylinders and practicing very, very well. We've had a few assignment errors, but they've been corrected right away. I'm very pleased with how the week has gone." The Ravens have a short walk-through on Saturday, but that's a light session traditionally attended by many family members. This was the last real practice of the season, and theRavens remain exceedingly healthy. Their entire 53-man roster practiced fully once again. Ray Lewis' final practice included some musical accompaniment. Nelly's "Hot in Here," which plays when Lewis is introduced, played over the sound system during the session. Otherwise, King says it looked like a normal Friday practice. All we have left is a little game that will change the lives of everyone involved. Robert Kraft: Agents could bungle Wes Welker deal One of last season's biggest offseason stories may turn into one of this season's biggest offseason stories. Wes Welker's contract with the New England Patriots is up once again. The Patriots could again choose to use the franchise tag on the wide receiver, but there's doubt the two sides can agree on Welker's long-term value. Again. "I'd love him to be around, he's a great guy," Patriotsowner Robert Kraft told Tom Curran of Comcast SportsNet New England. "Like I said all along, it takes two sides to make a transaction and then we have to manage the lawyers and the agents that they don't mess it up. I think Wes wants to be with us and we want him here so it's just a matter of whether both sides can be intelligent." Oh boy. Somehow, we doubt the lawyers and agents are going to enjoy hearing that they have to be managed not to "mess it up." Welker's representatives and thePatriots have a long and contentious relationship filled with ugly public back and forth. (None of which helps get a deal done.) Don't be surprised if we hear something from Welker's side in the coming days. Roddy White on quest to bring back Tony Gonzalez If Tony Gonzalez decides to retire, it won't be for lack of effort from the Atlanta Falcons to change his mind. General manager Thomas Dimitroff has already been in the tight end's ear. Falcons receiverRoddy White is getting in the act, too. White told ESPN's Chris Mortensen they'll employ the "Brett Favre strategy" to get Gonzalez back to Atlanta. "Roddy White today revealed that they plan the Brett Favre strategy with theVikings," Mortensen said, via Rotoworld.com. "Which is, go to California where Tony lives, recruit him, get him on a plane, and drag him back to Atlanta eventually." It was during training camp in 2010that the Vikings sent Steve Hutchinson,Ryan Longwell and Jared Allen to Hattiesburg, Miss. to convince Favre to play one more year. Minnesota had lost to the New Orleans Saints in the NFC Championship in 2009. The Falcons just lost to the San Francisco 49ers by four points in the NFC Championship and they want to run it back one more time with Gonzalez, White, Julio Jones and Matt Ryan. If the strategy works, Atlanta hopes it plays out better with Gonzalez than it did for the Vikings, who went 6-10 and fired Brad Childress 10 games into Favre's final season.