NFL notebook: Ravens celebrate Super Bowl title
Baltimore celebrated with its Super Bowl champion Ravens on Tuesday, with thousands of fans in purple lining the streets and packing the team's stadium for a celebration.
Fans filled the square in front of City Hall and cheered when the team arrived and when players held the silver Lombardi trophy aloft. The Mayor's Office of Emergency Management estimated that 200,000 people took part in the celebration in Charm City, including at City Hall, along the parade route and at the stadium.
Coach John Harbaugh thanked the fans for their support, and safety Ed Reed sang the melody of Eddie Money's “Two Tickets to Paradise.” Retiring middle linebacker Ray Lewis, the only current player to have started with the team when it came to the city from Cleveland in 1996, told fans the team had fulfilled a promise to go to New Orleans and win.
“The city of Baltimore — I love you for ever and ever and ever and ever,” Lewis told fans in front of City Hall.
The players were about an hour late arriving, but fans waited to see them pile into military vehicles and set off on their drive to the stadium. The city shot off purple and white confetti as the parade started and the Queen song “We Are the Champions” played over a loudspeaker. Quarterback Joe Flacco and several other players rode in their own camouflage-colored military vehicles, while others stood on a float decorated like a football field with a yellow goal post.
Lewis had a position of honor in a military vehicle that brought up the end of the procession. He touched his hand to his heart and gave fans a double thumbs-up as he started on the parade route.
Indy wants Super Bowl in 2018
Organizers in Indianapolis plan to run a clean, positive campaign to win a bid for the 2018 Super Bowl.
Instead of focusing on the game-day seating problems that plagued Dallas two years ago or the power outage in New Orleans, Indiana Sports Corp. president Allison Melangton wants to tout why Indy would be the ideal choice to host its second Super Bowl this decade.
The Browns released defensive end Frostee Rucker after one season. Rucker made $6 million last season, when he started all 16 games and finished with 48 tackles and four sacks. ... The Lions released two veteran starters, cutting defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch and guard Stephen Peterman. Vanden Bosch earned three Pro Bowl selections in 11 NFL seasons. He made 15½ sacks in 43 games for Detroit. ... The Giants released linebacker Michael Boley after four seasons with the team. Boley, 30, appeared in all 16 games last year, with 11 starts. He was fourth on the team in tackles with 84.
The Cowboys promoted Wes Phillips to tight ends coach and hired Frank Pollack as assistant offensive line coach. ... The Bengals hired Adam Zimmer, the son of defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer, as an assistant defensive backs coach. ... New Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians completed his staff with the announcement of the hiring of 13 assistants, including former Cardinal Stump Mitchell as running backs coach. ... The Jets fired offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo, and hired former NFL punter Louie Aguiar as an assistant as Rex Ryan filled out his coaching staff. ... The Panthers filled their two remaining vacancies on coach Ron Rivera's staff by hiring Bruce DeHaven as their assistant special teams coach and Lance Taylor as the new assistant wide receivers/quality control coach.
Leaf nears sentencing
A Texas prosecutor who brokered a 10-year probationary sentence for former NFL quarterback Ryan Leaf said he is working on a plea deal that would allow the Montana native to serve a proposed seven-year prison sentence in his home state.