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NEW ORLEANS - It was more than 70 degrees at 3:15 p.m. in New Orleans as players, coaches and members of the Ravens' staff got off the plane.
As feet hit the pavement between the Delta jet that carried the team from Baltimore to The Big Easy and the buses that would transport them to their hotel, there were two common feelings shared through facial expressions -- seriousness and happiness.
Leading the team off the plane was coach John Harbaugh, who nodded and acknowledged more than a dozen camera crews as he battled the sun in his eyes.
While most of the talk around Super Bowl 47 has revolved around Ray Lewis and his retirement to follow after the game, discussion on the tarmac at the airport in New Orleans was focused on Ed Reed. Reed is from the New Orleans area, and
hasn't been back since Hurricane Katrina .
A mixture of emotions could be read on Reed's face as he stepped off the plane, took a deep breath, laughed and pointed in the direction of journalists from New Orleans that covered him when he was in high school.
From the plane, the Ravens boarded six charter buses en route to their hotel, where Harbaugh and several of the players immediately faced a frenzy of questions from hundreds of media members from around the globe.
As expected, the most popular man at the media availability was Lewis, who stepped off the plane in New Orleans with a look of seriousness on his face and kept that tone through many of the questions he was asked. He said he was thinking of his ill grandmother. Yet laughter was unavoidable as reporters asked him what he thought of the skit that made fun of him on
Saturday Night Live.
"When I saw it, I laughed so hard," Lewis said with a grin on his face. "I was in tears last night laughing about it."
The Ravens are practicing at Tulane University while in New Orleans.