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CNN Today

Super Bowl Coaches Take Different Approach to Big Game

Aired January 26, 2001 - 2:52 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

LOU WATERS CNN ANCHOR: It's each year one of the most anticipated sporting events in these United States of America, and it's just two days away now. What am I talking about? The Sunday game between the Baltimore Ravens and the New York Giants, the Super Bowl. The number is XXXV.

Joining us now with more about the, CNN/SI's Josie Karp in Tampa. Josie, what's going on?

JOSIE KARP, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, we are closing in on the 48-hour mark. Just about two days until kickoff for this game and traditionally on the Friday before the Super Bowl, the head coaches of both teams offer final thoughts. So, that's what Brian Billick of the Ravens and Jim Fassel of the Giants did today.

These are two coaches who took drastically different approaches with their team all week long. But today, in own their words, they each said the very same thing. After two weeks of talking about this game, and two weeks of preparing for this game, each said his team is just plain ready to play this game.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BRIAN BILLICK, BALTIMORE RAVENS HEAD COACH: This team has dealt with pressure, the pressure -- the natural pressures of the league, the pressures of what the mentality and the off-season predicaments this has been in all year long. I think it should be noted what we're dealing with this week, and some of you all, I think, are a little new to it, so it seems fresh to you, we've dealt with every week.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JIM FASSEL, NEW YORK GIANTS HEAD COACH: The old Knute Rockne right before the game. If we're not ready by then, that'll come and go real quick. Your team won't play like that the whole game. So, I think the foundation and the psychological approach is laid long before that. And all you need to do is a few things that remind them of all the things you talked about. When we get there, this team will be ready.

(END VIDEO CLIP) KARP: The Ravens, on the other hand, were going to get a little inspirational pep talk. Today, Brian Billick said that he asked Jim Brown, the former NFL great to address his team. He addressed the team in training camp and even though Jim Fassel has no plans to ask anybody outside of the team to talk to the Giants before the Super Bowl, the coach did get some inside inspiration from someone he used to coach. A former Super Bowl MVP, John Elway, told Jim Fassel just the other day there's no way you can prepare for that moment when you walk on the field at the Super Bowl. Elway told him it will be overwhelming emotionally.

WATERS: All right, Josie, I've got an extra dollar burning a hole. What are the oddsmakers saying about this? Who's going to win this thing this?

KARP: Well, we're not supposed to talk odds too much. But most people give the slight edge to the Ravens and the Giants, they have been underdogs all year long. They really like that role, and it's something being the favorite that the Ravens just aren't used to because they've really shared that underdog role for most of the season as well.

WATERS: OK, you're getting boos already from the Giants fans here in the room. Josie Karp...

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: And you asked her!

WATERS: Yes, I did. Josie...

KARP: I have no opinion.

WATERS: I know you don't. You're just right down the middle.

ALLEN: Has there ever been a coach in the history of football worldwide that has said, no, we're just not going to be ready?

WATERS: No, no. And when they do, we'll play that for you.

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