NEW ORLEANS -- As expected, Ravens middle linebacker Ray Lewis was asked Tuesday about an incident 13 years ago in which two men got stabbed to death in Atlanta and Lewis initially was charged with murder.
Ultimately, Lewis pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice and received probation, as well as a $250,000 fine from the league for violating its conduct policy.
On Tuesday, Lewis said any question about the case isn't appropriate during the week in which his Ravens are preparing to play the 49ers.
"Nobody here is really qualified to ask those questions," Lewis said. "I just truly feel that this is God's time, and whatever his time is, let it be his will. Don't try to please everybody with your words, try to make everybody's story sound right.
"At this time, I would rather direct my questions in other places. Because I live with that every day. (Others) maybe can take a break from it. I don't. I live with it every day of my life and I would rather not talk about it today."
Kaepernick stormed into the nation's consciousness on the strength of 181 yards rushing against the Green Bay Packers on Jan. 12. Eight days later, Kaepernick called his number once in the 49ers victory over the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC
Therefore, the Ravens approach the Super Bowl on Sunday unsure what to expect, cornerback Corey Graham said.
"Their coaches game plan well," Graham said Tuesday. "You got to prepare for both things because you never know what you're going to get.
"But it doesn't really change much for our defense. We know that they're going to do either a traditional offense or a read-option defense. We got to prepare for both of them."
Taken a step further, will Kaepernick keep the ball more times than not whenever the 49ers function out of the read-option?
Kaepernick ran the ball 13 times out of the read-option against the Packers. Against the Falcons, he relied almost exclusively on running backs Frank Gore and LaMichael James, who combined for 124 yards (4.8-yard average) and three touchdowns.
Defensive tackle Haloti Ngata said it's incumbent upon the Ravens to keep close tabs on Kaepernick at all times.
"We've definitely got to do a good job of trying to contain him," Ngata said. "We need to get pressure on him. It's going to be a great task for our defense but we're definitely up for it.
"He can hurt you in so many ways passing and running the ball. When we rush him on passing downs, we can't just rush up the field because then he can find a lane and run. With him, you've just got to be careful with a lot of the things that you do."
The Ravens faced the read-option once this season, in a Week 14 game against the Washington Redskins.
The Redskins averaged 6.2 yards on their 15 runs out of the read-option, with quarterback Robert Griffin III netting 34 of the 93 yards on seven carries.
"We know some of the things that they'll try to do against us to counteract what we're doing," Graham said. "We went against RGIII, who arguably is very similar to (Kaepernick).
"It helps a whole lot. We watched that film, we see what they try to do against us and we're trying to determine what San Francisco will try to do against us. It definitely helps us a whole lot.
The Ravens also enlisted the help of practice-squad quarterback Dennis Dixon as the stand-in for Kaepernick during practice.
"He basically ran this offense in Oregon," Graham said. "Before he got hurt, he was a Heisman candidate. He does a great job with it. ... He has done an amazing job for us all week, he'll continue to do that, and we're blessed to have him."
On Dec. 5, 2011, Johnson's sister Jennifer was shot and killed, allegedly by her boyfriend, Eugene Esters, who also shot Johnson's mother, Della.
Johnson took in his 14-year-old niece, while his nephew is living with his mother, now fully recovered physically.
The nightmare will be revisited later this month when Esters goes on trial in Texas.
"It's going to bring all the emotions right back up," Johnson said. "We'll try to deal with that after the Super Bowl. Hopefully on Sunday, we'll be able to hold up that trophy."
Johnson questioned general manager Reggie McKenzie's decision to fire coach Hue Jackson soon after McKenzie was hired in 2012.
"Hue was the best coach I had when I was out there," Johnson said. "We went 8-8, we were a good, solid team. You could see the identity of the team. I didn't see an identity this year on offense or defense. Hue has the best interests for the team, and there were some guys in that locker room, key guys, that weren't leaders.
"On this team, Ray (Lewis) controls that locker room."
He worked on the same staff at the University of Cincinnati with John Harbaugh in 1996, and in 1999, with John's recommendation, worked under Jack Harbaugh at Western Kentucky.
At one point during Martindale's tenure with the Raiders from 2004-2008, then-Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh interviewed Martindale and offered him the job of defensive coordinator, but Martindale remained in Oakland at the behest of owner Al Davis, who offered him a hefty raise.
Martindale also is tight with the Ryan family, having worked with Rex at Cincinnati (on the same staff as John Harbaugh) and with Rob on the defensive staff in Oakland.
"All the Harbaughs are competitors, and that includes Mrs. Harbaugh (Joani) and (daughter) Jackie," Martindale said. "It's just a good, All-American family. Same with the Ryans."
As it turns out, both Tucker and 49ers kicker David Akers could have used a podium, but for very different reasons.
While Akers faced an onslaught of questions about his shaky season, Tucker was repeatedly asked for the secret to his successful rookie season.
The 23-year-old was 30 for 33 on field goal attempts during the regular season and kicked a game-winning 47-yard field goal against the Denver Broncos in the an AFC Divisional Playoff.
"I don't really think about pressure or consequences," Tucker said. "I think about the action of kicking. I think about just kicking it straight. You let it rip and see what happens."
Tucker's successful debut season gives the Ravens a decided advantage over the 49ers, who stuck Akers despite 13 regular-season misses and a failed attempt from 38 yards in the NFC Championship Game against the Atlanta Falcons.
Akers has far more big-game experience, but Tucker said he isn't worried about nerves. His Texas high school played in a stadium with a Jumbotron scoreboard, and Tucker's mental edge was further honed by four years at the University of Texas.
"This is something you dream about, hitting the walk-off homer in the World Series of the game-winning kick in the Super Bowl," Tucker said. "I get chills just thinking about it."
Staff writers Jerry McDonald and Alex Pavlovic contributed to this notebook.