Programming note: 49ers Central airs LIVE today at 3 p.m. from New Orleans on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area!
NEW ORLEANS -- Baltimore Ravens safety Ed Reed, who overlapped at the University of Miami with 49ers running back Frank Gore, had strong praise for his former teammate.
Speaking at a press conference in the buildup for Super Bowl XLVII, Reed spoke about the differences in preparing for the 49ers after facing the New England Patriots. He saved his best compliment for Gore.
"Well, you've got Colin Kaepernick and you've got Tom Brady," Reed said. "You've got a whole bunch of weapons in San Francisco, a great line, Randy Moss, (Michael) Crabtree, Vernon (Davis), my boy Frank Gore, the best running back I've ever played against.
"They have so many weapons. Preparing for this team versus preparing for New England, my preparation won't be any different. It's two different types of teams."
Ravens running back Ray Rice also had kind words for Gore.
"He's just like a bull," Rice said. "He goes downhill on you really fast. I think he's more loose than people think he is. I have respect for his game because if you watch Frank Gore, he doesn't take the hits. He actually delivers them because of his low center of gravity. You go ask Ray Lewis who he has respect for in that offense, and obviously he has respect for everybody, but the main person he'll tell you right now is Frank Gore."
Here are some other comments from the Ravens side after their arrival in New Orleans on Monday night . . .
--Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis and 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh were teammates on the 1998 Baltimore Ravens. Lewis on what he remembers of Harbaugh as a player:
"I think he was exactly how he is as a coach. He is kind of straightforward. He is a hard worker. He understands what he wants to get done. And when he comes in to get it done, he is going to do everything he has in his power to get it done. He is a very passionate person, but he always has purpose in what he is doing. That is what I remember most about Jim."
--Lewis on 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick:
"He is one of those freakish athletes. If I had to compare him with someone, it would be Randall Cunningham, just by his style of play, and how they both slung the ball a certain way. Both of them are very long. He can run very, very well. A good athlete. You can tell he is a real good athlete. I am fond of the kid."
--Baltimore rush linebacker Terrell Suggs on 49ers left tackle Joe Staley:
"I think he’s really underrated, but he was a Pro Bowler this year so I think he finally gets his just due. He came down to Baltimore last year and I had a little bit of a hard time with him."
What makes Staley a good player?
"You want my personal opinion? I think he has fun playing football," Suggs said. "When we were out there, we had some conversations, both football and non-football related in the middle of a game and that's the kind of player I am. You know me, just like to have fun and enjoy what you're doing and that's the kind of player he is."
--Suggs on Kaepernick:
"I like him. I like the way he plays, you know what I mean? You have to like those kinds of quarterbacks that's exciting. I think he's good for the game, him and Robert Griffin III. I like his game, but come February 3rd, he's my opponent. Hopefully, he's not doing too much, he's not giving us too much of Colin Kaepernick."
--Ravens center Matt Birk on his former Minnesota Vikings teammate Randy Moss:
"I was fortunate enough to play with Randy for seven years and the way he took the league by storm was unbelievable. To be a part of that and to be his teammate for seven years, we had a lot of fun in the locker room and obviously won a lot of games in large part to him. I haven't kept in touch with him or anything like that, but obviously I'm happy for him and that he's still playing. I think Randy's been through a lot, gone through a lot of different things, but I understand having been his teammate for seven years what a competitor he is and how hard he works."
--Birk on the battle between Ravens veteran left tackle Bryant McKinnie and 49ers outside linebacker Aldon Smith:
"It'll be a great matchup. Bryant's been a great player in this league for a long time. Left tackle position, you've got to be able to block guys one-on-one in the pass and obviously with Smith, the year that he's had and to do what he's be able to do is phenomenal. That'll be two great players going at it."