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Billick: Weekend pregame is toughest part of SB week

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The game plan has been set for at least a week. The media interviews are over. The final practices and walkthroughs are taking place and the team picture is snapped.

Now the wait from Saturday until Sunday's 6:40 p.m. ET Super Bowl kickoff can be excruciating for players and coaches alike.

NFL Media's Brian Billick said Saturday morning on NFL Network that waiting for the game was the most difficult part of the week when he coached the Baltimore Ravens in Super Bowl XXXV.

"This was the toughest part of the entire two-week process," Billick said. "I worried more about this time -- from Saturday morning until game time on Sunday -- than any other phase of the game. Because, first off, it was going to be like no other pregame, no game before game, that anybody had experienced, except those who had (previously) been in the Super Bowl. I didn't want my players to get overanxious, to wear themselves out emotionally..."

Billick noted that his team had separate hotels for family and friends to try and keep distractions at a minimum during what can be an overwhelming week for some players.

Billick said managing the down time and all the pregame hoopla was the most difficult.

"I wanted to make sure we that we didn't wear the players out, in trying to take care of it, but by the same token, that's a lot of time to fill," he said. "So normally (during the season) you'll have practice on Saturday, you'll have the pregame night before meetings and then you can go and play. We backed everything off (for the Super Bowl). We backed practice up. We moved the Saturday night meetings to Sunday morning, just to try and get a more workable timeframe. You don't want to wear your players out with all the micromanaging...I was more worried about the coaches wearing my players with extra tests, extra film sessions...I wanted to walk that fine line between keeping them occupied, but not wearing them out emotionally or mentally."

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