Game plans for 49ers, Ravens

Despite the magnitude of their meeting, neither coach should deviate from his standard strategy. Michael Zagaris/Getty Images

When you make it to a Super Bowl as a player or a coach, it's easy to get overwhelmed. I was fortunate enough to get the chance to play in Super Bowl XV as a member of the Philadelphia Eagles and it's very true that the Super Bowl is an event more than a game. During the week, we practiced too hard, strained ourselves mentally in meetings and ended up thinking too much on the field. We were a little fatigued when the game kicked off, fell behind 14-0 in the first quarter and the rest is history.

As a coach, the Super Bowl offers numerous challenges, as well, perhaps the biggest one being how to game plan. I've been asked the question many times, but people always want to know how much a game plan changes for a Super Bowl. The key is to not over-prepare. Don't change or question what has been successful for your team all season. The most important thing is to know your personnel and get the ball in the hands of your playmakers. This is their time to shine. And for the most part your team's strengths early in the season are the same strengths it has right now. Sure, you have two weeks to prepare and there will be some wrinkles added, but both teams know what they do well and the areas that can be exposed.

Let's take a look at the game plan that the San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens should utilize in Super Bowl XLVII:

San Francisco 49ers

Coach Jim Harbaugh knows that the strength of his team lies in its ability to run the ball. The 49ers do a great job of creating different formations with personnel groupings, including adding another offensive lineman (or two in the jumbo package) to run the ball effectively. They should ideally run the combination of Colin Kaepernick, Frank Gore and LaMichael James about 30 to 35 times in this game.