America loves its quarterbacks, but this Super Bowl might have a throwback flavor. It just might be one for the linebacker.

It will be Ray Lewis' final game at linebacker for the Baltimore Ravens, who also sport another former NFL defensive player of the year at the position in Terrell Suggs.

For their part, three of the San Francisco 49ers' four starting linebackers — Patrick Willis, NaVorro Bowman and Aldon Smith — were named to the Pro Bowl.

"Every game starts with us as linebackers, and we expect it to be like that," Bowman said. "We don't have a problem with it. Our work ethic speaks for itself. Our commitment to our team, to the game, to the preparation for the game speaks for itself.

"We like to say it starts with us every single game."

Broncos linebacker Von Miller, who led the Broncos with 18½ sacks and earned his first Pro Bowl nod this season, has seen it all play out in New Orleans this week. And he wants to be part of the mix.

Miller was making the rounds this week as part of his endorsement duties, but he wants to return to the league's Super Bowl festivities, sooner rather than later, as a participant.

"Oh, yeah," Miller said. "I wish (the Broncos season) was two games more."

For the two Super Bowl teams, a linebacker is considered an unquestioned leader for each — Lewis for the Ravens, Willis for the 49ers.

Lewis will retire after Sunday's game, ending a 17-year career in which he was the franchise's marquee player, a two-time NFL defensive player of the year and a 13-time Pro Bowl selection.

Willis, a six-time Pro Bowl selection, was the first player selected by the 49ers in the 2007 draft, a class from which San Francisco reeled in five of its starters.

Miller said he believes he can take the next step in his career, the one from gifted player to building block, a foundation player of a team that competes for playoff spots season after season.

Read more: Broncos' Von Miller wants to follow LBs like Patrick Willis, Ray Lewis into Super Bowl - The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/broncos/ci_22494485/broncos-miller-wants-follow-lbs-like-willis-lewis#ixzz2Jf8LZZaw

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