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Super Bowl halftime stars promise surprises, epic performance

LOS ANGELES — Dr. Dre declined to reveal what surprises he had in store for the Super Bowl halftime show during a Thursday news conference. He was more forthcoming about his pick for the game.

“I’ve been manifesting the Rams since the beginning of the season,” the hip-hop legend said. “I’m just thinking about it every day, I’m meditating on it. I’m like, OK it’ll be perfect if we’re in the Super Bowl performing at halftime and the Rams are in the game as well.”

He appeared at the news conference alongside Snoop Dogg and Mary J. Blige, putting 60 percent of the acts who will make up Sunday’s much-anticipated halftime show on the stage together.

Eminem and Kendrick Lamar did not attend. Dr. Dre hinted it might be more than just those five legends of hip-hop performing Sunday.

“Yes,” he said when asked if there would be any surprises during the expected 12-minute performance. “But I’m not going to talk about that.”

All three performers on Thursday expressed confidence this would be among the greatest Super Bowl shows ever produced, with tweaks still being made up to the last minute.

“We want to make sure this is one of the best halftime shows ever,” Dr. Dre said.

The NFL traditionally has steered away from rappers for the annual spectacle, something that was acknowledged during the news conference several times.

Several times, the performers said they want to show a rap show could be done so well and professionally that it becomes a regular occurrence.

“This should’ve happened a long time ago,” Dr. Dre said. “Hip-hop is the biggest genre of music on the planet right now, so it’s crazy that it took all of this time for us to be recognized. I think we’re going to go on and do a fantastic show. We’re going to do it so big that they can’t deny us any more.”

Uzomah practices

Tight end C.J. Uzomah returned to practice for Cincinnati and has a chance to play against the Rams on Sunday.

That didn’t seem likely after Uzomah was carted off the field early in the AFC championship game win over Kansas City with a knee injury.

Uzomah was listed as a limited participant, though coach Zac Taylor said he’s “always careful” about making formal declarations on injuries.

“He’s been good,” Taylor said. “He’s progressing nicely.”

Thursday was the final full practice day for the Bengals, who will hold walkthrough sessions on the campus of UCLA on Friday and Saturday.

Then it’s time to lock in on the game and try to avoid any last-minute distractions.

“I think our players have done an outstanding job of that,” Taylor said. “They have great energy when they’re in the building with us and at practice, so they must be doing the right things at night. I feel like we’re in a really good place.”

Be humble

Former Raiders cornerback Mike Haynes was making the rounds at radio row Thursday and shared a memory from Super Bowl XVIII when his play was one of the main reasons the Raiders beat the then-Redskins.

It doubled as a bit of advice for players getting ready to take the field Sunday to not get overconfident.

Haynes believes Washington’s attitude before the game could have been a factor in its loss as it fired up him and his teammates.

“Their guys were so excited and so cocky because they were defending champions,” said Haynes, who joined the Raiders late in the season and had an interception and two pass breakups in the Super Bowl. “They were acting like it wasn’t going to be a tough game. They had already played the Raiders and beat them, so I guess they were super confident. I had never seen any team that was that confident against the Raiders. So we put on a whole different game face.”

Contact Adam Hill at ahill@reviewjournal.com. Follow @AdamHillLVRJ on Twitter.

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