Ravens rookie safety Matt Elam created a stir by saying Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson was old and that the Ravens could stop him on Monday night by being physical with him as a result.
Johnson responded, saying that he’d show off his old-man strength to Elam while saying that he thought Detroit could make some plays against the Ravens safety. Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco wondered what Elam was thinking by calling out the league’s best wide receiver before a game and now coach John Harbaugh has chimed in with further criticism of Elam’s verbal volley.
“I don’t appreciate it,” Harbaugh said, via the team. “It doesn’t help us. You get a guy like Calvin Johnson all fired up, that’s really not the idea.”
Flacco said earlier in the day that the team took deep shots at Elam throughout practice to try to get him ready for what he’ll face against Johnson on Sunday. It doesn’t help matters that linebacker Elvis Dumervil wasn’t able to practice with the ankle injury that kept him out last week. Whatever Elam’s feeling about the best way to approach defending Johnson, keeping balls from getting in the air at all would be safer.