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Reed shows respect for Hines Ward

The Sports Xchange
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--Ravens free safety Ed Reed and Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward have made it clear that they're not the best of friends. In many contests involving their respective teams, Ward has delivered some teeth-rattling hits to Reed, who has accused Ward of searching for cheap shots.

But about an hour prior to Wednesday's practice and four days prior to Sunday's season opener between the bitter AFC North opponents, Reed sympathized with Ward over his DUI arrest July 9 in his home state of Georgia and said he was glad that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell did not suspend Ward for Sunday's showdown.

"The DUI was something that happened, and I'm sure Hines took care of that with the courts and community service or whatever it may be," Reed said. "It's an unfortunate situation. You don't want to see any player in that situation. As far as suspension goes, you never want to see a player out of the game either. It's not even a decision of mine to comment on. Whatever happened, happened. I'm just glad he's all right (and) that there wasn't anything tragic that came out of that because we know about situations where that has (occurred). They took care of that situation and that's behind them. We're going to play football, and he's going to come at me, and I'm going to go at him the way we do."

--Rookie quarterback Tyrod Taylor vowed to be available for Sunday's season opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

"Oh yeah, I'll be available on Sunday," he said. "I think the way that I practiced today, it didn't slow me down, and it didn't stop me from doing anything. I'm going to continue to go out there and learn each and every day and be the backup. I'll be ready for Sunday."

Taylor injured his shoulder during the offense's second series against Atlanta when he absorbed a hit from defensive end Kroy Biermann after completing a seven-yard pass to rookie wide receiver Tandon Doss.

--The Ravens will be among the NFL teams who will recognize the 10-year anniversary of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. Players, coaches and other team officials will wear a special "NFL 9/11" ribbon, patch or pin for the game.

"It's very special for me being that I'm from New York. I can remember 9/11 like it was yesterday," Ravens running back Ray Rice said. "Being in high school, changing periods at class and watching it on TV, watching that next plane go into that building - and not just watching it, but being 20 minutes away from New York City - it's a day you remember for the rest of your life. But, being from New York, it hits you in a different place. So being able to play on 9/11 and represent the Ravens and your country, it's a different kind of pride. It's not the Armed Forces, but we can go out there and play with pride and be thankful for being here today."

--The Ravens have been regarded as possible candidate to sign quarterback David Garrard, who was released by Jacksonville on Tuesday.

Garrard would fill the Ravens' void for an experienced backup, but his agent said his preference is to go somewhere with a chance to start.

Asked about the Ravens' interest in Garrard, Harbaugh said, "I don't know. We had practice today and meetings, so I haven't been involved in any of that."

Harbaugh said he would never rule out any moves. "We're always looking for ways to make our team better," he said. "But I sure like Tyrod as a football player. He had a heck of a preseason. If he goes into a game to play quarterback, that opponent is going to have their hands full."

BY THE NUMBERS
20 - Number of new players on the Ravens' 53-man roster, including seven new starters.

QUOTE TO NOTE
"They spoiled our Super Bowl dreams for the last two out of three years. We have to switch that, you know? It's sickening. It ends our season every year we lose to our division rival. I'm sick of it. I'm disgusted. I'm tired of having a sick feeling in my stomach for a whole year." -- Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs on the rivalry with Pittsburgh.

Copyright (C) 2011 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.

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