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Ravens' Ed Reed agrees with president's concerns

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Ravens' Ed Reed agrees with president's concerns

NEW ORLEANS (AP) Unlike several players at the Super Bowl, Baltimore Ravens safety Ed Reed agrees with President Obama that football needs to be made safer. Reed wants to be part of the solution, too.

The 11-year veteran and one of the most respected players in the NFL said Monday at the Super Bowl that Obama's comments questioning the safety of the game are on target. Reed added he'd like to be someone ``to help work it out.''

``I am with Obama,'' Reed said after learning of the president's concerns about parents allowing their sons to play football. ``I have a son. I am not forcing football on my son. If he wants to play it ... I can't make decisions for him. All I can do is say, `Son, I played it so you don't have to.' `'

Reed, a nine-time Pro Bowler, believes football's medical system is broken.

``We've got some leaks in it that need to be worked out,'' he said. ``Every medical training room should be upgraded; training rooms can be a lot better.

``When you've got the president talking about it, you got something.''

Reed's opinion was far from the majority among Ravens and San Francisco 49ers asked about Obama's comments as they prepared for Sunday's Super Bowl. Teammate Joe Flacco said no one forced football on him or anyone else in the NFL.

``This is something we chose to do,'' the quarterback said. ``When you talk about little kids doing it, they are not having the collisions we have in the NFL.''

49eres All-Pro linebacker Aldon Smith was among several San Francisco players who doesn't see anything wrong with their kids playing football.

``It's not like we signed up and thought we were going to play tennis,'' Smith said. ``It's a physical game. Everybody plays hard. And guys get hit sometimes. That's what we all know coming into the game. We all signed up for it.

``We came out to play football.''

Guard Alex Boone was adamant that football has to be ``physical,'' while adding he believed the league and the players association were attempting to make the game safer.

``If he wants to play, he can play. He can do whatever he wants,'' Boone said of having a son pursue footballs. ``With little kids, you don't really have to worry about them that much. But as you get older, you have to understand the game better.

``I think the NFL is doing a great job with that right now with the little kids, try to teach them now, young, so that they understand. But, it's just football. It's going to be physical.''

While acknowledging he's a football fan, Obama told The New Republic he's concerned about the violent nature of the sport - enough so that if he had a son, he'd think twice about allowing him to play.

``I think that those of us who love the sport are going to have to wrestle with the fact that it will probably change gradually to try to reduce some of the violence,'' he said.

``In some cases, that may make it a little bit less exciting, but it will be a whole lot better for the players, and those of us who are fans maybe won't have to examine our consciences quite as much.''

49ers cornerback Tarell Brown called football ``a dangerous sport,'' but not one he would dissuade anyone from trying.

``I can understand what President Obama is saying, but at the same time, the league is putting in things (for safety),'' Brown said. ``It is a physical game if you are passionate about it and are trained the right way.''

But Reed isn't sure everyone is being trained properly, or cared for adequately.

``I felt like I played the game as safe as possible,'' he said. ``I even tell the guys that they have to take care of their bodies, take care of themselves. If you take care of that, it will take care of you.''

San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh joked about allowing his son Jack, now 4 months old, to follow in his footsteps; Harbaugh was an NFL quarterback for 14 seasons.

``If President Obama feels that way, then (there will) be a little less competition for Jack Harbaugh when he gets older,'' said Harbaugh, whose older brother John coaches the Niners' opponent, the Baltimore Ravens. ``That's the first thing that jumps into my mind, if other parents are thinking that way.''

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Online:http://pro32.ap.org/poll andhttp://twitter.com/AP-NFL

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Report: Ravens safety Matt Elam arrested on drug charges

Report: Ravens safety Matt Elam arrested on drug charges

Ravens safety Matt Elam was arrested on drug charges early Sunday morning in Miami, according to Pro Football Talk.

"We have just been made aware of this and are looking into the situation," Ravens Vice President of Public Relations Chad Steele said via email. Steele later added that "Matt Elam is not in our (Ravens) plans."

The arrest, which reportedly occurred at 3:45 a.m. Sunday, is the latest disappointment for one of the biggest draft busts in Ravens history. Elam was a first-round pick in 2013, but he never came close to reaching expectations due to injuries and poor play. The Ravens did not pick up Elam’s fifth-year option making him a free agent in March. He has only played nine games the past two seasons, and he was suspended for one game in 2015 for violating the NFL substance abuse policy.

Now Elam has more to worry about than his disappointing NFL career, and finding another team to play for.  According to the report, Elam was charged with possession of more than 20 grams of cannabis, possession of cannabis with the intent to sell or deliver, and possession of a controlled substance. Elam was initially pulled over for reckless driving, according to police, who then found 126 grams of marijuana and three grams of oxycodone in his car.

Related: Will the Ravens cut tight end Dennis Pitta to create cap space?

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NFL Mock Draft 4.0: Combine Primer And Sleepers

NFL Mock Draft 4.0: Combine Primer And Sleepers

The annual NFL Combine kicks of Wednesday in Indianapolis. Whatever happens there -- receivers run fast, quarterbacks flash arm strength, defenders lack pop -- projections will change and in some cases significantly. Therefore here's my last look at the situation before all the sprints and lifts via mock draft 4.0 plus some other thoughts below.

* League sources offered up names of several prospects currently ranked all over the big boards with the chance to make a big splash during the combine. They include:

Alabama TE O.J. Howard -- Everybody already knows the 6-foot-6 Howard is a two-way monster. His Senior Bowl dominance certainly confirmed that. Rocking the Combine could alter his mid-to-late first round projection into 10-13 range where teams like New Orleans, Cleveland and Arizona have TE needs. Call me crazy, but if Howard is there when the Redskins pick at 17, I can imagine Washington thinkng long and hard about two-TE sets wth Jordan Reed. 

Oklahoma DT Charles Walker -- The Redskins have shown interest in Walker, according to a league source, though his draft range is all over the map. The interior force's redshirt junior season ended early due to a concussion followed by a decision to leave the Sooners early with draft preparation in mind. Was a second-team All-Big 12 selection as a junior thanks to six sacks. ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. ranks Walker ninth among defensive tackles while WalterFootball.com projects the 304-pounder as a Day 2 pick.

<<CLICK HERE TO VIEW FULL NFL MOCK DRAFT 4.0>>

Pittsburgh OT Adam Bisnowaty -- Considered underrated despite starting four seasons for the Panthers. The left tackle helped key a resurgent season for the Panthers. Lack of wow prospects at the position means the order outside of Ryan Ramczyk (Wisconsin), Cam Robinson (Alabama) and Garrett Bolles (Utah) is in flux.

Ashland TE Adam Shaheen -- The D2 prospect is early candidate for the "Who is that guy?" award. Expect raves about Shaheen's size and athleticism. CBS Sports already has Day 2 projection on the 6-foot-6, 277-pounder who can run routes like a wide receiever. Could he move all the way into round 1?

Tulsa WR Keevan Lucas -- What the 5-foot-10 receiver lacks in height he makes up for with speed and production. Caught 81 passes for 1,180 yards and 15 touchdowns during his senior season with the Golden Hurricanes. Certain analytics show Lucas' production stood out  and put him in the same statistical company as future NFL receivers Stefon Diggs and Marqise Lee. Day 3 sleeper.

Other to watch: QB Pat Mahomes (Texas Tech), TE David Nkoju (Miami, Fl.), DT Ryan Glasgow (Michigan), CB Cordrea Tankersley (Clemson)

* Look at Scot McCloughan's draft history and one theme emerges: The man likes seniors, especially in round one. Brandon Scherff and Josh Doctson were both four-year players. The bulk of first round selections during his time at Seattle and San Francisco. That doesn't mean McCloughan will go that way with the 17th overall pick; Of the top 19 ranked prospects according to ESPN analyst Todd McShay, 14 are underclassmen. But keep a close on seniors with early round projections like Alabama tight end O.J. Howard, Temple inside linebacker Haason Reddick, Indiana guard Dan Feeney, LSU cornerback Tre'Davious White, Washington wide receiver John Ross and Iowa defensive tackle Jaleel Johnson.

<<CLICK HERE TO VIEW FULL NFL MOCK DRAFT 4.0>>