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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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Antonio Brown apologizes for streaming Steelers' locker room scene

Antonio Brown apologizes for streaming Steelers' locker room scene

Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown apologized Tuesday night for streaming live video from the Steelers locker room on Sunday featuring coach Mike Tomlin calling the New England Patriots 'a--h---s' in advance of Sunday's AFC Championship Game.

Brown posted the locker room scene through Facebook Live and has since deleted it.

Ironically enough, the video also included Tomlin telling his team to "keep a low profile."

"I'm sorry for my actions and behavior after Sunday's game," Brown posted on his Twitter feed. "I let my emotions and genuine excitement get the best of me, and I wanted to share that moment with our fans."

"It was wrong of me to do, against team and NFL policy, and I have apologized to Coach Tomlin and my teammates for my actions.

"I'm sorry for letting it become a distraction and something that they've had to answer questions about while we're preparing for a big game on Sunday."

Tomlin, of course, has indeed been asked about the video as the Steelers try to prepare for the AFC title game at New England.

"It was foolish for him to do that, it was selfish for him to do that, it was inconsiderate for him to do that," Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said. "Not only is it a violation of our policy, it's a violation of league policy, both of which he knows.

"There are consequences to be dealt with from his perspective," Tomlin added. "We will punish him, we won't punish us."

 Translation: He might take a hit in the wallet, but he's playing Sunday, and don't think for a fraction of a second he's not.

MORE RAVENS: Weighing pros and cons of bringing back Dumervil

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Will Elvis Dumervil get his 100th career sack with Ravens, or someone else?

Will Elvis Dumervil get his 100th career sack with Ravens, or someone else?

The Ravens face critical offseason personnel decisions, including which players to bring back, and which veteran players are no longer worth the financial investment.

Here are the pros and cons regarding pass rusher Elvis Dumervil:

Reasons to keep Dumervil:

Dumervil is a proven pass rusher with 99 career sacks, and he will be highly motivated wherever he plays next season. He turns 33 years old Thursday (Jan. 19), and wants to show he has plenty left in the tank. I asked Dumervil after the season-ending game in Cincinnati whether he thought he would return to the Ravens.

“Wherever I play next season, I’ll be a beast,” Dumervil said.

Dumervil had 17 sacks in 2014, and the Ravens need pass rushers. He was never fully healthy in 2016, missing eight games after Achilles surgery.  If the Ravens release Dumervil, there’s a chance he could have a big season playing for someone else.

Reasons to release Dumervil:

The Ravens would save more than $6 million in salary cap space by cutting ties with Dumervil. There’s no guarantee Dumervil will stay healthy, or be a double-digit sack artist again. The money the Ravens could save by releasing Dumervil could be used to fill holes elsewhere.

Prediction:

My gut feeling is that Dumervil and the Ravens will part ways. Terrell Suggs is returning, and he led the Ravens with eight sacks in 2016 playing with a torn biceps. Matt Judon had four sacks as a rookie. The biggest disappointment in the pass rushing department was Za’Darius Smith, who had just one sack. However, even with Dumervil getting just three sacks in 2015, the Ravens won eight games, and had the league’s seventh-ranked defense. I think the Ravens will use the money they would pay Dumervil to address issues like finding another cover corner and an offensive playmaker.  

MORE RAVENS: Playoff winners expose Ravens shortcomings