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Lions WR Johnson poised to show 'old man strength'

Thursday - 12/12/2013, 5:05pm  ET

Detroit Lions' Calvin Johnson (81) catches a pass as Philadelphia Eagles' Cary Williams (26) defends during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

DAVID GINSBURG
AP Sports Writer

OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) -- Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson intends to use his "old man strength" to teach Ravens free safety Matt Elam a lesson about showing respect to his elders.

Elam said Wednesday that Johnson "is pretty old" and that Baltimore would try to get physical against the talented star to "make him uncomfortable."

Elam is only six years younger than the 28-year-old Johnson, who responded to the rookie's comments during a conference call with Baltimore media Thursday. After calling the Ravens' safeties "young," Johnson said, "I'm getting old, man. I'll show him what that old man strength is about, though."

He added, "Anything that comes at me throughout the week, you just take it and put it in that box over there and use it as motivation."

Johnson leads the NFL with 12 touchdown catches and 1,348 yards receiving.

Of Elam, Johnson said, "He plays back. I don't see him every play unless I run past him."

Speaking after practice Thursday, Ravens coach John Harbaugh explained, "I think everybody's old to Matt Elam. Matt's pretty young, and hopefully he learns from his opportunity to speak to the media this week."

Asked if Elam's comments angered him, Harbaugh answered, "I don't appreciate it. It doesn't help us. You get a guy like Calvin Johnson all fired up, that's really not the idea.

"I mean, it's Monday night football. They've deemed it a playoff game for them. ... I don't think they needed that to get fired up, but we didn't need to give it to them, either."

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