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December 30, 2007|Sam Farmer

He's no longer stark-Raven mad

Back in Week 9, when Hines Ward crushed him with a block, frustrated Baltimore linebacker Bart Scott confessed that he threatened to clobber the Pittsburgh receiver.

"I threatened him," Scott told the Baltimore Sun at the time. "If I see him again, I'm going to threaten him again."

The Ravens play host to the Steelers today, and Scott's rhetoric this week softened a bit. Well, a lot, really.

"There's too much in the world to hold a grudge," Scott told Pittsburgh reporters on a conference call. "I love Hines Ward, he's my favorite guy. We all say things when we're angry. I realized, 'Hey, maybe, I was a little brash.'

"I might send him a box of chocolates or something. Let bygones be bygones."

Ward, among the best blocking receivers in the game, doesn't seem too concerned about all the bluster, good or bad.

"I'm not going to be looking around seeing if somebody is going to be trying to take a cheap hit on me," he told Pittsburgh reporters. "They all want to kill me, but it's kill me in a good way, I hope not in-the-streets kill me.

"I try to be a complete wide receiver. I have guys sometimes looking at me seeing if I'm going to crack down on them rather than looking at the running backs. That's just who I am."

Mighty unlikely Quinn will play

The Cleveland Browns have quarterback problems --

good ones, but problems nonetheless.

They spent a first-round pick last spring on Notre Dame's Brady Quinn, yet discovered during the course of the season that Derek Anderson could be their quarterback of the future. Aside from his four-interception performance against Cincinnati last Sunday, Anderson has played extremely well since taking over the job in the second game of the season.

So where does that leave Quinn, who has been activated for every game but has yet to take a snap?

The Browns can lose today to San Francisco and still make the playoffs if the Tennessee Titans lose to the Indianapolis Colts. But it still sounds as if Quinn isn't going to play.

"I'm going to play to win the game," Coach Romeo Crennel told reporters. "Whoever gives us the best chance to win, that's who I'm playing."

As for the theory it might be best to give Quinn a bit of playing time so that, on the chance the Browns make the playoffs, he'll be a bit more experienced in case an injury to Anderson forces him onto the field, Crennel said: "That could be said the whole year. Quinn has been one play away all year and he's still one play away. If he has to play, he'll go in and represent himself well and represent the Browns well."

Playing with heart

Since beginning the season 4-2, the Washington Redskins have lost five starters, among them slain safety Sean Taylor, their best player. The team has also won three consecutive games, however, and arguably is playing its best football since the return of Joe Gibbs as coach.

"We've had so many emotional things happen," said Gibbs, whose team can claim the final NFC wild-card spot by beating Dallas today. "First, the injuries. You think about a team that's overcome that many injuries being able to bounce back and have guys step in and fill roles. There's a certain resilience that's built up over a period of time with that.

"Secondly, the brutal losses. It's not often you can lose four in a row [down to the wire] like that. There's a lot of emotion that goes into that. And then Sean.

"I don't know a team, I haven't been a part of one, that's overcome this much. Through that process, you develop a hardening. It's almost like you're going to overcome whatever's out there. It's also caused a certain camaraderie and a chemistry. We all know on football teams, some teams can grab it and some can't. Who would have thought after all that, we'd have a three-game run?"

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