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Matt Elam on Lions' Calvin Johnson: 'He's pretty old, so I don't know how physical he'll be'

Ravens rookie safety Matt Elam was still in high school when Detroit Lions star wide receiver Calvin Johnson first entered the NFL six years ago.

Six years younger than the 28-year-old Pro Bowl receiver, Elam suggested Wednesday that Johnson's age could somehow be a negative factor for the Lions against the Ravens on Monday night at Ford Field.

“He’s pretty old, so I don’t know how physical he’ll be,” Elam told the Associated Press. “He’s a big guy, but he’s older. I guess when they get older they’re not going to be as physical, you know what I’m saying? We’re going to have to be physical, make him uncomfortable.”

Johnson is well-known for his physical nature and overpowering smaller defensive backs. At 6-foot-5, 236 pounds, seven inches taller and 26 pounds heavier than Elam, Johnson blends size, speed and leaping ability.

Johnson has already caught 75 passes for 1,348 yards and a dozen touchdowns.

Elam was otherwise complimentary of Johnson, calling him a "big, fast, athletic, unstoppable, freak."

Meanwhile, Ravens outside linebacker Terrell Suggs praised Johnson, who's nicknamed "Megatron."

"Megatron, anytime somebody has a nickname like that .. the kid is real," Suggs said. "He's probably, arguably the best receiver in the game. It's going to take all 11 guys, especially tending to him. It's going to be a big stag, and this guy has a tendency of having big games on big stages. We'll see how we fare."

Wednesday night, Elam said the following via his Twitter account: "I  will never disrespect greatness." 

awilson@baltsun.com

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