OWINGS MILLS - With the exception of the playoffs, coaches and players usually downplay the significance of any individual game.
Not Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Dean Pees.
The Ravens host the New England Patriots Sunday night. Pees coached with the Patriots from 2004-09 prior to joining Baltimore's staff in 2010.
He was the linebackers coach in New England from 2004-05 before serving as the team's defensive coordinator from 2006-09.
"I'm not going to lie and act like it's just another game," Pees said. "It's a big game for me. It's kind of like you go out and play golf against somebody and you want to win, but when you play your brothers you really want to win. I have a lot of friends over there on the other sideline, a lot of old colleagues, a lot of players that I coached, so sure it's an emotional game."
Pees said he maintains a "great" relationship with Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and that the two speak on occasion when matched up against a common opponent.
POLLARD EXPECTS TO PLAY: Ravens safety Bernard Pollard (ribs) missed practice Wednesday, but made it clear he plans play Sunday.
He was a limited participant in Thursday's practice.
"I'm playing," Pollard said. "I'm going to be out there."
Pollard was injured during Baltimore's loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, colliding with teammate Courtney Upshaw while sacking Eagles quarterback Michael Vick.
"I'm ready to go," Pollard said. "When my mind's made up that I'm going, I'm not going to hold anything back, and I will not."
Ravens coach John Harbaugh said Monday the team will take a wait-and-see approach with Pollard heading into Sunday.
"It's just going to come down to him and how he can deal with that pain," Harbaugh said. "He is a pretty tough guy."
INJURY REPORT: Along with Pollard, cornerback Lardarius Webb (knee), middle linebacker Jameel McClain (knee) and defensive end Pernell McPhee all participated in Thursday's practice on a limited basis after missing Wednesday.
Offensive lineman Jah Reid (calf) was the only non-participant Thursday.
Outside linebacker Paul Kruger (back) and left tackle Michael Oher (ankle) were both full-participants.