Ravens' Scott on Ward: 'I never forget'
By Joe Starkey
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
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WESTMINSTER, Md. - Bart Scott has regained his memory.
That became clear Tuesday morning at McDaniel College, site of the Baltimore Ravens' training camp, when the outspoken, seventh-year linebacker was asked if he remains bitter toward Steelers receiver Hines Ward.
Scott, you may recall, threatened retribution after Ward delivered a pair of seismic blocks -- one on Scott and one on safety Ed Reed -- during the Steelers-Ravens game Nov. 5 at Heinz Field. Ward was held out of the Dec. 30 rematch to rest an injury before the playoffs.
Neither block was penalized. Scott thought they were cheap shots.
Is retribution still coming?
"I never forget," Scott said. "So, we shall see."
That's not what a playful Scott said in a conference call with reporters before the rematch last season, before Ward was declared out.
Inquiring minds wanted to know if Scott, who'd threatened on the field to "kill" Ward, would follow through on his vow to "find him and make sure I take the most violent shot I can take."
"That was about eight weeks ago," Scott said. "I don't have long-term memory. That is a defect I was born with; only short-term. You never noticed I wear a wristband on my hand? That's so I can remember the plays."
It was obvious yesterday that Scott's long-term memory is fully intact, as is his ability to generate colorful quotes. Asked about the upbeat atmosphere under new coach John Harbaugh, he said, "It's almost like getting a new girlfriend. You're excited for the first date -- (up until) the second year, when you see it's the same old, same old."
Big hits have become a recurring storyline with Scott and the Steelers. Two years ago, he knocked quarterback Ben Roethlisberger out of a game at M&T Bank Stadium.
Roethlisberger said it was a clean hit and probably the hardest he'd ever absorbed. Scott later claimed it could have been much worse.
"(Roethlisberger) was exposed, wasn't tensed up because he didn't see me coming," Scott said later. "I saw all of his chest, and I could've gone anywhere from the kidneys to the sternum to underneath the chin. I had a 15-yard start. I could have done some serious, serious damage."
The normally imposing Ravens defense dropped from 60 sacks in 2006 to 32 last season. Scott, undrafted out of Southern Illinois in 2002 before rising all the way to the Pro Bowl in 2006, predicts the unit will return to form, despite some issues.
Among them: Age is creeping in at certain positions; pass-rushing linebacker Terrell Suggs remains a camp no-show (he hasn't signed his $8.472 million tender but is expected to show up before the season opener); and Reed is battling a nagging shoulder injury.
"I'm sure most people think we'll be third or fourth (in the AFC North)," Scott said. "I think different. We'll see. The key for us, as always, is staying healthy."
How about a final take on Ward?
"I love Hines Ward," Scott said, his words laced with sarcasm. "Tell him he's got a free pass."
"He can go wherever he wants to go. He can go across the middle. I'll just shake his hand and pat him on the (butt).