Is interception vindication for Matt Elam after comments?

Is interception vindication for Matt Elam after comments?
December 17, 2013, 1:30 am
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Is interception vindication for Matt Elam?

DETROIT- Ravens rookie safety Matt Elam made the first interception of his career on the Lions' last drive, and played well despite being the center of attention following a week in which he was heavily criticized. After complementing Lions receiver Calvin Johnson during an interview last week, Elam erred by adding that Johnson was "pretty old{" and questioning Johnson's ability to play physical football.

Despite all the buzz around him, Elam said he did not approach this game any differently. 

"I didn't feel any pressure," Elam said. "I just felt like it was Monday night and our season was on the line. You had to come to play, or you might get embarrassed. 

"I saw an overthrown ball and I just said to myself, "Make the play." I have been so hard on myself all year because I didn't have any interceptions. I felt like I was a first round draft bust because I wasn't making plays. I come to practice very day and I work so hard. I've heard that once you get an interception, they can come in bunches. So I'm going to work extra hard and God will let them come." 

[RELATED: Analysis of Baltimore's win over Detroit]

Ravens coach John Harbaugh was happy to see a young player deliver under pressure. Elam had a better night than Johnson, who had two key drops, and was on the losing side of the scoreboard. 

"Matt learned a lesson in the sense of how he said things, but Matt didn't mean anything derogatory," Harbaugh said.  "He really got taken to the task for it.

"I'm proud of Matt for the way he handled it. He did the thing he needed to do. He played and he trusted his teammates."

As a result, Elam and the Ravens had the last word.