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Steelers NT Hampton: Ravens 'talk themselves into' tough play

For the Baltimore Ravens, the 2011 season will pick up right where the 2010 campaign left off, with the Pittsburgh Steelers lining up across from them.

The Ravenswill play host to the Steelers on Sunday in what amounts to a chance to avenge January's 31-24 AFC divisional-playoff loss.

Inside the Steelers' locker room, some players don't see the rivalry as a balanced one.

"They talk a whole lot," nose tackle Casey Hampton told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in a story published Tuesday. "They don't like us. I think they don't like us a lot more than we don't like them. I think they have to talk themselves into it, kind of, know what I mean?

"Since I've been here, we've beat them a lot more than they beat us. They have to talk about it a whole lot."

Hampton's comments mirrors those of Ryan Clark in July, when the Steelers safety said "for something to be a rivalry, I think both teams have to win equally."

Pittsburgh certainly has gotten the better of Baltimore over the years, leading the series 21-12, including 3-0 in the playoffs.

"It seems like they always have us beat and we always end up beating them, and they always feel like they should have won," Hampton said. "That's what makes it so sweeter."

Veteran wide receiver Hines Ward, a participant in 28 of the 33 meetings between the teams, knows the Ravens are out for blood.

"We're going into the lion's den," Ward said. "It's going to be a tough one. Last year, we won down there -- I know those guys are thinking about that."

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