Ravens' Birk, Reed finally reach the Super Bowl

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OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) — The only reason Matt Birk brought his aching knees and battered body to training camp for a 15th NFL season was to get to the Super Bowl.

The 36-year-old Birk was bothered by neck, elbow and knee injuries in his previous three years with the Baltimore Ravens, and during the offseason the six-time Pro Bowl center underwent surgery to repair varicose veins in his legs.

Birk and safety Ed Reed head a list of longtime veterans who will be making their first Super Bowl appearance when the Ravens face the San Francisco 49ers on Feb. 3.

Asked how it feels to finally reach in the NFL's biggest game, Birk said, "That's the goal. That's your dream. That's why you play."

Reed went a decade without a Super Bowl appearance.

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