Ravens accuse Broncos of dirty tactics

Ravens notebook

Team sends league film of first-half play involving Ray Lewis

Ravens Vs. Titans

January 05, 2001|By Paul McMullen and Brent Jones | Paul McMullen and Brent Jones,SUN STAFF

Before their wild-card win over Denver, the Ravens complained about some of the techniques employed by the Broncos' offensive linemen. That sentiment did not change Sunday, as one first-half play led the Ravens to send the NFL the network feed and film on their own in which they contend that right guard Dan Neal went too far against Ray Lewis.

Ranging to cover a play to his right, Lewis went to the ground with a cut-block and was prone on his stomach when Neal jumped on him, grabbed both of his legs and attempted to roll over. As Lewis tried to stand, Neal still held on to one of his ankles.

"We've taken the appropriate measures," coach Brian Billick said. "The league is very good about not allowing certain elements to creep into play, particularly when it is blatant, when someone's health is at risk. I'm confident that the league will take drastic measures.

"Sometimes a hit, the passion of the moment, sometimes you say, `It's a tough game. How do you fine that? A guy is playing hard. That was pretty.' ... I'll be surprised if the [Ravens] players don't have some type, not retribution or anything, but comment, the way they do in the off-season. I'm sure he [Neal] doesn't feel very good about it, whether it was the heat of the moment deal."

The Ravens play at Denver next season.

Lewis, meanwhile, had little comment on the matter.

"It's something that just happened," he said.

More Ray talk

Lewis cannot escape the spotlight. On Tuesday, the same day he was named NFL Defensive Player of the Year, syndicated radio talk show host Don Imus said he would root against the Ravens because he said they have a "murderer" on their team. Lewis was accused of homicide in an incident after last year's Super Bowl, but charges were later dropped for a plea of obstruction of a police investigation.

Ravens President David Modell wrote to Imus and asked for an apology, which has not been given.

"I wrote a nice, respectful note, that comments about one of my teammates were inappropriate," Modell said. "I felt compelled to do that. If that's the way Mr. Imus wants to comport himself, I suppose that works for him. If, at this juncture, there's anything to be said between us, it ought to be said between us. Mr. Imus can invite me on the air and we can have this discussion live.

"I see Mr. Imus on Larry King all the time. I'd be happy to have Larry King as mediator of the conversation. I'd go on CNN Live and we can discuss that kind of media irresponsibility."

Mitchell's long season

Billick talked about the difficulty of staying fresh as the Ravens moved into their sixth month of games, and no one has been at it as long as Anthony Mitchell, who is third in special teams tackles. Mitchell played safety for the Rhein Fire of NFL Europe last spring, and Sunday's divisional playoff at Tennessee will count as his 29th game of the 2000 season.

"I feel good. Coach Billick did a good job with the team, so I know that all of the other players legs feel twice as fresh as mine," said Mitchell, who admitted that last summer he had doubts about how he would hold up. "I was wondering if my body was going to break down, but I tried to keep a positive and strong mind, because I know that if that goes, my body will too."

BCS breakfast

Oklahoma's Orange Bowl win over Florida State means that linebacker Peter Boulware will be bringing offensive lineman Sammy Williams his pancakes and sausage tomorrow. Williams, who has spent the season on the inactive list, played for the Sooners. Boulware starred for the Seminoles, and he never expected to lose their breakfast bet.

"I've been watching Florida State for a while, and that's probably one of the worst performances I've ever seen out of the offense," Boulware said. "They were so flat, it seemed they weren't prepared. I've got to bring him [Williams] breakfast, a little humiliating thing. Whatever he wants, I have to bring it."

"I expected Oklahoma to win," Williams said. "I didn't expect them to completely shut out the No. 1 offense in college football. That was amazing."

Lingering effect

The lingering effect of Titans kicker Al Del Greco's failed extra-point attempt in his team's 24-23 loss to the Ravens wasn't evident until about 15 minutes later.

That's when Del Greco had a chance to win the game with a 43-yard field goal. Del Greco missed, the Ravens won, and the Titans experienced the first home loss of Adelphia Coliseum's two-year existence.

The loss might not have happened had Del Greco not missed his first extra-point attempt in seven seasons. It came after safety Perry Phenix's 87-yard interception return late in the fourth quarter gave the Titans a 23-17 lead."[The missed extra point] bothered me more than the field goal," Del Greco said. "Simply because I had not missed one in seven years. That was more of a just, `I can't believe I just did that' type of deal. Certainly I think it led to part of the reason why I missed the field goal after that.

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