NFL hits Siragusa with $10,000 fine


Defensive tackle must pay for play in which he landed on Raiders QB Gannon

Pro Football

January 19, 2001|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

Ravens defensive tackle Tony Siragusa came down hard on Oakland Raiders quarterback Rich Gannon on Sunday, and the National Football League came down hard on Siragusa yesterday.

The league fined the 11-year veteran $10,000 for unnecessarily slamming the quarterback to the ground and landing on top of him - Rule 12, Section 2.

Siragusa's second-quarter hit in the Ravens' 16-3 win aggravated a shoulder injury Gannon first sustained on a sack by Michael Mc- Crary on the Raiders' first possession. Gannon left the game after Siragusa's hit, then briefly returned in the second half, but was ineffective.

Siragusa heard rumors of the fine earlier yesterday that were later verified.

"Thoughts on what I heard? Bull----," he said.

Does it matter?

"No, it doesn't matter," he said. "Listen, if it's going to cost me 20 grand and I'm in the Super Bowl, I'll pay it. I would pay even more than that, but I'm not going to let them know that."

Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis was also fined $7,500 by the league yesterday for a hit to the chest on Tennessee quarterback Steve McNair in Baltimore's 24-10 divisional round playoff win on Jan. 7.

No flags were thrown on either play.

Johnson not worrying

Despite losing his starting job last week to Brandon Stokley, Ravens wide receiver Patrick Johnson has kept the same approach.

"I can't really worry about things I don't have any control over. It's the coaches' choice, and they choose to do what they choose to do," he said. "I've proven what I can do, made big plays, and I just go out and try to play hard. I try to make the best out of whatever opportunity I have and when they come is when they come. I just have to be prepared for it."

Johnson caught 12 balls for 156 yards and two scores in the regular season, but he has yet to catch a pass in the playoffs.

"I think I have made some contributions earlier on that helped us into some wins, and that's all I care about," he said.

Two take honors

Lewis was named Defensive Player of the Week and punter Kyle Richardson took Special Teams Player of the Week honors for their efforts in Sunday's AFC championship win at Oakland.

Lewis, the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year, finished with seven tackles and recovered a fourth-quarter fumble on Oakland's 7-yard line.

Richardson averaged 40.6 yards on seven punts, placing four inside the 20-yard line. The Ravens yielded 9 punt-return yards.

New address for Ravens

Owings Mills Boulevard, home of the team's training complex, is temporarily being changed to Ravens Boulevard for the next few weeks.

Baltimore County Executive C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger led a ceremony at the complex yesterday afternoon to make it official.

"On Jan. 18, I hereby designate and temporarily change the name of Owings Mills Boulevard to Ravens Boulevard," he declared.

As the new purple "Ravens Boulevard" sign was revealed, Ruppersberger shouted, "Go Ravens," which coincided with a car alarm going off nearby.

Ravens team president David Modell was at Ruppersberger's side.

"I'm very honored," he said. "I'd like to think of this as the boulevard of achievable dreams."

There will be seven new signs posted in all.

Look out!

After 11 years in the NFL, Ravens defensive end Rob Burnett is not fazed by anything anymore. Not even a passing deer.

"I'm just driving along and this deer jumps out in front of my car. I just swerve to the right and go straight again," he said.

"And everything just hits me after. I'm like, `Man, I just almost hit that deer.' But it didn't even faze me when it happened, I didn't panic or anything. This game, it screws you up."

Injury update

Ravens coach Brian Billick said things looked pretty good on the injury front.

He said safety Kim Herring (ankle) moved around well in practice yesterday, as did linebacker Cornell Brown.

As for guard Edwin Mulitalo, who suffered a mild concussion in Sunday's win at Oakland?

"He's fine," said Billick. "He was in Honolulu there for a while, but he's back."

Quip of the day

As Billick settled behind the microphone for his afternoon talk with the media, he assessed the overflow of reporters and joked: "You'd think we're going to the Super Bowl or something."

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