Billick, Ravens decide to get a little territorial

RAVENS NOTEBOOK

Coach's quote in Miami results in toilet humor on ESPN, sports radio

January 18, 2002|By Jamison Hensley and Paul McMullen | Jamison Hensley and Paul McMullen,SUN STAFF

The Ravens may not be trash-talking, but they were drawn into some toilet humor yesterday.

In this week's Sporting News, it was reported that Ravens coach Brian Billick told his team during a Saturday walk-through at Miami's Pro Player Stadium "to [urinate] on the field to mark your territory." But according to Ravens officials, the reporter received that quote from a team spokesman, and Billick used only the words "mark your territory" in addressing his players.

The quote has since become the lead story on ESPN's SportsCenter and the talk of sports radio.

"It was really quite simple. The whole reason we went down there was, let's get familiar with our surrounding, get yourself right and do what you've got to do like a wolf, mark your spot," Billick said. "If they're intimating that someone actually peed on Pro Player Stadium, that's unbelievable. Of course, it didn't happen. Believe it or not, these guys don't take me literally."

The Pittsburgh Steelers offered their advice concerning "Pee-gate."

"Looking back at our games, they should have urinated the first two games," Steelers safety Lee Flowers said. "If that helps them win games, tell them to bring a lot of water on Sunday."

Mulitalo mending

There's renewed concern about the Ravens' offensive line. Left guard Edwin Mulitalo strained his right hamstring during Wednesday's walk-through and did not practice yesterday. Mulitalo was added to the injury report, where he is listed as questionable.

"I felt a tweak in my hamstring, and it's kind of day-to-day right now," Mulitalo said. "During the walk-through, we think it was a combination of the cold and maybe a little dehydration. We're going to give it some real aggressive treatment."

Mulitalo hinted that the playoffs could hasten his recovery.

"If it were a regular-season game, if I could save myself for another week ... " Mulitalo said. "That's not the case. It feels a lot better than it did yesterday. If I have the same progress [today], we'll be OK."

If Mulitalo can't play, Orlando Bobo would likely be his replacement.

Defensive end Rob Burnett [calf] and wide receiver Patrick Johnson were upgraded from questionable to probable. That category also includes wide receiver Travis Taylor [stomach].

Cornerback James Trapp will undergo surgery today to repair the groin injury that he sustained at Heinz Field on Nov. 4 and reinjured against the Steelers at PSINet Stadium on Dec. 16. He has been placed on injured reserve, and his spot on the 53-man roster was filled by wide receiver Kenyon Hambrick, who has been on the practice squad all season.

PC talk from Sharpe

In his conference call with Pittsburgh reporters, tight end Shannon Sharpe stuck with his script. To keep "politically correct," Sharpe had a sheet prepared by the Ravens' public relations staff that had nine possible answers to questions he would be asked.

So, what did his sheet say about Plaxico "Plexiglas" Burress?

"Mr. Burress played exceptionally well that Sunday night against the Ravens," Sharpe said. "He's a force to be reckoned with. I sincerely apologize for calling him Plexiglas."

No baggage for Woodson

Ravens safety Rod Woodson will play his first playoff game at Pittsburgh since 1996. But this time, the former Pittsburgh All-Pro won't be playing for the Steelers and won't be carrying any emotional baggage.

"I've been gone for five years," Woodson said. "Anything that happened five years ago, I don't think about anymore, really. "

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