`Nasty stuff' alleged under pile

Ravens notebook

Seahawks' Hasselbeck says he was choked, but QB is accused of acting

Pro Football

November 25, 2003|By Brent Jones | Brent Jones,SUN STAFF

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck accused the Ravens of questionable tactics on a key fourth down in his team's 44-41 overtime loss Sunday. Ravens linebacker Cornell Brown replied by insinuating Hasselbeck's show is ready for Hollywood.

Hasselbeck remained on the ground after a failed quarterback sneak on fourth-and-inches with less than a minute left in the fourth quarter and the Seahawks up by three points.

Replays showed Brown's forearm near Hasselbeck's throat.

"My position, it looked like my forearm was across his throat," Brown said. "Then he went to squirming like I was trying to strangle him. There was a lot of acting involved in that, so it made it look worse than it was."

Hasselbeck eventually made it off the field on his own but was visibly upset with what happened on the play. The Ravens took possession, drove downfield and kicked a field goal to force overtime.

"One guy was grabbing me where the sun don't shine," Hasselbeck said. "That was making me mad. Another guy started choking me. But you know, this is football and sometimes at the bottom of those piles some nasty stuff goes on. That's really part of the game, unfortunately."

Brown implied those comments were sour grapes.

"He got stopped up," Brown said. "He had his back turned to us, trying to inch over. I just wrapped him up and took him back."

Running out of options

When it comes to running out the clock just before halftime, Ravens coach Brian Billick said he can't win.

With 16 seconds left in the first half Sunday, the Ravens handed off to Chester Taylor rather than take a knee. Taylor fumbled, cornerback Ken Lucas recovered and Seattle scored on a 10-yard touchdown pass to take a 17-3 lead.

The Ravens left the field to a cascade of boos.

"They booed us a couple of weeks ago [against the Jacksonville Jaguars] when I took a knee in that situation," Billick said. "They are booing me now that we handed the ball off. I guess the only thing left to do now is to throw it the next time, and if it is not completed, they will boo me then, too."

Weaver, Knight hurting

Defensive end Tony Weaver and cornerback Tom Knight suffered the most serious injuries Sunday and likely will not play against the San Francisco 49ers.

Weaver re-injured his neck in the first quarter and did not return.

Asked whether he thought he would play against San Francisco, Weaver, who had injured his neck a week earlier, said, "I'll be surprised if I do."

Knight sprained his foot in the second half and was in a walking boot yesterday. The team will know more about his status later this week.

"I don't know too much about the assessment," Knight said. "It's just going to be going through the healing process a bit. I'll be able to make a better assessment of it in a couple of days."

Singletary's speech

With Billick detained by a network interview, linebackers coach Mike Singletary took the time to address the team at halftime, urging the players to fight back from the two-touchdown deficit.

"Mike's kind of a quiet leader but it was probably reminiscent of some things he had done before as a player," Billick said. "He was basically challenging the players ... to not give up on one another, not give up on a situation."

Finally, a 7-man front

Running back Jamal Lewis saw something he rarely has seen this year against the Seahawks, and his eyes lit up.

Early in the fourth quarter with a 17-point lead, the Seahawks' safeties played the pass, and Lewis got a chance to run against four down linemen and three linebackers.

Lewis may have been too eager as he fumbled the ball away with 9:03 left in the quarter.

"I looked out there and saw a seven-man box," said Lewis, who rushed for 117 yards on 26 carries. "That's when I went out there, bounced it out and ended up fumbling. You can tell our receivers backed [the safeties] off, and we executed outside."

Game balls

Long snapper Joe Maese, holder Dave Zastudil and kicker Matt Stover were awarded the special teams' game balls. Right tackle Orlando Brown was given the defensive game ball for plugging up the middle on Hasselbeck's sneak, and quarterback Anthony Wright's wife, Nicole, was given the offensive one for waiting until after the game to go into labor.

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