Gregg's stance: go figure

RAVENS NOTEBOOK

Defensive Holding

Ravens Gameday

Lions 35, Ravens 17

October 10, 2005|By BRENT JONES | BRENT JONES,SUN REPORTER

Detroit -- From a technical standpoint, the Ravens' Kelly Gregg said yesterday's game was no different than any other for him and his fellow defensive linemen.

From the referees' standpoint, it was another story.

The Ravens were hit with a franchise-record 21 penalties in the 35-17 loss to the Detroit Lions, two of them holding calls against Gregg and fellow tackle Maake Kemoeatu on a drive in the second quarter.

"You've just got to look at the tape," Gregg said. "On mine, I just don't know. I really can't explain it. I play the same game and play with the same technique game in and game out."

Defensive holding penalties are generally reserved for a team's secondary, but sometimes a lineman will draw one for wrapping his arms around his offensive counterpart. But twice on the same drive is a rarity.

Lions quarterback Joey Harrington was eventually intercepted by Chris McAlister on the drive, but those early mistakes seemed to put the referees on high alert.

"You want to stay in your gap, and if a guy is coming at you and there is a double team, sometimes the best thing to do is to get down," Gregg said.

"You just don't want to drop to the ground and let your guys run off to where the gap is avoided. You're trying to make a pile. That's the way I was brought up. That's the way I played in elementary school, and that's the way I'm going to continue to play.

"[The referees] usually warn you, but you just can't tell."

MISTAKEN IDENTITY

The Ravens' B.J. Ward couldn't figure out why he was ejected from the game. And if he looks at the film, his early exit probably will remain a mystery.

It seems Ward was a victim of mistaken identity when he was thrown out for bumping an official after a Lions' extra-point kick in the third quarter. Ward was in the middle of a group of players trying to keep Ed Reed and Chris McAlister under control after a fight nearly broke out, but he never made contact with an official.

"I can't even comment on it," Ward said. "I know I didn't have anything to do with it. But I can't comment on it."

It was the first time Ward, a rookie special teams player, has been kicked out of a game, and it came about 15 minutes after Terrell Suggs was ejected for bumping an official. Suggs hit the tip of the official's cap after arguing a roughing-the-passer call.

"I was surprised about it," Ward said. "Clearly, I didn't have anything to do with it. It doesn't even matter now. The game is over."

TAUNTING CALL

Although the gesture wasn't caught on tape, Ravens defensive tackle Maake Kemoeatu made a derogatory hand signal toward the crowd after the Ravens had stopped the Lions on three straight downs from the 1-yard line.

Referee Mike Carey explained why the Lions were awarded an automatic first down, even though the gesture by Kemoeatu, one of the most jovial players on the team, happened long after the play was over.

"We had a taunting on [Kemoeatu], making an obscene gesture to the crowd," Carey said. "It was a third-down play, so it was an automatic first down because it was a dead-ball foul, even after the play was over. Anytime there is some kind of dead-ball foul, it is going to be enforced, and it is going to be a first-and-10 for the other team."

The Lions scored on Artose Pinner's 1-yard run three plays later for a 21-10 lead.

WRIGHT'S INTERCEPTIONS

After taking few risks last week, Ravens quarterback Anthony Wright took an inexcusable one early in the second quarter.

On third-and-goal from the 3-yard line, Wright forced a pass into the end zone that was intercepted by Dre Bly. Randy Hymes was the intended receiver, but that was hard to tell considering the number of Lions defenders closer to the ball.

It was the type of error Wright, who also threw an interception in the first quarter, did not commit while completing 71.4 percent of his throws against the New York Jets in last week's win.

"We have to look at the film to see what drew him to make those throws," coach Brian Billick said. "Was it a bad throw? Was it throwing the ball into coverage? Was it a great [defensive] play? There are a lot of things that go into it, and I'm going to have to look at the film and counsel Anthony on the interceptions."

MCALISTER'S MEA CULPA

While his coach and teammates may have had problems with some of the 21 penalties called against the Ravens, cornerback Chris McAlister had no beef with the one called against him.

McAlister made what looked to be a momentum-changing interception when he shadowed receiver Kevin Johnson downfield and intercepted Joey Harrington on a throw at the Ravens' 12.

After he was touched down, McAlister then threw the ball toward Johnson, with whom he had been jawing.

"I shouldn't have thrown the ball down, regardless," McAlister said. "I really don't have the right to throw the ball down."

TALKING THE TALK

Lions cornerback Dre Bly said running back Kevin Jones was able to muzzle Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis.

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