Dannell Ellerbe certainly didn't do himself any favors to win the Ravens' inside linebacker job.
After running back an interception early in the second quarter, Ellerbe stopped at the 1-yard line, looked back at the St. Louis Rams and extended the ball over the goal line in a taunting fashion. It was a case of a good play but bad sportsmanship.
The sparse crowd at the Edward Jones Dome booed. Then, Ravens coach John Harbaugh ran up to Ellerbe, grabbed the second-year player by his jersey and screamed at him for about 10 seconds.
"I like the play but it was classless and that's not how we're going to play," Harbaugh said at halftime.
Ellerbe, who is trying to unseat Jameel McClain as the starter, showed nice reflexes when he pulled in a deflected pass off wide receiver Brandon Gibson. His 56-yard interception return for a touchdown cut the Rams' lead to 14-7, but his actions didn't allow the Ravens to celebrate.
Williams preparing for suspension
The preseason finale represented the last football Ravens cornerback Cary Williams will play until he serves a two-game suspension for an off-field incident that happened while he was with the Tennessee Titans.
It wasn't a forgettable performance. Williams got beat deep on a 36-yard pass, the longest play on the Rams' first touchdown drive. He then was flagged for pass interference on St. Louis' third scoring series.
Williams will not be allowed at the Ravens' Owings Mills facility while on suspension. He said he has been looking into potential places to work out, and said it was likely he will work at a health club in the area.
Williams also said he thinks he'll have a smooth transition when the suspension is over. "I'm more prepared this time," he said earlier this week. "I know I can be a special teams guy here. And I know the defense now."
Miller muffs return
Prince Miller said earlier this week that you always "want to protect the ball first" as a punt returner. Those words came back to haunt the undrafted rookie of Georgia.
Backpedaling to field a 63-yard punt inside his own 10-yard line, Miller muffed it. The ball rolled into the end zone, where it should have been recovered by St. Louis' Kevin Dockery. The Ravens' K.J. Gerard somehow grabbed the ball under the pile for a touchback instead of a touchdown.
This likely secures Miller a spot on the practice squad instead of the 53-man roster.
Kicking battle update
Whatever decision the Ravens make at kicker on Saturday, incumbent Billy Cundiff knows it won't come down to money already paid out. Neither he nor Shayne Graham received any signing bonus money this season.
"When I signed my tender in April, they said he was going to get no money up front," Cundiff said of Graham earlier this week. "They knew they were going to sign him. So I knew signing my tender this was going to be a deal where money was not going to be an issue, that it was going to be strictly on performance."
Cundiff's battle with Graham has been extremely close, and it will be a tough call for the Ravens.
When asked if he felt he had performed his best this summer, Graham said: "I feel like there's days I wish I could have back, but overall, I feel on average I've been hitting the ball pretty well and strong. But there's definitely some days I wish I could take back."
Special teams special?
Jerry Rosburg's special teams have performed admirably during the preseason. But the special teams coordinator isn't willing to say the kicking units are much improved. Yet.
"We'll see when the regular season starts," Rosburg said earlier this week. "I think we've had a very good preseason. My hat's off to these players. We practice so well, I think we'd all be disappointed if we didn't play well in the games. We have very competitive practices. It matters to our guys. They know the important of it to the team and to them individually. They've been playing well in the preseason. Now we have to transfer it into the regular season."
Reserve quarterback Marc Bulger returned to the stadium where he had two playoff seasons with the Rams during a nine-year career. But after St. Louis won just six games the past three years, he was released and joined the Ravens on a one-year contract.
Asked if the losing experience changed the way he looked at football now, Bulger said: "No, I just appreciated my past — with winning and the losses we had — even more. I think we kind of take it for granted when things are going well. Now I'm back in an atmosphere where it's fun again coming to work. Obviously we haven't won a game yet, but I anticipate us winning some games [in Baltimore]. It's like taking a shot of coffee in the morning. It kind of gets you going again, gets you some energy."
Clayton on punt returns
Even though wide-out Mark Clayton missed the Rams' game with a concussion, he is hopeful he'll get a chance to return punts in the regular season.
"I like to return punts, I really do," he said. "I'm not scared to get hit."