Ellerbe's taunt on TD rouses Harbaugh's ire

Coach screams at linebacker who ran back interception

September 03, 2010|By Jamison Hensley, The Baltimore Sun

Dannell Ellerbe 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 good play but bad sportsmanship.

The sparse crowd at the Edward Jones Dome booed. 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, pulled in a deflected pass off wide receiver Brandon Gibson, and his 56-yard interception return cut the Rams' lead to 14-7.

Williams awaits suspension

The preseason finale was 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. And it wasn't pretty.

He got beaten deep on a 36-yard pass, the longest play on the Rams' first touchdown drive, 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 will likely work out at a health club in the area.

Williams said he thinks he'll have a smooth transition when the suspension is over. "I'm more prepared this time," he said 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 out of Georgia.

Backpedaling to field a 63-yard punt inside his 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

The Ravens didn't attempt a field goal in the final game for the team's kicking competition between Shayne Graham and Billy Cundiff.

In the preseason, Cundiff made all three of his field-goal tries while Graham hit two of three (his only miss was from 50 yards). Cundiff's kickoffs were generally longer than Graham's.

"I don't know if we've seen enough to make a clear determination because they've both done so well. Either way we go, it'll be a good decision," Harbaugh said. "I'm quite certain whichever way we don't go, he'll be kicking for a team the next day. We would love to get a call from somebody. But they'll probably wait, knowing that we got let one go and they'll be a bidding war."

Harbaugh declined to say which kicker he is leaning toward.

"We'll just have to see," he said. "We'll find out soon enough."

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.

"We'll see when the regular season starts," Rosburg said. "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."

Bulger's back

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.

"It was fun," Bulger said of his return. "The atmosphere is a little different in the preseason, but it was nice to see everyone and say hello all at once."

Bulger, who didn't play a snap because the Ravens decided to start third-string quarterback Troy Smith, said he didn't lobby Harbaugh to get one series.

"They made the decision on Wednesday [to start Smith]," Bulger said, "and I was onboard with it."

Decision on Ravens logo

A federal appeals court has ruled against the Ravens in the most recent decision in a long-standing dispute about the team's original logo.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit in Richmond, Va., has ruled that the team's use of the "Flying B" logo in videos it sells violates Frederick E. Bouchat's copyright, and has asked a federal court in Baltimore to reconsider an injunction.

Bouchat, who works as a security guard in Baltimore according to court documents, sued the Ravens in 1998 after claiming they had stolen his idea for the logo. He won, but the court did not award damages.

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