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John Harbaugh: Stop The Shenanigans

Posted Dec 31, 2012

The Ravens have had a rash of personal foul penalties in recent weeks.


Ray Rice drove Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict into the turf after the play.

Bobbie Williams gave Burfict a little knee as he was at the bottom of a pile.

Those two plays drew 15-yard penalties Sunday in Cincinnati, and they are part of a recent trend for the Ravens. Baltimore has six personal foul or unsportsmanlike conduct penalties in the past three games.

Head Coach John Harbaugh wants to see them stop as the Ravens head into the postseason.

“We don’t need any of that. We don’t need any penalties. We certainly don’t need any post-snap shenanigans,” Harbaugh said on Monday after watching the tape.

“I don’t care what [the opponents] do. I don’t care what they say. I don’t care what they do. We do not need a flag thrown.”

Rice’s penalty was out of character for the running back, who doesn’t usually talk much smack on the field and isn’t known for late hits. Rice said Burfict was running his mouth.

Harbaugh said Rice didn’t know the play was over because he had his back to quarterback Joe Flacco.

“He was trying to finish a block,” Harbaugh said. “I thought it was more of an aggressive foul than anything else. I would counsel him not to do that in that future.”

Williams’ penalty was more acting on both sides than actually harmful. After a tussle, Burfict was getting off the pile when Williams gave a light tap to knock him down. A couple Bengals players took exception and pushed Williams away. The former Bengal gracefully fell to his back.

“There wasn’t much there, but there was enough to be called, obviously, because it was called,” Harbaugh said. “[I’ll] counsel him to not get involved in any of that. We don’t need any of that.”

Wide receiver Torrey Smith was flagged for a personal foul on a crackback block against the New York Giants in Week 16. Safety Ed Reed was hit with a personal foul for a hit on wide receiver Victor Cruz.

Against the Broncos, wide receiver Anquan Boldin and Cary Williams got unnecessary roughness penalties for late hits.

The Ravens committed the second most penalties in the league this season with 121. Only the St. Louis Rams (130) had more. Baltimore led the league in penalty yardage, however, with 1,127 yards assessed against them. It set a new franchise record.

“Be smart enough to make sure the flag is thrown on the other guy. It’s just that simple,” Harbaugh said. “If we are a smart football team, that’s what we’ll do. I believe our guys are smart enough to figure that out. They better be.”

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