Ravens Surprised By Browns' Dirty Play Claims
Two Cleveland Browns players accused Baltimore of dirty play after their 23-16 loss in Week 4.
"Watch the film, man. There was some dirty stuff going on," safety Ray Ventrone told The Cleveland Plain Dealer at the time. "I don't want to get into specifics just 'cause I don't want to be the guy to stir the pot, but I'm just saying I think they were doing a lot of extracurricular stuff."
Cornerback Dimitri Patterson backed up his teammate's claim at the time.
Baltimore reporters followed up with Ravens offensive players yesterday as they prepare for the AFC North rematch, and they refuted the accusations.
"I have no idea what they're talking about," left tackle Michael Oher told Ed Lee of The Baltimore Sun. "I think we're just playing football. I think our offensive line, we're focusing more on finishing plays. We're trying to make holes for the running back and protect the quarterback."
Ventrone, a special teams ace, only played three snaps on defense during the game and the Ravens were not flagged for any malicious fouls. Despite the lack of evidence and not seeing anything illegal as he reviewed film this week, Ravens fullback Vonta Leach told Lee he doesn't mind the two Browns players' accusations.
"When they watch film, everybody makes their own emphasis and their own decisions on what they think is dirty and what they think is not dirty," the fullback said. "I didn't see anything. I know what's a dirty play and the kind of stuff they're talking about, but I didn't see anything when I watched the film."
Osemele Practices At Left Tackle
As Head Coach John Harbaugh stated last week, the Ravens appear to be experimenting with different combinations on the offensive line.
Part of those experiments included Kelechi Osemele taking reps at left tackle after starting every game on the right side. Oher has manned the left side all season.
The rookie also indicated the shuffling may have been to test worst-case scenarios. He didn't seem to think he'll make a move to the blind side anytime soon.
"I don't really know. We worked on everything, especially in the bye week. We switched a lot of guys around," Osemele told CSNBaltimore.com's J. Michael. "Even I was at left tackle during the bye week. We're working on every different scenarios. … Worst-case scenarios."
Bisciotti On Lewis' Future Role, Flacco Keeping Window Open
Ravens Owner Steve Bisciotti participated in the Ravens Rap show, which is two weeks old, but he offered a couple interesting answers to commonly asked questions about Ray Lewis and the Ravens' championship window.
Bisciotti was asked if he will have a job waiting for his legendary linebacker after he retires, but the owner doesn't foresee Lewis wanting a role.
"Ray Lewis transcends a position in our organization. If he ever needs it, he's got it. But I don't think he'll ever need it," Bisciotti said in the video below.
"I think that Ray is on to bigger and better things and I think his heart is such that he would rather move people and he can make his money in speaking engagements and endorsements, but his heart is bigger than his will. He is somebody that you're going to be more proud of in the world than in our organization."
Asked what the secret has been to keeping the championship window open in Baltimore, going to the playoffs in four consecutive seasons* *despite an aging defense, Bisciotti pointed to Joe Flacco.
"If you have a quarterback, you can play in this league. You can turn over your roster," Bisciotti said. "Have a good quarterback and you can live with the demise of Ray Lewis, Ed Reed and then Suggs and then over and over again. It still comes back to a quarterback."
Bisciotti added that in the 2008 draft, he showed the most emotion he ever had before because he knew how important getting a good quarterback was. Matt Ryan was the highest-rated player on the Ravens board, according to Bisciotti, and he was ready to trade the whole draft for him.
"It turned out that [General Manager Ozzie Newsome and his staff] convinced me that instead of trading up and giving a whole draft for Ryan, that you could trade back and get Flacco and they believed there wasn't much difference.
"Well, they were right."
Faking Injury? Steelers WR To Meet With NFL
Television announcers suggested that Steelers wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders was faking a leg cramp to avoid using a timeout in the fourth quarter of Pittsburgh's win over Cincinnati two weeks ago.
Now, Sanders will meet with NFL officials to discuss the cramp, per the Associated Press.
Sanders says he did nothing wrong when he dropped to the ground. He sat out one play to take in a "small amount" of fluids before returning.
Per the AP: "He says the cramp was sudden but disappeared quickly after receiving medical attention. He says he's not sure when he'll meet with officials, but the Steelers will be in New York this weekend to face the Giants."
Trouble In Cincy? Lewis Calls Out QB Dalton, LB Maualuga
After losing three straight games, Head Coach Marvin Lewis is trying to turn his team around before it loses its grip on the season.
Lewis made an uncharacteristic move by publicly calling out quarterback Andy Dalton and middle linebacker Rey Maualuga to become more forceful leaders and even stop being so nice, according to the AP.
"We've wallowed around here in mediocrity," Lewis said. "We're looking for our quarterback and our middle linebacker to take hold of our football team, and I think that's important for us. I think both guys are such good people, that you've got to be a little bit of a (jerk). You do."
The Bengals own a 3-4 record and in third place of the AFC North. They are trying to halt a three-game losing streak, which will be tough to do with both Manning brothers up next on the schedule.
"The move was out of character for Lewis, who prefers to handle things quietly and internally," wrote the AP. "It underscored the Bengals' predicament approaching the season's midpoint - it's time to start winning or else."
Bye Boosts Kemoeatu's Health
After missing the Ravens-Texans matchup with a reported sprained right knee, nose tackle Ma'ake Kemoeatu told The Sun the bye week provided a boost to his health and that he is ready to return for Sunday's matchup against Cleveland.
"Yeah, you're always going to have little things here and there, but you feel good after taking some time off," Kemoeatu said. "Yeah, I'll be ready, man."
The Ravens defense has struggled against the run with either Kemoeatu or Terrence Cody starting. It has allowed 622 rushing yards the last three weeks.
- Defensive tackle Art Jones finally made it back to Baltimore for practice after getting stuck in Dallas due to Hurricane Sandy. He eventually got a flight to Raleigh, N.C., Monday morning and rented a car to drive the rest of the way. [The Baltimore Sun]
- Stop me if you've heard this one before … defensive tackle Haloti Ngata thought he was going to be a Brown until then-GM Phil Savage traded the 12th-overall pick to the Ravens in the 2006 draft. Ngata was on a conference call with Cleveland reporters yesterday, and they always seem to relive that moment. After seeing how good the All-Pro player turned out to be, who can blame them? [Cleveland Plain Dealer]
- Dane Brugler named kicker Justin Tucker as one of his 10 underrated rookies shining in the NFL. [CBSSports.com]
- @jeffzrebiecsun: On same day, Patriots cut CB Sterling Moore who knocked ball away from Lee Evans in AFC title game, and worked out Billy Cundiff. #Ravens [Twitter]
@jeffzrebiecsun: Highlight of Joe Thomas conference call w/ Balt. media was #Ravens safety Ed Reed popping in to ask Thomas about the weather in Cleveland [Twitter] * @ravens: #Ravens have the longest division win streak in the NFL. They've won 10 straight AFC North games. [Twitter] * @ravens: Joe Flacco said he would vote for Falcons QB Matt Ryan for MVP as of right now. @AtlantaFalcons [Twitter] * @torreysmithwr: This will be my first time passing out candy from my own house...should be fun..might be a little crazy though … I'm hype haha [Twitter] * @bobbyrainey: Almost $20 for some bag of candy!ha man........Lol I already bought some yesterday! ha I love the kids tho! [Twitter] * @bpierce30: Sooo... It's Halloween huh? I have zero candy in this house [Twitter] * @brendon310: Trick or treating w/ the kids. Need chocolate now! [Twitter] * @tandondoss: Kids gunna b disappointed if they knock on my door tonight.... [Twitter]