Found November 23, 2012 on
Left to walk after nine years by the Baltimore Ravens last offseason, San Diego Chargers linebacker Jarrett Jones has reason to stick it to his former club when the two teams meet on Sunday.
Yet even he felt the since-overturned one-game suspension against Ravens safety Ed Reed was extreme.
"I thought it was totally BS that they were going to suspend him without pay," Jones told reporters on a conference call at the Ravens' training facility this week. "It would have been pretty good break for us. I thought the suspension was ridiculous."
The suspension for a helmet-to-helmet hit delivered to Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Emmanuel Sanders would have cost Reed a game check (about $423,000) before it was converted to a $50,000 fine on Tuesday. The original penalty would have also robbed the Ravens of the All-Pro safety in a secondary that has already lost Lardarius Webb (torn ACL) and Jimmy Smith (groin surgery).
This was the NFL's way of sending a message on player safety even if Sanders wasn't injured on the play. It was certainly one of the loudest since the league has taken the issue of head trauma more seriously as scientific evidence and concussion lawsuits mount. While Reed had been fined twice before for illegal hits and considered a repeat offender, Reed isn't seen as an out-of-control player -- not that it mattered to league officials.
"We would never accuse Ed of headhunting," Ray Anderson, NFL Executive VP of Football Operations, said on NFL Network earlier in the week. "But unfortunately the technique and the result have been illegal hits on defenseless players."
Players, however, seem to be stuck on the word "dirty" -- either as a player or a certain play in particular -- and not on the overall league effort to limit any kind of head trauma via altering behavior with on- and off-field penalties.
"Everybody knows Ed Reed is not a dirty player," Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs said. "It was not intentional. It was a football play. They looked at it and saw it. That's why he was able to win the appeal so fast. I'm happy for him. It's unfortunate he had to come out of his pocket a little bit."
Fines and suspensions are never going to win much favor with players, despite the research behind the debilitating, lifelong effects of repeated head trauma. Beyond player safety on the NFL level, the league is also attempting to set an example with rules that limit hits to the head and more stringent return-to-play standards for youth players.
But Ravens safety Bernard Pollard said it's universally accepted that football is a dangerous game.
"We as football players know and understand what we're signing up for," Pollard said. "When I was young, I knew what I was getting myself into. Parents and young players know what they're getting into. For us, we signed up for this. There's a possibility every single day something can snap or something that can go wrong."
The NFL has nearly 4,000 reasons (the number of concussion lawsuits filed by former players) to feel otherwise. The game, like it or not, is changing, even if all the league's efforts aren't always successful --- like its suspension of Reed.
BEST OF MAXIM
With his one-game suspension for repeated illegal hits overturned, Baltimore Ravens free safety Ed Reed expressed gratitude for arbitrator Ted Cottrell granting his appeal and to his organization and teammates for throwing their support behind him. Reed wasn't nearly as warm, though, about the fact that he was punished for what the league described as a pattern of helmet-to...
The Pittsbrugh Steelers' LaMarr Woodley was pretty upset over Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice's perceived desecration of the the vaunted Steelers "Terrible Towel", and made it known on Twitter: "If youre not a steelers fan, dont put your hands on a terrible towel" @LaMarrWoodley, Nov. 19th Ray Rice says he didn't mean any disrespect, and...
When I found out Baltimore Ravens safety Ed Reed received a 1-game suspension for the "repeat offender" rule with illegal hits, I almost fell out of my chair. I couldn't believe the hit Reed put on Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders last Sunday night warranted a flag, let alone a fine or suspension. I did feel a little bit better when I found out Reed...
The NFL has decided to overturn the one-game suspension it gave Baltimore Ravens safety Ed Reed earlier this week for his hit on Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders. However, the league is still fining Reed $50,000 for the play, and that’s something he is not happy about. “It really needs to be discussed for a fine to come down like that so harshly for that hit...
RAY OF LIGHT
The Ravens running back expressed regret for draping a Terrible Towel over his head following a win over Pittsburgh, saying, "I apologize to those who saw it as disrespectful."
Judge: Please explain to the court what you saw.
Witness: Well, it was a pass play. Definitely a pass play. The quarterback threw it. The receiver caught it. He got hit and went down. Then a flag was thrown.
Judge: And the receiver was struck in the head by the defender?
Witness: That is correct.
Judge: And the defender led with his helmet and initiated contact with his helmet?
The NFL has quite a conundrum going on with its attempts to make the game more safer, protect its shield, and still try to sell the general public on it being a great violent sports. Baltimore Ravens safety Ed Reed won the appeal of his 1 game suspension and fine, but still has a bone [...]
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Week Twelve Fantasy Football Rankings
Ray Rice is a top three option overall this week as the Ravens square off against a Chargers team that has been struggling as of late. We expect the Ravens to be protecting a lead in this one and thus giving Ray a lot of work.
Jimmy Graham is finally showing returns on the early pick his fantasy owners had to spend to get him on their roster...
Last week: 7 (+0)
The Ravens are 8-2, but I’m still not sold. They’re only +61 in points differential and most of that came from two wins against Cincinnati and crappy Oakland. They’re 6-1 in games decided by a touchdown or less and they haven’t had a particularly tough schedule. They could have easily lost to Pittsburgh last week if Charlie Batch had stepped...
There's no question that the Baltimore Ravens are the better - and hotter - team in Sunday's road matchup with the San Diego Chargers.
Still, overconfidence shouldn't be a problem after what transpired last season.
With revenge in the back of their minds and star safety Ed Reed available, the Ravens seek a fourth straight win against a Chargers team teetering on the...
Are the Ravens the league's most underrated team? It sure seems that way. After a rash of injuries knocked out a pair of starters on the defensive side of the ball, Baltimore was left for dead.
So while everyone turned away, Flacco and the still stout defensive unit have put together a quietly elite performance through ten games. Sure missing Ray Lewis in the...
I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and enjoyed their day off of work.
For the Ravens:
Out: CB Jimmy Smith (abs)
Doubtful: CB Chris Johnson (thigh)
Questionable: DE Pernell McPhee (thigh)
Probable: LB Brendon Ayanbadejo (shoulder), NT Terrence Cody (arm), TE Ed Dickson (neck), LB Dannell Ellerbe (toe/finger), S James Ihedigbo (neck), WR/RS Jacoby Jones (ankle), DT Haloti Ngata...
Below is the week 11 offensive line breakdown for the Pittsburgh Steelers loss to the Baltimore Ravens Sunday night.
I think it was pretty obvious to anyone that watched the game that this was not a great performance over all by the Steelers offensive line. There were several demerits handed out in both the pass and run blocking departments with pass protection being the worst...