Browns Say Ravens Were Dirty

BEREA, Ohio (AP) – The regular refs may have missed a few things in their first game back.

Browns safety Ray Ventrone said the Ravens were dirty birds.

“I know that they were playing dirty on offense,” Ventrone said Friday as Cleveland’s players regrouped after a 23-16 loss in Baltimore. “Watch the film, man. There was some dirty stuff going on.”

Thursday night’s prime-time game featured the return of the NFL’s regular officials after they reached agreement with the league on a new contract. Following three weeks of uneven officiating by the replacement refs, there were few, if any, problems as the Ravens beat the Browns for the ninth straight time.

However, Ventrone said the Ravens got away with some “extracurricular stuff.”

“There was just stuff that was happening after the play, during the play,” said Ventrone, the Browns’ special teams dynamo who is playing despite recently undergoing surgery on a badly broken thumb. “There was some unnecessary stuff that was happening to our defensive backs most specifically.”

It’s not unusual for the Browns and Ravens to play a hard-hitting game, given their shared history and rivalry inside the AFC North. Ventrone said there has been some questionable play in the past but not as much as in this meeting.

“I don’t want to get into specifics just ’cause I don’t want to be the guy to stir the pot,” Ventrone said. “But I’m just saying I think they were doing a lot of extracurricular stuff.”

Ventrone said none of the Ravens’ aggressive and outside-the-rules actions resulted in any injuries to the Browns.

“No one was hurt by any of the stuff,” Ventrone said. “Thank God. But I think there were some cheap shots for sure.”

The teams will play again on Nov. 4 in Cleveland.

Browns LB Fujita meets with Goodell

NEW YORK (AP) – Cleveland Browns linebacker Scott Fujita met with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell for about one hour Friday about his suspension in the Saints’ bounty case that was temporarily lifted earlier this month.

Fujita was suspended for three games for his role in the bounty program while he played for New Orleans. He missed a meeting last week with Goodell while recuperating from a knee injury, and was not granted a video conference meeting with the commissioner.

Previously, Jonathan Vilma and Will Smith, still with the Saints, and Anthony Hargrove, now a free agent, met with Goodell after an appeals panel ruled Goodell must redefine the parameters of the suspensions, showing they were for an intent-to-injure program.

Vilma was suspended for the entire season, Smith for four games, Hargrove for eight.

Reed, Tulloch, Mundy fined $21,000 by NFL

NEW YORK (AP) – Baltimore Ravens safety Ed Reed, Detroit Lions linebacker Stephen Tulloch and Pittsburgh Steelers safety Ryan Mundy each have been fined $21,000 by the NFL for flagrant hits.

Reed was fined for striking defenseless Patriots receiver Deion Branch in the head and neck area last Sunday night. Tulloch was docked for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Tennessee tight end Craig Stevens. Mundy’s hit on Raiders receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey resulted in his fine.

Heyward-Bey was taken from the field on a stretcher and hospitalized with a concussion.

Four players were fined $15,750 Friday by the league: Denver LB Von Miller, Cincinnati defensive back Adam Jones, Eagles defensive end Jason Babin, and Titans DE Scott Solomon.

Miller was tagged for driving Houston quarterback Matt Schaub to the ground one play before fellow Broncos linebacker Joe Mays’ hit took off a piece of Schaub’s left earlobe. Mays was suspended for one game and fined $50,000 earlier this week.

Denver has been fined more than $150,000 in the first three weeks of the season, with coach John Fox and defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio getting theirs for verbal abuse of the replacement officials.

Jones made a horse-collar tackle on Redskins running back Alfred Morris. Babin was fined for the second time in three weeks, this for a horse-collar tackle of Arizona’s LaRod Stephens-Howling that was not penalized.

Solomon was fined for a low hit on Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford.