By Aaron Wilson
The Baltimore Sun
6:27 PM EST, December 31, 2012
After running back Ray Rice and offensive guard Bobbie Williams allowed Cincinnati Bengals rookie middle linebacker Vontaze Burfict to get under their skin for a pair of personal fouls following confrontations Sunday, Ravens coach John Harbaugh wants to see better self-control from his players.
"We don't want any personal foul penalties," Harbaugh said Monday at team headquarters one day after a 23-17 loss in a regular-season finale at Paul Brown Stadium. "We certainly don't need any post-snap shenanigans. I don't care what they do. I don't care what they say. I don't care what they do. We do not need a flag thrown.
"Need to be smart enough to make sure the flag is thrown on the other guy. It's just that simple. 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."
Rice shoved Burfict to the ground in the first quarter following a chop block for an unnecessary roughness infraction. Rice said that Burfict was talking a lot of trash to him.
"I told him he'll be a great player if he didn't talk so much," Rice said after the game. "I got a personal foul messing with him. I don't know if it was that personal. I cut him and went back and I finished him off. He's going to be a good player. He's feisty, that's what I told him. You see a young guy like that and talent will only take you so far."
"Ray's thing was he 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. He felt like the play was still on. He didn't know the play was over, and he thought he was getting up to go rush the passer, not that we excuse that."
Burfict had a different take on the exchange.
"He chopped me," Burfict said of Rice. "I don't know what he tried to do, but he tried to take a cheap shot. That's football. At the end of the day, he got a personal foul and I didn't. Big man wins. The old Vontaze would have did exactly what he did, talked a little [stuff] and then walked off."
Williams said that he retaliated after Burfict kicked him.
"Bobbie's, 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. We don't need any penalties."