In the aftermath of the Ravens’ 23-16 win against the Cleveland Browns on Sept. 27, a pair of Browns accused the Ravens offense of engaging in dirty play.
Safety Ray Ventrone alleged that the Ravens were participating in “extracurricular stuff,” and cornerback Dimitri Patterson backed up his teammate’s assertion. The comments made few waves in Baltimore as the Ravens took a 3-1 record into a mini-bye at the time, but left tackle Michael Oher expressed surprise when informed Wednesday of the Browns’ charges.
“I have no idea what they’re talking about,” Oher said. “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.”
Neither Ventrone nor Patterson provided specific examples of Ravens’ tactics, and the offense was not flagged for anything malicious. Right tackle Kelechi Osemele was cited for an illegal use of hands penalty in the third quarter, and wide receiver Anquan Boldin finished a block on Patterson during the game, but that appeared to be the extent of the physical play.
Ventrone, who played just three snaps on defense according to the official gamebook provided by the NFL, told Cleveland reporters to review the game film.
“I don’t want to get into specifics just ‘cause I don’t want to be the guy to stir the pot,” Ventrone said as quoted by The Cleveland Plain Dealer. “But I’m just saying I think they were doing a lot of extracurricular stuff.”
The accusations came less than two weeks after fullback Vonta Leach leveled similar charges at the Philadelphia Eagles in the Ravens’ 24-23 loss on Sept. 16. At that time, Leach said, “They take a couple shots. That’s just how they’re coached.”
Leach said he didn’t see anything illegal when he watch the game film, but said he’s not bothered by the Browns players’ comments.
“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,” he 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.”