The Buccaneers weren’t the only team accused of being on the shady side yesterday.
Ravens fullback Vonta Leach, who plays on a team that’s sold as much physical-to-the-point-of-intimidation as anyone over the years, said the Eagles were a “dirty” team.
“They take a couple of shots, that’s just how they’re coached,” Leach said, via Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun. “They play dirty. They take shots after the play, a lot of dirty stuff after plays. We weren’t going to back down. We weren’t going to take that.
“Anytime someone thinks they’re a bully, you got to step up or they’ll keep doing it.”
Again, the Ravens haven’t exactly painted themselves as choirboys over the years, but yesterdays game features several exchanges. Leach got into it with Eagles safety Kurt Coleman, Ravens guard Marshal Yanda and Eagles defensive lineman Cullen Jenkins were called for offsetting personal fouls and Ravens cornerback Cary Williams and Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson were throwing punches during one exchange.
“He threw the first punch,” Williams said. “I got to learn to keep my head. I can’t let my emotions get the best of me. I think we both needed to do that. We knew it was a big game, it was a lot at stake. I can’t allow my emotions to control me and allow me to make irrational decisions.”
No one was ejected, and no one was apologizing either.
“If you challenge us, we’re going to challenge you back, we’re going to try to take it out on your quarterback,” Jenkins said. “We like people coming at us and giving us their best shot because we’re not backing down on anybody.”
It makes for good theater, but with replacement refs who have proven they can barely control a game, asking them to monitor two bunches of hot-heads is too much to ask.