Ravens - Steelers: Notes, quotes, anecdotes

ENRAGED: The Ravens were furious at Steelers outside linebacker Joey Porter for shoving tight end Todd Heap to the ground after he severely sprained his right ankle. Heap was essentially helpless on the play, balancing himself on one foot and might be out a while.

McAlister called Porter an unprintable name. Lewis questioned his character. And Ravens coach Brian Billick did his best to avoid being fined.

"Joey is Joey," All-Pro offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden said. "I told him it was unnecessary. I tried to get him later on. I missed him, though. It was definitely a cheap shot."

Porter defended his play, which follows a series of verbal exchanges over the last year with Baltimore.

"It looked like he was hobbling, but at the same time, I don't know if he was fake hobbling," Porter said. "I've seen a lot of guys that looked hurt and kept playing. They fall on the ground and get up and run a play.

"It's not like I took a cheap shot at him and ran in there and hit him. I pushed him with my hands. This is football."

PENALIZED: The Ravens were flagged 10 times for 123 yards, including six unsportsmanlike penalties.

Nickel back Deion Sanders and Reed both were penalized for taking off their helmets after a play.

Sanders' excuse was his skull cap obscuring his vision prompted him to remove his helmet, and Reed said his helmet was loose. The safety removed it after a Steelers touchdown pass.

Billick said the Ravens need to find some "personal discipline."

Ray Lewis was hit with a personal foul for pushing a Steelers offensive lineman to the ground in an effort to protect his knees.

Offensive line coach Jim Colletto was even penalized for allegedly interfering with an official.

"He must have tripped an official," Ogden said. "We were like, 'Come on Jim.'"

McAlister was called for a personal foul when he grabbed Hines Ward's face mask after Ward blocked him way downfield on a Duce Staley run.

"There were a lot of personal displays on my part and some of my teammates," McAlister said. "We need more personal discipline and more control."

EFFICIENT: Second-year quarterback Kyle Boller had a touchdown nullified by Kevin Johnson's illegal motion penalty after hitting Randy Hymes with a 39-yard flea-flicker pass.

It was a solid, albeit quiet outing by Boller, who rushed for 34 yards on eight carries.

"I continue to try and learn and take it slow, as slow as I can," Boller said. "You can't make the same mistakes twice."

Boller completed 10-of-18 passes for 98 yards, no touchdowns, no interceptions and two sacks. He still missed some wide-open throws, but looked more composed than he did a week ago in a 20-3 loss to the Cleveland Browns.

"He's come a long way," Billick said. "I just see this kid every day in practice do more and understand more as he goes along and it's exciting to watch."

TRAINING ROOM: The most serious Baltimore injury was Heap.

Sanders strained his left hamstring and didn't return.

"I want to play, but I don't know if I can," Sanders said of next week's game.

Defensive tackle Aubrayo Franklin and fullback Harold Morrow strained their right hamstrings. Thomas sprained his knee, but returned.

INACTIVES: The Ravens deactivated defensive back Corey Fuller, linebacker Roderick Green, center Mike Flynn, offensive tackle Ethan Brooks, wide receiver Devard Darling, wide receiver Travis Taylor, defensive end Dwan Edwards and nose guard Kelly Gregg.

The Steelers' notable inactive was linebacker Kendrell Bell.

Aaron Wilson writes for the Carroll County Times.


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