Ravens' Suggs, Reed fined by NFL

OWINGS MILLS -- Baltimore Ravens rush end Terrell Suggs and safety Ed Reed were fined $15,000 apiece by the NFL on Wednesday for making impermissible contact with officials during the Ravens' emotional meltdown Sunday against the Detroit Lions.

Suggs was ejected for arguing with and appearing to bump into referee Mike Carey's cap after a roughing-the-passer penalty.

"I think my dad was more upset about the fine and mom was more upset because I'm not supposed to get angry on television like that," Suggs said Wednesday in the Ravens' locker room. "It was my own fault. I put my team at risk and I apologize for it. My actions were unfortunate. I owe my team big and I'm apologizing to them for not upholding our Ravens' name."

Reed, the reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year, wasn't ejected from the 35-17 loss as officials wrongfully singled out safety B.J. Ward. Ward was trying to hold back Reed from going after Lions tight end Casey FitzSimmons following a cut block.

It was Reed, though, who made contact with an official while pointing his finger in FitzSimmons' face.

"I guess they don't have my number," Reed said Wednesday when asked if he was going to be fined.

The proceeds of the fines go toward an NFL Players Association charity designated for ex-players in need of assistance.

Suggs expressed frustration with the officiating following the Ravens' franchise-record 21 penalties, which is one shy of tying the NFL mark shared by three teams.

"What kind of triggered the reaction was a flurry of calls," Suggs said. "They kept throwing the flag and I'm like, 'You got to let us play.' Once he threw the flag for roughing the passer, I reacted wrong. I let him know he was calling it unfair, but I did react wrong. I let my emotions get the best of me."

Afterward, Carey said that Suggs came after him with "malice in his heart," and said a number of words to him.

When asked about the referee's take on his reaction, Suggs scoffed.

"Come on, man, 'malice in my heart,' I heard that word meant he felt like I was going to do something to him," Suggs said. "You can't throw somebody out because you think they're going to do something to you. First of all, if I was going to do something to him I would have done it in the first three steps."
Suggs emphasized that he had no intention of taking any aggressive action toward Carey.

"He said he felt I had malice in my heart so he threw me out," Suggs said. "I walked up to him and I never raised my hands to him. I didn't touch him or nothing and got thrown out."

When asked what type of vocabulary he used when speaking to Carey, Suggs replied: "I don't think I can put that on television. In short, I asked him, 'Why is he calling the game like this?' If you're going to call it close, call it close on both sides. How are you going to have 18 penalties on one side and two on the other? That's one-sided."

Suggs, who intercepted a Joey Harrington pass prior to his ejection, said he realized the impact of his absence shortly after being escorted out of Ford Field by security officials amidst jeers from the crowd.

"I've got a bigger role, it's not just rushing the passer, it's about my presence on the field as well," Suggs said. "It took us losing a game for me to realize that."

While Suggs appeared to accept the consequences of his actions, he still believes the officials made several incorrect calls.

Specifically, the Pro Bowl pass rusher disagreed with the tripping call he was assessed for trapping Lions running back Kevin Jones with his legs along with Harrington's fumble that he felt like was an incomplete pass.

Carey ruled after an instant replay challenge that Harrington didn't have control of the football before moving his hand forward. Jones recovered the loose football and scampered to the Ravens' 2 to set up his touchdown run while the Baltimore defense stopped even though the whistle hadn't been blown. The public address announcer called it an incomplete pass subsequent to Jones' run.

"This is crazy, this guy was clearly throwing the ball, not that Tom Brady tuck thing, he threw the ball," Suggs said. "Everybody in the building and everybody on television sees it's an incomplete pass. I fall, my legs are in the air and he jumps on top of my legs and I tripped him?

"It kept building and compounding. It was just like, 'When is it enough? We were straight-up getting screwed."

Regardless of the officials, the Ravens (1-3) are off to the worst start in franchise history and have lost 7 of their last 10 games heading into Sunday's game against the Cleveland Browns (2-2).

"We're going to play hard and show our fans that we haven't lost it, that we just got off to a bad start," running back Jamal Lewis said. "We're going to stick together and hopefully the fans will stick with us also so that we can come out on top.

"You can't take that one time and say that we're bad, or we're not a good team, that we don't have any control. People are going to make what they want to make out of it, but we're still going to be the same Ravens."

NOTE: Quarterback Kyle Boller, who has resumed light throwing while he rehabilitates his hyperextended right big toe, has been ruled out for Sunday against the Browns. Billick indicated that he was hopeful because the rehabilitation process is going well, but remains uncertain if Boller could be the third quarterback the following week against the Chicago Bears.

In addition to being a long time contributor to RavensInsider, Aaron Wilson writes for the Carroll County Times in Westminster Maryland.

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