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Every week, the Ravens send film of plays to the NFL for further clarification of rule interpretations.
But following the Ravens’ 30-24 win over the New Orleans Saints, a highlight of that package is going to be a third-quarter play when defensive end Will Smith appeared to knee Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco’s helmet after he was already sacked by end Jimmy Wilkerson.
Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh believes the play should have garnered a penalty flag.
“I would say I saw just what you saw,” Harbaugh told reporters in his Monday press conference. “The guy appears to knee him right in the head after the play when he was on the ground.
“I mean, it’s clear cut.”
After the game, wideout Derrick Mason wondered whether the third-year Flacco received the same treatment as Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks like Drew Brees, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady.
“I know his last name is not Brees or Manning or Brady, but our quarterback is very good. He needs to be protected just like the rest of the bunch,” Mason said. “You can’t allow our quarterback to be hit after he throws the ball or he’s on the ground. That’s just not called for. If the league fines them, so be it. But if there’s a fine, then there should have been a flag as well.”
While Harbaugh didn’t want to make comparisons between his signal-caller and that trio, he will let the numbers speak for themselves.
“I don’t know, to make comparisons,” said Harbaugh. “I know he’s not getting the calls, and it’s a fact over the last three years; that’s just documented. So, I think the officials do the best job they can, and we support them in trying to do the best job they can.”
After the hit, Flacco and wideout Anquan Boldin angrily returned to the sideline as the Ravens prepared for a field goal.
FOX television cameras caught Flacco berating officials for the non-call.
“I have my things on the sidelines sometimes,” Flacco said Sunday. “I don’t know that they always get caught. But apparently this one did. I wasn’t too happy at the time.”
Asked whether he could offer a G-rated version of Flacco’s sentiments, Harbaugh decided to leave it up to the imagination.
“I’d probably rather not get in to that,” Harbaugh said with a laugh. “But it’s important for quarterbacks to stick up for themselves, and Joe did that.”