It is not often that NFL officials throw a flag for what is said on the field, so when they do, it is particularly noteworthy.
The Ravens bench was assessed an unsportsmanlike conduct foul, and it was later identified the foul was incurred by backup quarterback Ryan Mallett (shown above entering the field with starter Joe Flacco). The flag came in following a Ravens punt which was returned to the Packers 40-yard line; the ensuing penalty gave the Packers the ball at the Ravens 45.
Now, the league has added a $ 12,154 fine of Mallett for the infraction, first reported by Tom Pelissero of NFL Network.
Details are sparse, but this was apparently a pattern of repeated verbal abuse of the officials throughout the game, culminating in the third-quarter penalty. Because of the apparent cumulative nature of the foul, it is likely that Mallett was warned. In a Monday press conference, coach John Harbaugh didn’t dispute the penalty:
If he said what the officials said he said, sure. He will be disciplined here in house, I promise you. As much as I love Ryan Mallett, I’m not cool with that. … He’s a competitor. He’s into the game, He and I talk a lot about the offense and the calls during the game. But coach [Jerry] Rosburg doesn’t need his help on special teams. They’re doing just fine.
While officials do hear a great deal of abuse in the course of a game, it is routine for low-level insults to be brushed off, or to put the offender on the defense by asking to have it repeated. The Competition Committee has taken particular note that this is an ongoing point of emphasis in a report to teams, players, and league personnel — not only for language directed at officials.
Photo: Baltimore Ravens