Thursday was "Accuse the Ravens of Playing Dirty Day" in the NFL. The Steelers did it first, complaining of chop blocks in their opening-week loss to the Ravens. Then Chris Johnson got in on it, claiming the Ravens tried to injure him in the '08 playoffs.
And the Titans, who play the Ravens this Sunday, say they're not just going to sit there and take it. Defensive coordinator Jerry Gray says that if the Ravens get dirty, his defense is going to fight fire with fire. From John Glennon at The Tennessean:
"They're trying to cut you and do those things," Gray said. "You've got to make sure you're doing something that's hopefully going to hurt them, too. You can't just be the recipient of everything. You've got to start doing something that's going to get you back on track and hopefully they'll tone that stuff down when you do something else."
I guess Jerry Gray isn't familiar with that old saying -- how's it go? An eye for an eye gets the whole world fined? Something like that.
Jerry Gray didn't do himself any favors here. Now, not only are the officials in the Baltimore/Tennessee game going to be on the lookout for any shenanigans from the Titans, but I doubt the commissioner is going to look too fondly upon any statement from a coach that includes the words "hurt them." I'm sure Jerry Gray is getting an earful from someone today.
It's not even that he's wrong. I'm sure he's not the first coach in the NFL to suggest that further filth is the best way to combat someone else's filth. As a moral issue or as a football tactic, the point could be debated. But there's no upside to saying it out loud. It's bad for the league, and it's bad for his team.
The only people for whom it's good are the fans. I'll be honest with you -- before this, the Titans/Ravens game didn't hold much interest for me. Now, maybe there's the potential that things will get out of hand.