The knee felt ’round the NFL was on the tip of many a Bronco’s tongue Wednesday as the NFL fined Oakland’s Tyler Brayton $25,000 and docked Seattle’s Jerramy Stevens another $15,000 after an altercation between the two ended with Brayton’s knee finding its way near Stevens’ groin, forcing his ejection from the Raiders’ Monday Night Football loss to the Seahawks.
It was a reasonably stunning development — and one that spiced up a relatively unmemorable MNF game (at least compared with some of the tussles that have been viewing delights for the non-partisan observer). But a shocking incident?
“I’m not shocked,” cornerback Champ Bailey said. “We don’t need that, but at the same time, I understand the frustration. You’re out there in the heat of the battle, and it’s tough. It’s tough to keep your cool, but that’s what makes us NFL players. We know how to control that.”
Which is why Larry Coyer couldn’t abide such an incident — with both parties..
“It’s not in the game,” Coyer said. “It’s not part of this deal, for whoever. Football is not that way. Guys play hard, but it’s a gentleman’s game. It really is. It’s fierce and violent, but you’ve got to respect your opponent, and your opponent has to respect you. I don’t think that’s part of the game.
“You’ve got to respect the game. There have been a whole lot of great players play this game, and what these guys are doing is building on what those guys did. That’s disrespectful to the game, let alone everybody else in this league. That’s my opinion.”
Added Bailey: “Obviously you can’t lose your cool the way Brayton did, and I don’t think anybody knows that more than he does. He knows that. That’s the first thing, and I think they did the right thing by just fining him and not suspending him because he doesn’t have a reputation of doing stuff like that.”
“Tyler apologized to the team (Tuesday) for what happened,” Raiders head coach Art Shell said on his conference call with Denver media. “It’s out of character for Tyler to do something like that. So something had to trigger his mind to do that and when you watch the tape you can see that they guy kicked at him, tried to kick him in his groin area. That’s just something you don’t allow to happen.
“You shouldn’t retaliate, but when you’re in the heat of the battle and something like that happens it can turn into something bad. He was very apologetic for it.”
Then there was defensive end Kenard Lang, who took the there-but-for-the-grace-of-God-go-I perspective.
“No comment,” he said. “That might have been me.”
And now, a note on Sunday’s broadcast:
- The fact that Broncos-Raiders is the only late game for CBS means it will air in much of the country, including the vast majority of the western half of the lower 48. Further, NFL broadcast regulations stipulating that a home team’s sold-out game must air unopposed mean that markets such as Detroit, Philadelphia and Minneapolis-St. Paul have to receive the game since their respective CBS affiliates cannot air an NFL game in the early broadcast window. View the map from GribbleNation.com (what a name; Dale Gribble is one of the Morsels’ favorite animated characters) — which is subject to change, of course — by clicking here.