Dumervil believes Ravens "taken advantage of" by officiating


OWINGS MILLS, Md. — One of the stand-up leaders of the Ravens locker room, Elvis Dumervil has faced the music throughout the most disappointing season in franchise history.
When his facemask penalty allowed Jacksonville to kick the game-winning 53-yard field goal with no time remaining in Week 10, the four-time Pro Bowl linebacker took full responsibility for his gaffe. Dumervil continued to take the high road even after the NFL admitted a day later that a dead-ball penalty should have been called that would have ended the game before his foul ever occurred.
But after witnessing several critical calls go against the struggling Ravens this season, the mild-mannered veteran spoke his mind on Wednesday. Asked a question about the high number of injuries his team has experienced in 2015, Dumervil stated that every team has players who get hurt before he abruptly changed the subject to the quality of officiating.
“It’s been one of the most bizarre seasons I’ve ever seen,” said Dumervil, finishing his 10th year in the NFL. “For us to not get [any] holding calls, there’s a lot of things that I feel like we’re being taken advantage of, for sure.”
It was clear that Dumervil wanted to get his feelings off his chest as he was referencing the fact that Ravens opponents have been called for offensive holding on passing plays — all 454 of them — just once all season and that occurred in Week 2.
With Terrell Suggs suffering a season-ending Achilles injury in the season opener, Dumervil has been the Ravens’ only reliable pass rusher from the edge, allowing teams to focus most of their attention on slowing him. That development and a heavier workload have factored into the 31-year-old collecting just six sacks after he registered a franchise-record 17 last season.
With that in mind, you can understand Dumervil being miffed over the lack of holding calls as John Madden used to famously say you could call the infraction on nearly every play.
Though the end of the Jacksonville game headlines the list, the Ravens have also been on the short end of controversial calls in close losses to Oakland (a defensive holding call that negated what could have been the game-saving interception), Arizona (Chris Johnson’s 62-yard run after his forward progress appeared to be stopped), and, most recently, Miami (Daniel Brown’s 52-yard touchdown pass wiped away due to a phantom offensive pass interference call).
Many have debated the merits of NFL officials becoming full-time employees — some players in the Baltimore locker room weren’t even aware that they only work part time — and being more accountable in the public eye, but Dumervil didn’t offer any theories why it’s been such a problem this season.
“I don’t have [any] reasons,” Dumervil said. “It’s just not going our way this year.”