Brayton's knee-to-groin act to invoke NFL discipline
SEATTLE -- One night's -- or perhaps a season's -- worth of frustration peaked with Tyler Brayton's knee.
Oakland's defensive end was ejected late in another Raiders' loss Monday night for kneeing Seahawks tight end Jerramy Stevens in the groin at the end of a play.
Brayton and Stevens were pushing and grabbing at each other's shoulders away from a 4-yard run by Mack Strong with 1:54 remaining in the hot-tempered game that Seattle was leading 13-0 and won 16-0.
Brayton abruptly ended the clench by raising his right knee onto the upper, inside half of Stevens' left thigh while an official watched just yards away. Brayton got a penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct and was ejected. The four-year veteran walked directly off the field into the locker room while the Qwest Field crowd chanted derisively.
"I made a mistake," said Brayton, who is often quiet off the field but fiery on it. "I'll be the first to admit I made a mistake. I let my emotions get the best of me -- and that's not a good thing when you do that."
It's definitely not good in the NFL's eyes. Brayton can now expect league discipline, according to Raiders coach Art Shell.
Shell was a league vice president for football operations before returning to coach the Raiders this season. A few years ago, he heard player appeals on fines and suspensions for on-field conduct.
"The official told me what he did ... he'll be disciplined," Shell said. "He'll be disciplined by the league, for sure."
Stevens said Brayton was frustrated after getting blocked repeatedly on running plays while the Seahawks ground out the final minutes of the win over the Raiders (2-6).
"I threw him on the ground four plays in a row," Stevens said on the field immediately after the game.
"It wasn't anything I said. It was him getting beat on plays," Stevens said later, inside the locker room. He added he appreciated Brayton's knee not reaching its intended destination.
"I was kind of shocked that he would really do that," Stevens said.
Earlier, Stevens had been involved in one of the game's five unsportsmanlike fouls.
Following an incomplete pass intended for Stevens in the second quarter, the tight end got into the face of Stuart Schweigert. That drew the unsportsmanlike flag -- and the ire of coach Mike Holmgren, who pulled Stevens off the field and berated him.
Stevens said that immediately after Brayton kneed him, he could hear Holmgren's barking to get under control in the back of his mind.
"I've been with him five years," Stevens said, describing Holmgren's sway.
Stevens was making his first start since last February's Super Bowl, following two knee surgeries. Before the Super Bowl, he was embroiled in a verbal battle with Joey Porter of Pittsburgh over Stevens' comments that Steelers running back Jerome Bettis may have a sad homecoming and retirement day in Detroit while losing the big game.
Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press
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