- Jamison Hensley, ESPN Staff Writer
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So check out how running back Ray Rice deftly handled himself when asked about the Lions' reputation for being physical and perhaps dirty.
"Their reputation, they definitely live up to it," Rice said.
Before you think Rice just pulled "another Elam," listen to how Rice explains himself.
"I don’t know if you want to call it physical or dirty," Rice said. "Whatever the refs see, that’s what they see. But needless to say, I’m not going to spark any fire."
The Lions are tied for 10th in the NFL in penalties this year. In fact, the Ravens have been penalized one more time than the Lions.
Defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, who was voted the NFL's dirtiest player last year, has said he wants to change the perception about him. He has been flagged seven times this season (low block, tripping, two neutral zone infractions, face mask and holding) but hasn't received a personal foul.
Nick Fairley, the Lions' other defensive tackle, has been the one who has been penalized twice for roughing the passer and twice for unnecessary roughness.
"We’re looking forward to getting the best Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley on Monday night," Rice said. "If they’re aggressive, they’re going to be aggressive. You can’t take that away from a guy. But now, you’ll see now they’re playing smart aggressive. They are not being penalized as much for the unsportsmanlike conducts. I watched on Thanksgiving when they played Green Bay; Ndamukong Suh gets a sack in the end zone and helps the guy up. That shows that he is becoming a very mature guy. The old him probably would have stepped over him and done some things, taunting him a little bit."