FLOWERY BRANCH – After their last two games, the Saints have been accused of “dirty” play.
After their win over Minnesota, Adrian Peterson, who was returning from high ankle sprain, questioned cornerback’s Jabari Greer’s tackling methods, which included a twist of his ankle while at the bottom of a pile.
“I came into the game kind of expecting that coming back from a high ankle sprain,” Peterson said. “Guys are going to try to take their shots when we’re on the pile and try to twist it up and things like that.
“I felt like it kind of got overboard. I got up and kind of got in his face. Thank God I was able to keep my composure.”
In the previous game, Tennessee wide receiver Nate Washington accused safety Roman Harper of being a dirty player. Harper was also called for a personal foul for a hit on Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder.
The Falcons seem to believe the Saints aren’t dirty.
“I think they’re just physical,” Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan said. “They play to the whistle and they play hard. That’s what makes it fun playing against them. You know you’re going to get their best effort and they’re going to play physical and so are we.”
Safety Thomas DeCoud agreed with Ryan.
“Not really, I view them as a team that plays hard,” DeCoud said. “They are prideful. They want to come out and compete and win each game. [Linebacker Jonathan] Vilma leads those guys by example. He goes out and plays hard each snap. It’s just kind of the leaders taking ownership of the game and guys following suit.”
–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog