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Lions' Caldwell: 'We addressed' Raiola's dirty plays

Josh Katzenstein
The Detroit News

Allen Park — Lions coach Jim Caldwell said he met with center Dominic Raiola to address his dirty — but legal — plays during the final drive of a 34-9 loss to the Patriots.

The Lions will not punish Raiola, Caldwell said, but the league reviewed the center's performance to determine whether he should face consequences for attempting to harm a fellow player.

"He and I talked," Caldwell said Monday. "We addressed the issue. What we talked about is a private matter, but he knows how we like to do things around here and that's the end of the story."

League officials did not consider suspending Raiola, and according to an NFL Network report, he will not be fined.

On the last play of the game, a kneeldown by Matthew Stafford, Raiola snapped the ball then dove at the knees of defensive tackle Zach Moore. The cheap shot didn't draw a penalty because Moore wasn't engaged, but it drew the ire of the Patriots.

"Sure, there was a lot of frustration there with Raiola," coach Bill Belichick said, according to Tom Curran of CSNNE.com. "He's never beaten us. Tough day for him."

Raiola said after the game he cut Moore because he thought the Patriots ran up the score with a 1-yard touchdown run by LeGarrette Blount with 1 minute 57 seconds left in the fourth quarter.

Raiola also punched Moore in the back of the head with his right arm twice during the final drive.

Caldwell grew increasingly agitated with questions about Raiola, and eventually said he wouldn't address it any more.

"We don't condone it. We addressed it. End of story," he said.

The Patriots only had the opportunity to score their final touchdown because Lions defensive tackle C.J. Mosley bowled over long snapper Danny Aiken and led with his helmet during a field-goal attempt. Mosley was assessed a personal foul, and the Patriots scored the next play.

Caldwell said he has not spoken to Mosley about the play because the referees made the correct call, but plans to address the hit with the team. Mosley could be fined.

"It was flagged appropriately," Caldwell said. "Penalties are something obviously we've been harping on, and we just can't have excessive penalties. Anything we can avoid and things like that are things that we want to stay away from.

On Blount's touchdown run, Lions linebacker Tahir Whitehead dove at Blount as he crossed the goal line, and Blount shoved him.

Raiola then followed with his swing and hit.

Despite the incidents, Caldwell said he's not worried about his message of discipline being lost.

"When you're dealing with a place where you haven't been before, it's a constant battle — every single day, every single moment — so that's not anything unusual," Caldwell said. "But I think most of the time that our guys are guys that listen. Every once in a while you run into a guy that's not swayed by either threats or eloquence, so if that's the case, you've got to get rid of him.

"But nevertheless, we don't have guys like that and our guys just keep striving to do what we want to get done."

jkatzenstein@detroitnews.com

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