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Here's the kicker: Browns dispute Graham's winning field goal

  • By NFL.com Wire Reports
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Cleveland Browns defensive coordinator Rob Ryan believes Cincinnati Bengals kicker Shayne Graham actually missed his winning 31-yard field goal in overtime last weekend.

Without any prompting Friday, Ryan referred to Graham's kick with four seconds left in the Bengals' 23-20 victory.

"You can watch the tape," Ryan said. "I'm not saying anything, but man, maybe the posts were crooked. Look at it."

A television replay from an end-zone camera shows Graham's kick crossing the line of scrimmage and heading toward the right upright. Ryan believes the ball sailed to the outside of the post. Browns cornerbacks Brandon McDonald and Eric Wright both waved their arms to signal that they believed the kick was off the mark.

"I don't want to get fined," Ryan said. "I pay enough money already on the house I don't even live in California. I don't want to make this a big story, but I was disappointed. Of course, I'm not an expert. That's why I'm saying maybe somebody else should look at it."

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said the league believes the correct ruling was made.

"The field judge standing right underneath the upright called it good, and we have reviewed multiple video from different angles and have seen nothing to dispute that call," Aiello said in an e-mail response.

Mike Pereira, the NFL's vice president of officiating, told NFL Network on Wednesday that the league had preliminary talks in the offseason about extending the length of the uprights to help officials determine if field-goal attempts are good or not. However, he's confident in the system of two officials positioning themselves underneath the goal post to make the call.

"I've never been in the position where I felt like we've erred with the ball going over the top," Pereira said.

Pereira also pointed out that field goals are reviewable but added: "Once it goes over the top, then we figure there's no way to prove it. We're not going to waste your time with a challenge, nor ours, to try to figure it out."

Ryan initially was asked Friday about former Browns wide receiver Braylon Edwards when he turned the discussion to the field goal.

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"I thought you were talking about the missed field goal," Ryan said. "Did I say that out loud?"

Edwards, traded to the New York Jets earlier this week, had believed the kick missed.

"From the sideline, it looked like it was wide right," he said following the game.

Once the officials signaled the kick was good, McDonald knew there was nothing the Browns could do about it.

"I thought for sure he missed it," he said. "It kind of looked like it didn't get through the uprights."

After he questioned the field goal, Ryan sent out a challenge to Buffalo Bills quarterback Trent Edwards, whom the winless Browns will face Sunday. Ryan alluded to Edwards making some negative comments about the coach's defense when he was an assistant with the Oakland Raiders.

Ryan was talking about Buffalo's offense when he steered the discussion to Edwards.

"I don't think that's (Bengals quarterback) Carson Palmer back there by any stretch," Ryan said.

Ryan then was asked if he believed Edwards wasn't as good as Palmer.

"Absolutely. He's not. Not too many quarterbacks are," Ryan said. "The guy can run and do some things, but we've played Brett Favre, we've played Carson Palmer. Those are two pretty good quarterbacks right there. This guy (Edwards) always seems to have a lot to say, so I'm going to say the same thing.

"Let's go. Let's get it on. We'll see what he's all about this week."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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