The NFL cautioned Cleveland Browns defensive tackle Gerard Warren not to pick up a personal foul penalty against Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger during tomorrow's game.
Warren said on Thursday that he would try to hit the Steelers rookie to try to rattle him and end his 6-0 run as a starter. "One rule they used to tell me: 'Kill the head and the body's dead,' " Warren told reporters.
Art Shell, the NFL's vice president of football operations, told Warren yesterday that if he picks up a personal foul penalty against Roethlisberger, such a comment might be the decisive factor in whether the league suspends him, NFL spokesman Steve Alic said.
Warren was fined $35,000 as a rookie in 2001 after hitting Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Mark Brunell in the head and knocking him to the ground hard after Brunell threw an interception. Warren told reporters yesterday that he didn't mean he would try to hurt Roethlisberger, but that he would try to put pressure on him and hit him when the rules allow.
"I didn't say knock him out of the game, I said just go across his head a time or two," Warren said. "There's a difference. It's more of a mental thing than a physical. Rattle his head. If we can't be on his head, we'd love to be in it."
* VIKINGS: Linebacker Raonall Smith will miss at least two more games because of concussions.
Smith, who leads Minnesota with 12 special teams tackles, missed last week's 31-28 loss to Indianapolis after his second concussion in two games.
He has complained of headaches since the second injury. He underwent tests with specialists on Thursday in Pittsburgh and will be evaluated again on Nov. 22. The Vikings yesterday downgraded Smith from doubtful to out for tomorrow's game at Green Bay. Randy Moss's status did not change -- the wide receiver remained out with a hamstring injury.
* BUCCANEERS: Safety Jermaine Phillips agreed to a four-year, $9 million contract extension with a $1 million signing bonus.