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Browns notebook: Taylor defends hit on Steelers' Beachum

| Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012, 6:56 p.m.

Cleveland Browns defensive tackle Phil Taylor threw a forearm smash to the back of Steelers tackle Kelvin Beachum, knocking him from the game with a concussion.

Taylor then had a message for the rookie tackle following a 24-10 loss to Steelers.

“It was between the whistles; you have to keep your head on a swivel,” Taylor said.

Taylor's shot on Beachum occurred one play after Steelers linebacker James Harrison was called for roughing the passer on Cleveland quarterback Thaddeus Lewis' touchdown pass to Greg Little early in the third quarter.

“They played dirty, so ...” Taylor said. “We aren't going to play dirty just because they play dirty. We are just playing football, and they get mad about it.”

Taylor was not flagged on the play, but could be fined by the NFL.

“If I get a call (from the league), I get a call,” Taylor said.

• Coach Pat Shurmur wasn't happy about Lawrence Timmons' hard sack on Lewis late in the game that knocked the quarterback out of the game. “I thought it was a helmet to the quarterback, absolutely,” Shurmur said. “It sure the (heck) looked like one.”

Ray Ventrone, a Chartiers Valley graduate, turned a fake punt into a 35-yard gain early in the third quarter. “Everyone on the punt team blocked well with the kind of lane I had to run through,” Ventrone said. “I wish I would've made the returner miss, but we ended up scoring on the drive so it worked out well.”

Phil Dawson kicked a 51-yard field goal in the second quarter — the second longest in Heinz Field history. It was Dawson's seventh field goal of 50 yards or longer this season. Even though Dawson is heading to the Pro Bowl, the soon-to-be 38-year-old kicker isn't sure if he will be back next year. “I took my time walking off the field, looking around,” Dawson said. “I had a chance to say what I had to say. The guys on this team are really important to me.”

• Tight end Ben Watson may have played his last game with the Browns. Watson led all receivers with 7 catches for 64 yards and finished the season with 49 catches for 503 yards and 3 touchdowns. “I am sad that this could possibly be my last time in Cleveland,” Watson said. “I have enjoyed myself here. I wanted to win more games.”

— Mark Kaboly

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