Tom Brady said he expects Clint Ingram to be fined for the Jaguars rookie linebacker's crunching hit on Brady in the fourth quarter of Sunday's game at Alltel Stadium. If Jack Del Rio had his way, Brady would be fined for not making a feet-first slide earlier in the game.
"They should've speared him then," Del Rio said of a Brady head-first dive early in Sunday's game, when Jaguars defenders backed off Brady because they thought he was going to slide feet-first. "You go face-first and you're a runner," Del Rio added.
Brady went head-first in capping a seven-yard run around left end midway through the fourth quarter. Ingram delivered a massive shot to the back of Brady's head and shoulders, leaving the star quarterback writhing in pain on the ground and having to be helped off the field.
Rules require a player receiving assistance to sit out at least one play, which Brady did, though that play resulted in a penalty which, technically, qualified it as no play. In Brady's first play back, he shot an 18-yard completion to tight end Daniel Graham, which preceded a 27-yard, game-clinching touchdown run by Laurence Maroney.
"I heard about it," Ingram said on Wednesday of Brady's remarks that Ingram should be fined. "It's not like I intentionally did it. I was just playing hard football. I wasn't trying to take him out."
Ingram was flagged for roughing the passer earlier in the game, on a play in which Ingram lightly pushed Brady. It was another example of a league policy for protecting the quarterback that has caused indecision among pass-rushers.
Giants pass-rusher Mathias Kiwanuka incorrectly anticipated a whistle and released Tennessee quarterback Vince Young because Kiwanuka was afraid of being flagged for roughing the passer. Young then ran for a critical first down in Tennessee's game-winning rally.
"I think the emphasis is great," Del Rio said of the league's attempt to protect quarterbacks. "A lot of fortunes for teams rest with that player. As a league, we'll go back and look and ask, is this what we meant?"
Del Rio promised to take a look back when he meets with reporters next week, should the Jaguars not make it into the playoffs. Next week's press conference would then become Del Rio's traditional year-end review. He was not willing to address questions on Wednesday that required reflection.
"It will be a question better answered next week," Del Rio said in response to one attempt at review.
His focus this week is on this Sunday's regular-season finale at Kansas City, a game pitting two 8-7 teams, each with slim playoff hopes.
"A chance to finish with a winning record for the third year in a row. It would be good to accomplish that," Del Rio said.
The Jaguars will earn a playoff berth if they beat the Chiefs and the Jets lose to Oakland, Tennessee loses or ties against New England and Cincinnati loses or ties against Pittsburgh.
"Our playoff hopes are slim, but we're still alive. What we need to do is win and see what happens," Del Rio said.
"I feel very confident our guys will continue to give great effort," Del Rio said. "I am proud of the fact we're 21-11 over the last 32 games. That's pretty solid in this league."