Byron Leftwich held onto the ball tightly in practice today, while Fred Taylor got up-tight about Indianapolis Colts rookie safety Mike Doss.
"I'm going to punish him. I'm going to bust his (butt)," Taylor told reporters. Taylor claims his head was pushed to the ground by Doss following a play that resulted in a Taylor fumble in the second half of the first meeting between the two teams.
"If our guys are excited to go play again, that's a good thing," Del Rio said when asked to comment on Taylor's remarks.
The Colts scored a 23-13 win in the teams' first meeting, which saw Leftwich replace Mark Brunell at quarterback for the final drive of the game. Leftwich was the Jaguars' starter the following week and in every game since then.
Now, after five starts, Leftwich is facing somewhat of a crossroad in his rookie season. He lost six fumbles in those five games, the result of having had the ball stripped from his grasp while in the pass-pocket. Most recently, Leftwich fumbled three times and lost two of those in the Jaguars' 24-17 loss in Baltimore this past Sunday.
The fumbles have been attributed to Leftwich carrying the ball low and away from his body, and though Del Rio has downplayed that particular technical flaw in Leftwich's game, the quarterback said, "I got smacked on all day today" at practice.
"You gotta work hard on it all week so you don't have to think about it in the game. They've just got to stop happening," Leftwich said of the fumbles.
Jaguars quarterback coach Ken Anderson has said the problem is "very correctable" and Leftwich confirmed that the proper technique is "two hands on the ball." Leftwich said he did not fumble the ball once in today's practice.
"For some reason, if I do something wrong it goes way wrong," Leftwich said. Of course, his fumble late in his debut as a starter in Houston was the turning point in the Texans' rally, and the Ravens scored 11 points off two Leftwich fumbles this past Sunday. The rookie passer has also thrown nine interceptions.
"There won't be any radical mechanical changes," Del Rio said of Leftwich's technical training. "We're going to work on tightening up the technique.
"Guys were making him aware of the ball. At this point, you're more concerned with Dwight Freeney and the coverage and where the ball needs to go," Del Rio added.