View Full Version : Injured Leftwich apologizes for gestures, plans to play

Frank Slade
09-19-2005, 10:51 PM
<TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width="100%" border=0><TBODY><TR><TD class=yspsctnhdln>Injured Leftwich apologizes for gestures, plans to play</TD></TR><TR><TD height=7><SPACER width="1" type="block" height="1"></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE><TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width="100%" border=0><TBODY><TR><TD>By MARK LONG, AP Sports Writer
September 19, 2005

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- Jacksonville quarterback Byron Leftwich (http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/players/6343/) apologized Monday for his actions against Indianapolis and vowed to play against the New York Jets (http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/teams/nyj/) despite a strained groin muscle.

Leftwich was caught on camera directing two obscene gestures toward Colts defensive line coach John Teerlinck during the Jaguars' 10-3 loss Sunday.

The incident started when Leftwich told officials they missed a late hit near the Indianapolis bench in the third quarter. Teerlinck rushed to the edge of the sideline and began yelling at Leftwich. The quarterback responded with two obscene gestures that each could result in a $5,000 fine because they were caught on camera.

<TABLE cellPadding=1 align=left border=0 hspace="10" vspace="5"><TBODY><TR><TD><TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 border=0><TBODY><TR><TD align=middle>ADVERTISEMENT
</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE><SCRIPT type=text/javascript>if (window.yzq_a == null) document.write("<scr\" + \"ipt type=text/javascript src=""http://us.js1.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/lib/bc/bc_1.7.0.js></scr" + "ipt>");</SCRIPT><SCRIPT type=text/javascript>if (window.yzq_a){yzq_a('p', 'P=2MJCFs6.I.YZ_27rQvGDVReVQIRe40MveJIACuyx&T=13p97sssf%2fX%3d1127184530%2fE%3d95858717%2fR%3d sports%2fK%3d5%2fV%3d1.1%2fW%3d8%2fY%3dYAHOO%2fF%3 d29974567%2fS%3d1%2fJ%3dA6E78E44');yzq_a('a', '&U=1397g9m4r%2fN%3dWQURTdhtfYM-%2fC%3d364965.7196933.8104816.1757820%2fD%3dLREC%2 fB%3d2920497');}</SCRIPT><NOSCRIPT>http://bc.us.yahoo.com/b?P=2MJCFs6.I.YZ_27rQvGDVReVQIRe40MveJIACuyx&T=13vcqses4%2fX%3d1127184530%2fE%3d95858717%2fR%3d sports%2fK%3d5%2fV%3d2.1%2fW%3d8%2fY%3dYAHOO%2fF%3 d143333977%2fQ%3d-1%2fS%3d1%2fJ%3dA6E78E44&U=1397g9m4r%2fN%3dWQURTdhtfYM-%2fC%3d364965.7196933.8104816.1757820%2fD%3dLREC%2 fB%3d2920497</NOSCRIPT></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>``I made a mistake. I have to deal with it,'' Leftwich said. ``I hate that I did it because I got caught on TV. But in the heat of battle, sometimes you do things. Maybe a little child was sitting there watching the game and saw that. That's the only bad part of it.

``You've got so many people watching you and looking up to you. But you're just not thinking about that at a time like that. You're in the heat of battle. I didn't start it. Things were said, things were done toward my way. I just returned the favor.''

Leftwich said he spent an hour trying to explain his actions to his mother, who left a message on his cell phone during the game.

``There was no explaining it,'' he said. ``It felt like it was the right thing to do. I just disliked what he said. Everybody knows I wouldn't just do that. There was a reason behind it. Maybe I shouldn't have done it, but there was a reason behind it.''

Leftwich declined to disclose exactly what Teerlinck said.

Teerlinck refused comment Sunday. Colts coach Tony Dungy said he was unaware exactly what happened until much later.

``I didn't quite get the gist of it until after the game,'' Dungy said Monday. ``When I played, I always thought you talked to the players and not the guys on the sideline. I'm sure Byron wishes he hadn't done that. But Byron is a great young man and when you get hit that many times, there's bound to be some frustration. It's unfortunate it was caught on TV. But I don't think there's any hard feelings between our teams.''

Leftwich said he hoped the league doesn't fine him for his actions.

``If Janet Jackson can do what she did, I hope I can get away with this one,'' he said.

Not likely.

League rules mandate discipline for ``obscene gestures or other actions construed as being in poor taste.'' A fine for the first offense under those guidelines is $5,000.

Denver Broncos (http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/teams/den/) quarterback Jake Plummer (http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/players/3895/) was fined $5,000 in December for making an obscene gesture toward fans.

Receiver Randy Moss (http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/players/4262/) was fined $10,000 in January for pretending to pull down his pants and moon the Green Bay crowd during Minnesota's playoff win.

The obscene gestures were the least of Leftwich's worries against the Colts. He was sacked six times and under a heavy rush all day.

Leftwich injured his groin when he was bent backward near the goal line late in the game. He went down awkwardly and lay on the ground in pain for a few moments before hobbling off the field.

``That could have been ugly,'' Leftwich said after watching the play for the first time. ``That could have been it for a while.''

Backup David Garrard (http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/players/5994/) immediately began to warm up on the sideline, but Leftwich returned for the final drive.

Leftwich had tests Monday and said the results had not been completed. But he said the injury would not prevent him from playing Sunday at the Jets.

``I plan to play,'' he said. ``I'll be OK. Everybody wants to put the blame and the fault on the offensive line. I'm not one of those guys that's going to do that. I know my guys went out and played hard.

``In the game of football, sometimes you get hit. It's no different than any other team or any other quarterback. I got hit a little bit, but now we're going to trying to find a way to beat the Jets.''

Updated on Monday, Sep 19, 2005 6:00 pm EDT


09-19-2005, 10:55 PM
He kinda reminds me of Steve Mcnair. My seats are in the endzone, and that hit was right in front of me. I thought there was no way that he didn't tear an acl or something. He is one tough SOB.

McClintic Sphere
09-19-2005, 11:01 PM
He is one tough SOB.
Yeah I gained a lot of respect for his ability to play through pain. I also find it ironic, that organized violence surrounded by beer commercials can be viewed by anyone, but give a hand signal like that and you are going to pay.

pizza guy
09-20-2005, 12:00 AM
I hate that I did it because I got caught on TV.

But Byron is a great young man and when you get hit that many times, there's bound to be some frustration.

That's funny. :laugh: