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Bad call helped Del Rio get extension

Maybe, just maybe, if officials at the Steelers-Jaguars playoff game after the 2007 season had called a holding penalty, Jack Del Rio would have been fired as the Jaguars coach before this week.

The Steelers completed a remarkable comeback against the Jaguars in that wild-card game at Heinz Field. Pittsburgh led and had Jacksonville facing a fourth-and-2 late in the game.

Jags quarterback David Garrard ran for the first down, but Jacksonville should have been called for holding on the play, setting up a fourth-and-long. Nearly everyone who watched the game knew it, except for the officials.

Jacksonville went on to win the game 31-29.

Garrard got an extension after that season. So did Del Rio, who was hailed as one of the league's up-and-coming coaches.

Since, Jacksonville's franchise quarterback got released just days before the 2011 season started and Del Rio got fired before the season ended.

The correct call could very well have sent Garrard and Del Rio into a different direction.


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The Post-Gazette's story was a grabber, with Randle El saying he wouldn't play football if he could do it over again.

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The kids are getting bigger and faster, so the concussions, the severe spinal cord injuries, are only going to get worse. It’s a tough pill to swallow because I love the game of football. But I tell parents, you can have the right helmet, the perfect pads on, and still end up with a paraplegic kid. There’s no correcting it. There’s no helmet that’s going to correct it. There’s no teaching that’s going to correct it. It just comes down to it’s a physically violent game. Football players are in a car wreck every week.
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