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Jaguars coach Del Rio defends decision to go for field goal

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Jacksonville Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio has no regrets about kicking a field goal while trailing by seven points late during Sunday's 17-13 loss in Pittsburgh.

The Jaguars trailed 17-10 with 4:22 remaining when Del Rio decided to kick a 45-yard field goal instead of trying to convert a fourth-and-6 play against the Steelers.

The decision has brought strong criticism. Former All-Pro defensive tackle and current NFL Network analyst Warren Sapp wrote on his Twitter page that Del Rio "Should Be Fired. Kicking a FG Down 17-10! (hash)Idiot."

Fans were equally outraged, especially since Del Rio has shown a penchant for gambling on fourth down over the years. This time, though, he played it safe.

"We make calls all throughout the game," Del Rio said Monday. "That's one that certainly people will certainly look back and ask that question. We did what we thought was right there, took the points and played to the defense."

The Jaguars (1-5) made the field goal and got the ball back with a minute left, but failed to mount another threat. It gave the team its first five-game losing streak in a decade and matched the worst start in franchise history, which came during Del Rio's first season.

It also was the third time in the last four games that Jacksonville had chances to win in the final minutes, but came up short in each of them. They had clock management issues at Carolina and a botched snap against Cincinnati.

"What's it horseshoes and hand grenades?" Del Rio said. "Being close is OK in those, but not in football."

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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