JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Jaguars running back Fred Taylor walked into the locker room Monday, saw a throng of reporters waiting for him and said, "I feel like we're going to the Super Bowl."
Not even close. These questions were much, much different.
Taylor apologized to team owner Wayne Weaver for his arrest on a disorderly conduct charge over the weekend, said the whole incident was "very, very petty," and hinted that he was provoked by police. Taylor even refused to characterize it as an arrest, calling it a citation.
"I'm not going to get into any details," he said. "It's an awkward situation, but I really do, sincerely, from the bottom of my heart, want to apologize to the Weavers and this organization for this type of press. It's never really good when it's in the negative light."
Taylor was cited outside a Miami Beach nightclub Saturday around 4 a.m. According to his attorney, Adam Swickle, Taylor was getting into his car as police arrived at the club. Officers ordered him to put his hands on the hood, then patted him down and searched his vehicle for firearms and drugs with a K-9 unit.
Taylor admitted getting into a verbal altercation with police, questioning why he was being searched, and said his tone may have prompted the citation.
"It's not me versus the cops," Taylor said. "I don't want to get into that grudge match, whether right or wrong. ... It's all about authority. Pride gets in the way, then you have two people disagreeing.
"I felt like I was defending myself and I just honestly said one or two curse words that I shouldn't have. It went from one extreme to the next. Unfortunately, it happened. The milk spilt. Can't do a whole lot about it now but keep my head up and keep smiling. I know at the end of the day, I feel I was doing the right thing for myself regardless of whatever happened."
Miami Beach Police spokesman Juan Sanchez said the police report would be available Tuesday.
Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio wasn't concerned with the situation, even though it was the team's 10th arrest in the last two years.
Del Rio even asked Taylor to speak to the team Monday morning in hopes of reminding everyone how to deal with authority figures.
"I think it's a lesson and a reminder to be respectful and avoid silly things like that," Del Rio said. "He's a good man. He's been a captain. He'll be a captain going forward. Once I announce all the captains, he'll be on the list. Somebody I know I can count on, know that I can trust."
Del Rio also didn't have a problem with his star player being out so late.
"If it were Saturday night before the game, I'd be worried about it," he said. "He had some down time and Fred takes good care of himself."
Taylor had a good excuse for being out at 4 a.m.
"I'm not going to sit here and B.S. you and say I should have been home," he said. "People say it was 4 o'clock in the morning. But we're in Miami. We're not in Jacksonville, where everything closes at 2. In Miami, everything opens at 2. You take your nap and you go and have a good time and go home. I was trying to go home."
Taylor said he was hoping the entire thing would blow over soon. He said he didn't expect to have to appear in court, and added that he ultimately hopes his situation will help keep his teammates out of trouble.
"I was defending myself and thought I was right," he said. "It was very, very petty. A lot of times, it's portrayed one way and somewhat misconstrued. I got a citation, but it came across as I got arrested and all this and that. It's perceived as he's down there causing trouble, which was never the case. I wasn't fighting, wasn't doing anything.
"At the end of the day, I was able to do something to hopefully help the younger guys out by speaking to team and try to point them in the right direction from my mistakes. I never wanted it to be me, but being that it is me, I think it's better that way so I can reach out to the younger guys and let them know it's all about authority."
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved