Cortland Finnegan’s defensive style might not sit well with the NFL or opposing players, but the Tennessee Titans cornerback has at least one supporter: Jacksonville Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio.
“I like his tenacity. I like the way he goes after people, and I've told him that before,” Del Rio told reporters in Nashville during a conference call Wednesday, according to TitansInsider. The Jaguars and Titans play Sunday.
Del Rio said he cautions his players not to let Finnegan goad them into retaliating if he plays too aggressively or outside the boundaries of the rules.
“He's going to be super aggressive,” Del Rio said. “First of all, I like the way he plays. I don't have a problem with it. And I tell our guys, if you feel something occurs right beyond the blow of the whistle or any of that stuff, you need to react properly and have poise, because that's not the time to show me you’re a tough guy.”
Finnegan, already considered one of the NFL’s dirtiest players, gained a new measure of infamy last Sunday when he jammed Houston Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson with a jam under the chin, then ripped off Johnson’s helmet and threw it. Johnson angrily threw three punches at Finnegan before they were separated and ejected from the game.
Both players earned $25,000 fines by the league but avoided suspensions.