By Edward Lee
6:00 AM EDT, October 25, 2011
Brendon Ayanbadejo didn’t back down from his insistence that Jacksonville Jaguars right tackle Guy Whimper instigated the altercation that eventually led to a personal foul on and an ejection of the inside linebacker in the third quarter of the Ravens’ eventual 12-7 loss at Everbank Field in Jacksonville Monday night.
“The whole altercation started when the play was already over,” Ayanbadejo said of the defense stopping running back Deji Karim for no gain on third down-and-5 from the Ravens’ 7-yard line. “First, he grabbed me, and I’m just trying to get his hands off me. I’m just trying to get away from the guy. Then after he grabs me around my waist and spins me around, then I start getting a little agitated. And then he pushes me. And then I get back in his face and then he punches me in the face. This is all after the whistle. It’s like, ‘Can I get a little protection here? Can I get a little help – 225 pounds versus 325?’ So then he struck me, and I struck him back.”
But Ayanbadejo conceded that he should have kept his composure rather than retaliate.
“But I wish I had the wherewithal to not be such a scrappy guy, but that’s what I am,” he said. “I’ve always been the underdog, I’ve always been a fighter, I’ve always had to fight for everything that I’ve ever had. That’s just the way that I’m built. I wish I did have the wherewithal to do it differently.”
Ayanbadejo said he intends to confer with his agent Drew Rosenhaus to present their case to the NFL, which will likely fine Ayanbadejo.
“We’ll put a whole presentation together because I know it’s an automatic, considerably large fine,” he said. “So we’ll put a whole presentation together. I think the best thing was, it shows the way I play football. Prior to my ejection, if you look, I helped two Jaguars up during the game – these are guys that I don’t even know – and then a coach gets knocked down on the sideline, and I’m concerned for him. I want to help him up. And then something like this happens. So hopefully, the NFL will be lenient with this fine just like when I had my horse-collar [tackle in the season opener on Sept. 11]. The crazy thing is, I’ve never had one fine in a year, let alone two fines, and I’ve never won a Super Bowl. Maybe there’s a correlation.”
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