JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — There was not much sympathy in the Jaguars' locker room for Miami quarterback Dan Marino, although Saturday's 62-7 defeat might have been his last chance to win a Super Bowl before retiring.
"I want to get my ring sized just as much as he does," Jacksonville tackle Leon Searcy said. "Maybe some day I will take my kids to the Hall of Fame to see his picture, but right now I want to go to the Super Bowl."
Sentiment had favored Marino, who lost to San Francisco, 38-16, in Super Bowl XIX in his second season in the league, but hasn't returned to the league's showcase game since.
"The only thing that came to my mind right away while watching him stand there on the sideline is that he has nothing to be ashamed of," Jacksonville safety Carnell Lake said. "He's had one tremendous career, and even though he didn't play his best football today, there are a lot of people on this team who have tremendous respect for him."
Jacksonville defensive end Tony Brackens circled Marino in the first quarter and slapped the ball out of his hand, and then fell on it, recovering the fumble. Teammate Lonnie Marts fell on top of Brackens and patted him on the rear end for making the play. Miami tackle Richmond Webb also stood over Brackens, but never touched him.
Referee Ed Hochuli, meanwhile, never blew the whistle.
Brackens stood and started celebrating--imagine if he had spiked the ball. Teammate Joel Smeenge came over and patted Brackens on the helmet, and Hochuli made no move to crash the party.
Miami guard Kevin Donnalley touched Brackens, but pulled his arm back. Jaguar defensive lineman Bryce Paup began pushing Brackens toward the end zone.
"I thought I was down until one of the guys was pushing me in the back and yelling, 'run,' " Brackens said. "I was fortunate to get into the end zone."
Many expect Johnson to quit, but after surrendering 62 points to Jacksonville, some wonder if owner Wayne Huizenga will be willing to name Johnson's protege, Dave Wannstedt, as his replacement.
Wannstedt has been working with the Dolphins' defense.