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September 15, 2013

Claiborne says third-and-10 slant was a time to be aggressive; Kiffin agrees

Morris Claiborne said as a cornerback, he doesn’t play to be conservative. So he wasn’t playing conservative against a third-and-10 slant pass that resulted in a pass interference penalty on him, giving Kansas City a first down that let them run the clock almost all the way out.

“That ain’t how we play,” he said, asked if he could have allowed the catch and made the tackle, perhaps short of the first down, instead of trying to break up the pass. “When you’re out there at corner, you’re not trying to give up anything. You’re going to be aggressive. That was the opportunity, I felt like, to be aggressive. It was just called PI.”

Defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin defended the second-year cornerback.

“I don’t think you can coach a guy to just make a tackle and not try to break it up,” he said. “Not unless you have something where you have a guy doubled or something like that. In that situation, you didn’t know. We were just playing tight coverage because we didn’t know who they were throwing the ball to.”

Claiborne said, of course, he disagreed with the call.

Kiffin said he never saw a replay so he couldn’t judge it.

Coach Jason Garrett was mild with his criticism.

“It seemed like it was an aggressive call from my vantage point,” he said. “You always talk about what they need to do in that situation. What they needed was a first down. They did have yards to make, and he found himself in a man-to-man situation, and he reacted the way he reacted. You certainly don’t want to have a penalty in that situation and give them an automatic first down.”

-- Carlos Mendez

Twitter @calexmendez

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