Baltimore Colt Coach Mike McCormack said today it was a mistake to bench Curtis Dickey after a spat between Dickey and quarterback Bert Jones at the start of Sunday's loss to the New York Jets.
After the team's top running back muffed two plays in the opening minutes, Jones openly scolded him on the playing field.
"I talked with Curtis Dickey this morning and I admitted I should've put him back in the second half," said McCormack at a news conference about the Colts' ninth straight loss, a 41-14 rout that dropped them to 1-9.
The coach said Dickey, the team's leading rusher who told reporters Sunday he was "real mad" because he was pulled from the game, would start against the Philadelphia Eagles next week.
McCormack denied Dickey's charge that he was pulled out of the game because Jones wanted him out. "That does not happen. I make all decisions on who comes out and who goes in," he said.
"It looked to me like he wasn't ready to get involved in the ballgame," McCormack had said following the game.
McCormack was calmly relating why he had removed Dickey when, suddenly, after a broadcaster said Jones had reported Dickey had fallen asleep at team meetings, McCormack erupted. He trembled so much that he had to put his cup of coffee down. His voice shook with emotion.
"Anything that comes out of a meeting is bad," McCormack shouted. "Players talking like that is bad, it's out of place.
"What goes on in this (players) meeting room, stays in this room," he said. "There a lot of things I can talk about. But that's wrong."
When he met Dickey today, McCormack said, "I explained why I took him out and I admitted I should have put him back in the second half. But Zack (Dixon) was going good, and I didn't.
"What concerned Curtis the most," McCormack said after the private meeting, "was that he felt he was pulled out by Bert Jones. But I make the decisions about who comes out and who goes in."