With the NFL intensifying its effort to protects quarterbacks, defenders at times surely must feel helpless about pursuing the passer.

Dolphins linebacker Raekwon McMillan evidently felt that and then some this past weekend at Hard Rock Stadium.

Miami’s defense was absolutely thrashed by the Patriots, but the Fins did manage to reach Brady a handful of times. McMillan accounted for one of those plays, but he apparently was met with an order from a referee after hitting New England’s quarterback.

“Tom didn’t say anything but the referee said, ‘Stay off Tom.’ I put my hands up in the air and said “I got you,'” McMillan told the Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson.

For what it’s worth, the Dolphins did register two sacks on Brady, who hadn’t been sacked multiple times in a game since Week 14 last season against Miami.

We’re not sure of the legitimacy of McMillan’s account, but it wouldn’t be totally surprising given the nature of today’s game. But as touched on prior, even a benefit of the doubt for the signal-caller wasn’t going to impact the outcome of this contest between AFC East division rivals.

Thumbnail photo via Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports Images