There's no questioning Tony Boselli's passion for professional football. Sunday afternoon, as Boselli's first daughter was being born, Boselli was there to provide support for his wife, Angi, but just in case she ran into overtime, Boselli had a television brought into the delivery room.
Ashli Boselli officially entered this world at 3:41 p.m. Sunday, or, at about the same time the NFL's one o'clock games were coming to a conclusion. Ashli's father, the star left offensive tackle whose season was ended prematurely by the need for shoulder surgery, celebrated the birth of his third child, then turned his attention to the 4:05 p.m. kickoff of the Jaguars-Steelers game.
Mother and daughter are doing well, but dad is not. His team lost to the Steelers, 20-7.
"We just can't put a whole game together. The margin for victory is so slim that you can't make mistakes. That's why Pittsburgh wins. They don't make mistakes and they find a way to win at the end," Boselli said.
This was another tough Monday; for the Jaguars because they have now lost six of their last seven games, and for Boselli because the Jaguars are his favorite team and because he's wearing a contraption on his upper body that requires his left arm to be in a raised position 24 hours a day. Boselli must remain in the devise for 4-6 weeks, requiring him to sleep in a reclining chair.
Recently, Boselli underwent surgery on the labrum in his left shoulder, only a few weeks after having the labrum in his right shoulder repaired. The right shoulder problem was in the front, which didn't require the harness in recovery.
"Pittsburgh is good. They're smart. They don't turn the ball over and they say, 'we're going to beat you at the end.' That's how games are decided. Out of 13 games, 10 of them are probably decided in the last five minutes," Boselli said.
Coach Tom Coughlin concurs. "It reminded me of some of the early games in Pittsburgh," he said of Sunday's loss, which seemed to hinge on three plays in which quarterback Jon Quinn was stripped of the football while being sacked.
Quinn replaced Mark Brunell as the Jaguars' starting quarterback when it was decided prior to kickoff that Brunell's injured right quadriceps would not permit him to play. Quinn responded by completing 17 of 31 passes for 225 yards and by rushing for a team-high 39 yards, but he was not able to produce any points.
With the ball at the Steelers 18-yard line late in the game and the Jaguars trailing 13-7, Quinn was sacked and stripped of the ball by Joey Porter. It was the game's deciding play.
"He had people open. In a three-step drop, that ball has to come out. The quick-out (Sean Dawkins) was there; (Kyle) Brady on the hook. He should've thrown the ball," Coughlin said of Quinn, whose hesitation permitted Porter to close for the sack.
Quinn took the rap for the loss, but he was clearly victimized by an offensive line that was bowled over by the Steelers. When a reporter singled out center Jeff Smith today, Coughlin said: "There were indications when each one of our linemen took turns getting run over. If there's an area of disappointment, that's it.
"People came to the ballpark ready to play. I saw it in their eyes. All of those things were there. What wasn't there was the win at the end of the game," Coughlin added.
It has been a repeated theme in the Jaguars' losses. They play almost well enough to win, only to fail at crunch time.
"They're good enough. Find a way to win. Somebody make a play," Coughlin said.