Mark Brunell won't submit to the notion of panic, but he admits there's reason to be concerned about the poor performance of the Jaguars passing game during training camp.
"Certainly there's need for concern because we're a day closer (to the start of the season). There needs to be a sense of urgency," Brunell said.
Tomorrow night, at Alltel Stadium, Brunell and the Jaguars offense hope to improve significantly over their performance in Atlanta last Friday, when the Jaguars passed for an embarrassing 29 net yards. The opponent tomorrow in game two of the preseason is Tampa Bay, which features one of NFL's best defenses.
Coach Tom Coughlin has acknowledged the passing game's failures in training camp, but the coach remains encouraged by his team's development in training camp, which ends with two practices on Monday.
"I'm not disappointed at all. Do you think it all goes smoothly? Never," Coughlin said. "I look at the development and I see people improving. It's a plus."
The most noticeable improvement in this training camp has occurred on the defensive side of the ball, where cornerback Jason Craft has been the leader of "Camp Interception."
"That might just be good for the whole team, knowing the defense is doing so well," said Craft, who attributes a portion of the defense's success to a simpler scheme. "We don't have as many plays as we used to have," he said.
Craft and Fernando Bryant have drawn raves as potentially representing the best cornerback tandem in Jaguars history. That's how impressive the two have been in this training camp. Tomorrow night, Craft and Bryant will have a chance to prove themselves against Tampa Bay wide receivers Keyshawn Johnson and Keenan McCardell.
"When game time comes, we have to show it. That's a pretty good test," Craft said.
Game two of the preseason will offer several measuring sticks, but the spotlight will be on the Jaguars' passing game. Though it may not be a time for panic, concern will intensify if Brunell and company don't show improvement tomorrow night.
Vic Ketchman is the Senior Editor of Jaguars Inside Report, the official team newspaper of the Jacksonville Jaguars. One-year subscriptions may be purchased by calling 1-888-846-5247.