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Brunell gets the news


(Oct. 8)--The phone rang with the news Mark Brunell had come to expect. Coach Jack Del Rio informed Brunell yesterday that rookie Byron Leftwich has, in fact, secured the starting quarterback job and that Brunell will become the team's number two quarterback as soon as he is fully recovered from the elbow injury he sustained on Sept. 21.

"I feel like it was the right thing to do. I made that call," Del Rio told reporters today, referring to his decision to put Leftwich at the top of the team's depth chart at quarterback.

"This is a very classy guy," Del Rio added of Brunell, the Jaguars' starting quarterback from the fifth game of the team's inaugural season in 1995 until the fourth game of this season. "He's assured me he'll be a true professional."

When asked if he believed he had made it very clear to Brunell that Leftwich is the team's starter and that Brunell is number two, Del Rio responded, "Correct."

Brunell confirmed his telephone conversation with his coach and told reporters he would not ask to be traded or released.

"He was honest and that's all you can ask for. I appreciate that he told me where they're headed. The kid had a good game last week and you don't fix what's not broken. If this was week to week, I doubt he would've called me at home to tell me," Brunell said.

"I'm not going to ask to be traded because I'm not playing. If called upon, I'll be ready to roll. There has to be a team interested in you. To my knowledge, that hasn't happened," he added. "I'm not going to ask to be released. I'm not going to go out like that. There's a chance the team may need me. You handle this like a team player, a professional."

Brunell painted a picture of having accepted his new role with the team, and that could include serving as the Jaguars' "scout team" quarterback in practice. "I don't have so much pride that I wouldn't be willing to do that," he said. "I want to start but in the role I have I'm going to give it all I've got and I'm not going to cause a problem."

The stitches in his left elbow were removed on Sunday, but the wound re-opened. "It needs to heal up. I'm not out of the woods, yet," he said, which means Brunell could remain the team's "third quarterback" this Sunday when the Jaguars host the Miami Dolphins. He did not participate in today's practice.

Meanwhile, the Jaguars announced several roster moves this afternoon. Cornerback Brad Franklin and linebacker Eric Westmoreland have been waived. Cornerback Chris Brown has been activated from the practice squad and cornerback Blue Adams has been signed from Tampa Bay's practice squad to the Jaguars' active roster. In addition, the Jaguars re-signed defensive end Michael Josiah to their practice squad.

Westmoreland was waived injured and will be put on the Jaguars' injured reserve list after he clears waivers. He is expected to have knee surgery.

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