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Coughlin dealing with grim circumstances


Coach Tom Coughlin acknowledged his team's woes, during a press conference this afternoon that sounded more like a medical briefing.

"(Tony) Brackens is a medial collateral ligament (of the right knee). The doctor said it's 4-6 weeks," Coughlin said of his defensive end, who was hobbling on crutches this morning, 12 hours after he was hit high and low by two Dallas blockers.

"Is Fernando (Bryant) going to be able to come back? Can Keenan (McCardell) come back? Where's (Kyle) Brady? We've got to practice. This is not a team that's ready to go out and play," Coughlin said.

Having concluded a preseason that was more disappointing than its 2-2 record would suggest, the Jaguars will cut their roster to its final 53 this Sunday. Then, the focus will turn to the Pittsburgh Steelers, against whom the Jaguars will open the 2001 regular season.

"Where are we?" Coughlin asked in assessing the state of his team. "We're going to eliminate some 21 players. Those who are there have to realize they're it, this is the football team. Is it as good as it could be, or as good as it has been in past years? Obviously, not," Coughlin said.

"When you make this cut, hopefully, they'll be players who can play in the NFL. All I can do is continue to pound on our people to achieve that goal. The opportunity, with three of our first four games at home, is a great chance for us," he added.

One of the key roster decisions Coughlin has to make this weekend involved his second and third quarterback spots. Neither Jamie Martin nor Jonathan Quinn did much in the preseason that would allow them to feel comfortable today.

"Neither one distinguished himself. I'll just make a decision. It'll be the longest waiver-wire study in history Sunday night," Coughlin added.

The Jaguars claimed two players off waivers last week, in the NFL's mandatory cut to 65. They are likely to make even more claims following Sunday's cut to 53.

"In my mind, they're done," Coughlin said of the cuts, "but there's still more discussions to go."

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.

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