Tom Coughlin was diplomatic, if not evasive, in answering questions about new quarterback Kent Graham's role with the Jaguars.
"The plan all along was to give snaps to David Garrard and at the conclusion of the preseason to make a decision to move forward. I wanted to get an experienced guy in here to raise the sophistication of the (quarterback) meetings," Coughlin told reporters during the coach's noon press conference today.
"Kent Graham could be a number two without a lot of (practice repetitions), and he's been in this system," Coughlin added, referring to brief stints in Pittsburgh and Houston, where former Jaguars offensive coordinators Kevin Gilbride and Chris Palmer coached Graham.
But when Coughlin was asked directly if Graham immediately became the Jaguars' number two quarterback behind Mark Brunell, the coach declined to answer. "I'm not about to say that," he said.
"I'm excited about the opportunity. If I get an opportunity to play, I'll make sure I'm prepared and I'll give our team a chance to win," Graham said.
Graham was claimed off waivers from the Houston Texans. He's in the 11th year of a journeyman career that has seen him play for five teams.
Today, the Jaguars announced two more waiver-wire claims: cornerback Robert Bean from Cincinnati and guard/center Drew Inzer from New England. To make room for Bean and Inzer, the Jaguars released offensive lineman Raleigh Roundtree and cornerback Damen Wheeler.
Bean, 24, played in 27 games for the Bengals the last two seasons, starting eight times, after being drafted in the fifth round in 2000. He has career totals of 61 tackles, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, one interception and 12 special teams tackles. Bean, 5-11, 178, played two years at Mississippi State and is a native of Decatur, Ga.
Inzer, 22, spent the entire 2001 season on the Patriots' practice squad after signing with the team as an undrafted rookie. He was a two-year letterman at Brown, transferring from Boston University after it dropped football. He was All-Ivy League as an offensive tackle in 2000. The 6-4, 305-pound Inzer was the Rhode Island High School Player of the Year as a senior.
"Two opportunities for players who could upgrade us," Coughlin said of Bean and Inzer.
He was immediately asked if he plans any other waiver-wire moves, specifically at the placekicker position, where rookie Hayden Epstein has a very tenuous hold on the job.
"We studied them all," Coughlin said of the available kickers. "At this point in time, I'm going to stay right where we are."
Coughlin talked of his excitement for Sunday's season-opener against the visiting Indianapolis Colts. He repeated a "let's play" theme. "Let's see how we perform under fire," he said when asked to give an assessment of the changes to his team's roster over the last year.
He seemed to have his usual regular-season vim and vigor. "I hope it's the normal weather at this time of the year; maybe 110," he said when asked if the Jaguars will have a decided weather advantage over a dome team such as the Colts.
Meanwhile, quarterback Mark Brunell concerned himself with new Colts head coach Tony Dungy's defensive scheme.
"Aggressive, very fast; you've got to be on your toes," Brunell said. "They've been very basic on film. They haven't shown their full blitzes. That's the tough part of being in an opener. You don't know what you're going to get," Brunell added.
The Colts could say the same about the Jaguars, whose roster includes 22 players who weren't with the team on opening day a year ago.