Tom Coughlin is demanding his team's best effort for their final seven games of the season, which the Jaguars must sweep to have any chance of making the playoffs for a fifth consecutive season.
"I've tried to make (the players) understand that they've had their (rest), and I'd like their total commitment for this seven-game season," Coughlin told reporters today, prior to practice and the start of on-field preparations for this Sunday's game against visiting Seattle.
"November and December in this league, it's about being physical. The physical teams win," Coughlin added.
His team played that style of football in its last game, a 23-17, overtime win in Dallas, in which the Jaguars threw their fewest number of passes this season. With a cast of unknowns, the Jaguars played their best football of the season. Now, with several of their front-line players healthier than they've been in weeks, Coughlin expects his team to play up to its preseason billing.
The only starter who is listed as "out" of Sunday's game is middle linebacker Hardy Nickerson, who underwent arthroscopic knee surgery last Friday. Other players, such as Jimmy Smith and Gary Walker, returned to practice, though those two were in limited capacities today.
"If we can bottle that for seven games, we're going to be in the hunt," quarterback Mark Brunell said of the Jaguars' performance against the Cowboys.
For only the second time in his career, Brunell will be facing his former coach, Mike Holmgren, who traded Brunell to the Jaguars from Green Bay the night before the 1995 draft. In the fourth game of the '95 season, Brunell made his second pro start in a loss to Holmgren and the Packers.
Since then, Holmgren has won a Super Bowl, played in two, and moved from Green Bay to Seattle. However, success has not followed him. The Seahawks are 4-13 since an 8-2 start last season.
"I'm looking forward to seeing coach Holmgren; saying hello to him," said Brunell, who could end up back with Holmgren if the Jaguars are unable to re-sign Brunell. He has a year remaining on his contract, but his cap hit next season is so high that it could force a decision on his future at the conclusion of this season.
When he was asked what he learned from Holmgren, Brunell said, "Got an hour? What impressed me most about coach Holmgren was that he was concerned about your development as a quarterback, and he was concerned about you as a person.
"If he wanted that ball thrown on the right shoulder, you better throw it on the right shoulder or you're going to hear about it. You worked hard, you focused and you enjoyed playing for him," Brunell added.