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Coughlin will handle Brackens matter internally


Tom Coughlin said he'll discipline Tony Brackens beyond whatever the league fines Brackens for the defensive end's outburst in Sunday's loss to the Washington Redskins.

Brackens kneed and kicked Redskins guard Jay Leeuwenburg, after he had seemingly tackled Brackens cleanly following a fumble recovery. The play occurred with 1:50 to play in the first half and the Redskins leading 21-16, and resulted in Brackens being disqualified from the game.

Coughlin referred to Brackens' outburst as a "selfish act. It did not have a whole lot to do with team. You need every guy you have. To lose a guy of that ability range for an entire half is not a recommended way to try to win," Coughlin said.

"He was in the wrong," he added. "The league will take action."

When asked if he will discipline Brackens beyond league penalties, much as San Francisco suspended Terrell Owens a few weeks ago, Coughlin said: "I'll deal with it. I'll deal with it myself."

Meanwhile, the Jaguars continue to suffer the penalty of injury. Today, they received word that right offensive tackle Zach Wiegert suffered a torn ACL in Sunday's game and is lost for the season. Left offensive tackle Tony Boselli is the only starting offensive linemen from last year's team who is currently in the lineup.

Following a loss Sunday that dropped the Jaguars' record to 2-6, Coughlin referred to a lack of discipline, during postgame remarks to the media that were extremely stern. "I'm upset after every loss. Generally, I can control it better than I did last night," Coughlin told reporters today.

One player Coughlin said lacks discipline is first-round pick R. Jay Soward, who accounted for 14 of the Redskins' points, scored his first-ever pro touchdown, then dropped what should've been his second touchdown catch of the day. Soward's inability to catch the ball consistently began in mini-camp last spring and has not eased.

"We've got some major league carelessness and it starts with watching the ball into your hands. He'll go from an acceptable game to a poor game. He has a tendency to take his eyes off the ball," Coughlin said of Soward.

Soward was benched late in the second quarter, but Jimmy Smith re-aggravated his knee injury and his status is uncertain for this Sunday's game in Dallas, and that means Soward is likely to have a chance to redeem himself.

Smith said he'll play against the Cowboys, and Coughlin expects defensive tackle Gary Walker to fight off the effects of his knee strain and be available against the Cowboys.

Boselli is one of eight players remaining from the 1995 inaugural-season team, and he is clearly irritated by the performance of this year's club, considered to be a Super Bowl contender in the preseason.

"You play as hard as you can. If you can't do that, you should leave," said Boselli, clearly one of the Jaguars' team leaders and a player who supports Coughlin's ways.

"He's the coach. If he feels it necessary to start calling guys out, it's his prerogative. We're not going to turn this into Tom against us or us against Tom. That's ridiculous. We're all in this together," Boselli added.

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