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Del Rio professes belief


Jack Del Rio calmly put the pieces back together from Sunday's morale-shattering loss to the Tennessee Titans. Del Rio told reporters at Monday's press conference, "What we're left with is each other."

Following two weeks of team chemistry issues, the tenor of Monday's press conference turned to whether or not the Jaguars have the talent worthy of the high expectations for the team heading into this season.

"I'm always going to believe in the guys we have," Del Rio said.

Belief is becoming more difficult for everyone these days, especially following Sunday's second-half collapse, which saw the Jaguars go from a dominant first-half performance that produced a 14-3 lead, to seeing the Titans score 21 unanswered points and win kneeing away.

The repeated question is why? Why did the Jaguars fall apart in the second half? Did they lack effort?

"I think the guys fought hard all night. Momentum changes. When you have a ball go off a guy's foot, that affects you. We needed to make a play. We weren't able to change the negative inertia," Del Rio said.

The kill shots were Titans quarterback Kerry Collins' two long touchdown passes to wide receiver Justin Gage, who got behind cornerbacks Brian Williams and Drayton Florence for three long completions, two for touchdowns. Safety Reggie Nelson was unable to provide help and on Gage's game-winning 56-yard touchdown reception, Nelson hand-fought with Gage for 10-15 yards.

"The guys in the back, their job gets a lot easier if the quarterback is getting knocked around, as our guy was," Del Rio said.

The Jaguars sacked Collins only once, for no yards lost. Reserve tackle Derek Landri is the only Jaguars defensive lineman credited with a quarterback hurry.

Though Del Rio's belief continues, the reality is that his team's roster may not be what it was originally thought to be. Following Sunday's game, Del Rio said: "I assure you, we will continue to look at everything and continue to evaluate."

The Jaguars are six games away from the conclusion of a season that almost certainly will end in Baltimore on Dec. 28, instead of in the playoffs, which was this team's expected destiny. At that point, decisions will begin to be formed.

"It wouldn't be fair or accurate to put it all on David (Garrard)," Del Rio said of the Jaguars quarterback, who endured his worst day of the season; 13 of 30 for 135 yards, no touchdowns, one interception and a 43.1 passer rating. Garrard was sacked four times and hurried 11 times.

Del Rio said the goal for the remainder of the season is "just play good football," but individual performances and the evaluation of those performances will likely go a long way toward the re-shaping of the Jaguars during the offseason. It might be accurate to say that players will be playing for their futures.

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