Del Rio stands firm

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Jack Del Rio gave a terse review of his team's performance in a 13-10 loss to the Houston Texans on Sunday, then braced against a hard line of questioning by the media.

"We lost the turnover battle, we lost time of possession and we had at least seven dropped passes. It could be a loss by a lot more," Del Rio said.

Reporters' questions at Monday's press conference were directed at offensive tackle Khalif Barnes' weekend drunk-driving arrest, and a sideline incident involving wide receivers Reggie Williams and Ernest Wilford.

"I've delivered the message," Del Rio said when asked if he's spoken to Barnes. "I've been very crystal clear, very firm. It's my hope he and we will all learn and move on."

Wilford said he intervened late in the game on Sunday when Williams exchanged words with fans behind the Jaguars bench. Del Rio said he was told Wilford and Williams had clashed but, when informed that Wilford was attempting to calm Williams, Del Rio said: "Sounds like a teammate being a good teammate.

"These are the kinds of questions that lead me to question what your motive is in asking the question. This football team is a good football team that lost a close game," Del Rio said.

It was the Jaguars' second loss to the Texans in a month, which caused a reporter to pursue a line of questioning about inconsistency. The Jaguars have beaten the Cowboys, Jets and Eagles, all of whom have 5-4 records, and the Jaguars shut out the Steelers in week two of the season.

"Is that how you see the league? Do you think teams lose because they're inconsistent? It's tough to win each and every week. There are no guarantees it's going to be good enough. I don't ascribe to the theory of inconsistent play," Del Rio said. "Is Houston better than you think? Maybe they're a pretty good football team. Maybe they're not being consistent enough. All I know is that it's tough to win in this league."

Del Rio confirmed that quarterback Byron Leftwich was in Birmingham, Ala., where Leftwich's left ankle was to be examined on Monday by renowned surgeon Dr. James Andrews. "He's getting a second opinion," Del Rio said of Leftwich, who will likely require surgery on the ankle.

Back in Jacksonville, the Jaguars wide receivers are likely to get a "second opinion" on their performance. What's the remedy for dropped passes?

"Work at it. Challenge guys. Making sure we're doing the things we need to do to be the best we can be. We gotta get (Cortez Hankton) some more reps. The best way to challenge guys is with playing time. They tend to separate themselves," Del Rio said.

Quarterback David Garrard was saddled with four interceptions on Sunday, but only one of them was his fault. Garrard finished the game with a 25.5 passer rating.

"I think he was OK. A quarterback is tied to a lot of other people. He did not stay with the progression the way we'd like him to on a few plays. The end result was not reflective of his effort," Del Rio said.

"I'd like to have an explosive offense, one that can run the ball and control the clock and make plays down the field. Right now, we're coming up short in the passing game," Del Rio offered.

That part of his football team he couldn't defend, but the coach was quick to defend his team's overall performance this season and its stability.

"There are a lot of good things going on and that kind of gets lost. This is a good, hard-working football team," Del Rio said. "We're fighting for a wild card spot. There's a lot of football left to be played."

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