Jack Del Rio sounded like one of those college coaches who use every opportunity to flatter their upcoming opponent. Del Rio even went so far on Wednesday to refer to the Jaguars' next opponent, the Tennessee Titans, as "Goliath."
Del Rio praised the 9-0 Titans at his Wednesday press conference, at which Del Rio offers his view of the Jaguars' next opponent. The Jaguars head coach said the Titans may have the coach of the year, the assistant coach of the year, the league's player of the year and rookie of the year.
"The best team in the league … tough to score on … a veteran quarterback playing like an MVP candidate. Goliath is coming in. I think (TV) moved it to four o'clock so they could see the Titans go to 10-0," Del Rio said.
Del Rio's intent in praising the Titans is clearly for the purpose of focusing his own team on the task at hand, which is considerable. The Titans began the Jaguars' demise in the season-opener and coach Jeff Fisher's team is in position to deliver the kill shot this Sunday at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium.
"They're finding a way to get it done," Del Rio said of the Titans, who have the league's number five defense and number six running game. So how did the Titans win in Chicago last Sunday, a day when the Titans' running game was stopped cold? Quarterback Kerry Collins sprang to life with a dominant passing performance.
Be that as it may, the formula for beating the Titans remains the same: Run the ball and stop the run. It's very simple.
"I guess it's so simple no one has done it," Del Rio joked.
Can the Jaguars, 14th in the league in rushing, run the ball on the Titans?
"That'll be tough to do. We'll see. They're awfully good. Not many people have," Del Rio said.
The Titans shut down the Jaguars' running game in the season opener and should that happen again this Sunday, the Jaguars would find themselves having to throw against a pass-defense that is number two in the league in interceptions and number nine in sacks per pass play.
What's at stake for the Jaguars?
"Moving forward and finishing our season strong," quarterback David Garrard said. "Everybody needs to have the confidence we can do that."
Del Rio prefers a sharper focus.
"What's at stake? A chance to win our fifth ballgame," Del Rio said.
And a chance for David to beat Goliath, too, it would seem.