Skip to main content

Jaguars News | Jacksonville Jaguars -

Del Rio won't tip his hand


The Jaguars aren't saying what players won't see action and how much playing time others might see, but they're guaranteeing an all-out effort in their otherwise meaningless regular-season finale this Sunday in Houston.

"There is always a plan and each week you have to adjust to the circumstances," coach Jack Del Rio told reporters on Wednesday.

The circumstances this week are that this game will have no effect on the Jaguars' playoff seeding. Win or lose, the Jaguars will be the fifth seed in the AFC playoffs, therefore, the Jags have nothing to gain on Sunday other than another notch on their regular-season gun belt.

So what's the plan? Likely, it's to get rest for key players.

Stay hot or stay healthy? The Jaguars will probably try to do both, with a little playing time early for the regulars and a lot of playing time later for reserves. In a perfect world, the starters would light it up early and then repair to the bench.

"I'm not going to get into who I'm going to play. We want to play good football. We want to make sure we play well," Del Rio said. "It's going to get a lot of attention. Last week, it was the Pro Bowl. This week, it's are you going to rest them?"

"We're focused on playing the Houston Texans," quarterback David Garrard said. "I'm definitely going to be out there. How long?"

Garrard has, for all intents and purposes, already capped the best season of his life. He's the NFL's third-ranked passer behind Tom Brady and Ben Roethlisberger, in a season that began with Del Rio's stunning announcement nine days before the season-opener that Garrard would replace Byron Leftwich as the team's starting quarterback.

Has it been a satisfying season, Garrard was asked?

"Personally, it definitely has. It couldn't be any better. We would've loved to have clinched the division, but just getting (into the playoffs) is good enough," Garrard said.

The 2007 season has also been a personally gratifying season for veteran running back Fred Taylor, who has broken the 10,000-yard rushing mark and has moved into 17th place on the all-time rushing list. In the final month of this season, Taylor has become one of the darlings of the game and, barring injury, will play in his first-ever Pro Bowl.

Is he expecting some playing time in Houston?

"I think I could take a couple of days (off) and still be ready," he said with a smile. "Whether I play or not, my preparation doesn't change."

Del Rio said he is treating this week as he would any other in the regular season. He wants his players to keep a sharp focus on the Texans, who've announced that Sunday's game will be an official "Battle Red" day, which means the Texans will wear their red uniform. The Texans are 5-2 all-time and 2-1 against the Jaguars in "Battle Red" games.

"We want to stick with our process. I think that's a large reason we have been a more consistent team this year," Del Rio said.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content