Quarterback David Garrard received a solid vote of confidence from his coach on Sunday, a day following a 31-29, wild-card playoff win that was decided by Garrard's 32-yard run on fourth and two.
"We feel good about David. We feel he'll grow from this experience," coach Jack Del Rio said when asked to comment on Garrard's worst passing performance of the season.
Garrard completed just nine of 21 passes for 140 yards, one touchdown and two costly second-half interceptions that left Garrard with a 41.9 passer rating, by far his worst of the season. Garrard, of course, was in his first-ever postseason start.
"You're talking about two really good quarterbacks who'd like to have a quarter disappear," Del Rio said of Garrard and the Steelers' Ben Roethlisberger, both of whom experienced a brief interceptions flurry. "Those things happen."
Garrard's run set up a game-winning field goal by Josh Scobee with 37 seconds to play in the game. Garrard's run was one of three or four big plays in the game that turned the tide in the Jaguars' favor, despite the Steelers' wide statistical advantage.
"We did enough to win," Del Rio said. "Sometimes the numbers can get a little skewed. The bottom line is we did enough to win the game and advance in the tournament.
"What a thrilling ballgame," Del Rio said of the win at Heinz Field.
The Jaguars would have to wait until early this evening to know where they will play next weekend. If San Diego beats Tennessee in Sunday's late-afternoon game, the Jaguars will play on Saturday night at New England. Should Tennessee win, the Jaguars would play on Sunday at Indianapolis.
"Good football teams do well whether it's at home, on the road, in the cold or if it's hot. We've got a good football team. We've had a good football team the last three years," Del Rio said.
One of the top news items this week will be the condition of defensive tackle John Henderson's hamstring, which he injured early in the game on Saturday. Del Rio declined to provide information on Henderson until late in the week when he is required to provide a practice participation report.
Del Rio was asked about the expected status of linebacker Mike Peterson, who has been out of action with a broken hand since week 11. The injury required surgery.
"The first thing I need to see is clearance from the doctor," Del Rio said.
Peterson told reporters he expected to be ready to play in the Jaguars' next playoff game. Del Rio smiled when informed of Peterson's comments.
"Clearly, he's being very optimistic. Until the doctors clear him, it's not even open to discussion. We have to do the right thing," Del Rio said.