The following is Jaguars wide receiver Keenan McCardell's diary for Oct. 22-28, 2001.
Monday, October 22, 2001
I think, offensively, we didn't play well against Buffalo. We wanted to go out and work hard during the week knowing we were going to Baltimore and play the world champions. Our thing was first to play better than what we did against Buffalo. For us to play better we had to go out and practice better. Starting the week off, we just wanted to get everybody on the same page and we'll see what will happen. I don't read the sports section of the newspaper and there's no need to read the newspaper and I hope that none of the other guys read the newspaper, because we know what we feel and what we see on film. The media writes about what they think they know, but they don't know the exact outcome of each practice. They don't know what's going on in the meeting rooms and on each and every play. They just pick plays out from here and there and decide to write on stuff. I hope our players don't look at the paper but, rather, look and see what's in our locker room; look at each other for the inspiration to move on and get better.
Tuesday, October 23, 2001
My wife had our twin daughters on October 12th and since then I haven't been getting a lot of sleep. Even though we were coming off a Thursday night game, we had a day off on Tuesday and I just relaxed. I have two new additions to the family so I have to be around the house more and help out. I was fixing bottles and changing diapers. Their names are Nia Nicole and NaKeeya Nicole. I'm the only man in the house and in a few more years they are probably going to run me out of the house. One thing I know is that I'll be loved by all of those girls. My wife's aunt was here and just left town recently. My mom and others will be in later this week and it's fun. We have some great friends. People are cooking for us and I really like that. Right now my wife can't cook and if it wasn't for these people, I'd be at Burger King, McDonald's and Taco Bell trying to get something to eat. I thank the people who have been cooking for us and brining meals over for us. That has really been wonderful.
Wednesday, October 24, 2001
We saw a defense that people were trying to take advantage of. They were trying to spread them out. I think on Wednesday we were just getting used to our game plan. I think we felt our game plan was what we needed for us to be successful. Every time we play those guys we spread them out and we give them good matchups. There are some tough matchups for their defense against our offense. If anything, people should look at us and see how we spread them out. We just wanted to do our stuff and we weren't worried about what other teams had done against Baltimore.
Thursday, October 25, 2001
I was a little psyched up on Thursday. I was just trying to pinpoint some things when it came to third down and red-area situations. Thursday was a day knowing we were going on the road. I was kind of thinking that way, but I really wanted to focus on the day because we were working on third down. After work it was back home to babies, bottles, diapers and very little sleep. They're newborns and it's just fun. One night, I'll have NaKeeya and my wife will have Nia and the next night we'll switch.
Friday, October 26, 2001
Florida-Georgia is the biggest outdoor cocktail party in the world and people were getting ready for that game. It seems like it took their minds away from us and focused it on Florida-Georgia and just let us do our business. Friday we were happy to get on the field to stay in tune and stay focused. That's what a Friday is about, to stay focused, practicing with speed, practicing with confidence. If you have confidence on Friday, hopefully that will carry over to Sunday.
Saturday, October 27, 2001
I felt comfortable stepping off the plane in Baltimore. In some cities you just feel comfortable and Baltimore is just one of those cities. Jimmy, Mark and myself felt comfortable. It's a great stadium to play in and a great city to play in so you just have to go out and perform. I didn't catch any games this Saturday. I went out to eat with a good friend of mine, Earnest Byner. We had some good Asian food from Johnny Wong's. I advise that if you ever get to Baltimore, go to Johnny Wong's Asian Bistro. It's great! I was tired, but I wanted to get something to eat and I didn't want hotel food. I came back, went to sleep before the meeting, woke up and went to the meetings.
Sunday, October 28, 2001
I hardly sit down during a game. I'm just in to it. I love the game so much and I just want our guys to make plays. I'm out there just to let them know I'm cheering for them and I really don't sit down. I'm just pacing up and down the sidelines waiting for our defense to make a play. I saw that every man had a lot of passion. I think we were robbed on the touchdown to Qadry Ismail, but we can't cry over spilled milk. I think we played with a lot of passion, great effort and if we play with that type of passion, this thing is going to turn around. And when it turns around, it's going to snowball the other way. Right now it seems the snowball is getting bigger and bigger because we are going in the wrong direction. We're going up hill, up hill and we're struggling to get over that hump. Once we get over that hump, it's going to start flowing our way. That means we are going to get some breaks, also. I think that if we continue to play with that passion, that desire and that love for the game, I think we are going to change this thing.