The following is Jaguars wide receiver Keenan McCardell's diary for Nov. 5-11, 2001.
Monday, November 5, 2001
We were very frustrated on Monday because we let one get away, again, two weeks in a row. We felt like we played well enough to win. We outplayed those guys. We went down the line but just didn't the final three minutes of the game. It really hurt us on the way back from Tennessee. We kept saying that we have to do something to get over this hump because we are playing to well. We wanted to get back here in our locker room and say we played well enough to win. We don't need to get down on ourselves. Let's go out this week, prepare and get ready to win. For the second week in a row, instant replay came into our game. Sometimes it helps you and sometimes it hurts you. The past two weeks it hurt us because if we are going to have instant replay they should be able to see every angle. By me being a player representative, we talk about it at our rep meetings and it's a split most of the time on instant replay. It's basically on the competition committee of coaches. They decide if it is good or not. They may ask us a couple of questions about it, but our say really doesn't matter. Looking at the film, we saw people played hard. We played hard all the way to that three-minute mark and we, as an offense, just couldn't do what we wanted to do to keep those guys off the field. People looked at the film and said that we were not going to let this happen again. We are going to play all the way to the wire.
Tuesday, November 6, 2001
My days off are still rocking and rolling with the children. We took them to the doctor for another checkup. They are doing fine. I'm going out buying clothes and pampers. That's what I do on my Tuesdays. On my days off I used to have the chance to play a little golf, but now my golf is changing diapers and making bottles. My oldest daughter is a helper. Sometimes she gets into that spoiled mode and wants to be the baby, but for the most part she's a helper. She wants to take care of her sisters and that's good for my wife and myself. The more that she can take on is good.
Wednesday, November 7, 2001
We needed to work. We needed to work all the way through practice. Not to say we don't, but we made a conscious effort of working at the end like we were fresh from the beginning of practice. Play all the way to the end; don't play three-fourths of a game, play the whole game! That's something we did in practice. It was good to see Fred Taylor trying to get back into practice. It gives you a little hope, some motivation, however, you have to go out and prepare yourself as though if he was there or not. We have to go and prepare with all of our guns anyway. With him out there we have to be on top of our game.
Thursday, November 8, 2001
We felt that if we picked up the blitz, we would have a chance to make some plays. That was a big emphasis for the offense, to pick up the blitz. We had to pick up the blitz because the Bengals were blitzing and blitzing and blitzing. They were trying to cause disruption in the passing game. We figured if we could pick up the blitz we could make some plays and hurt these guys. One of my keys to the game was to keep the intensity we had the last two weeks and just keep playing. Another key was to play the whole game. That's something we made an effort to do. We turned something that was bad with two losses into something good, by keeping the spirit of knowing we were playing well and I think we did that.
Friday, November 9, 2001
It was nice to have some home-cooking over the weekend. To see our fans and just to be back in the stadium was great and I was looking forward to it. The road trips made us feel like we had been on the road forever. It was good knowing someone was cheering for you. We realized we had some tweaking to do on Friday. We just kept saying it's time. It's time for us to win. When we walked off the field on Friday, everybody knew it was our time to win.
Saturday, November 10, 2001
My parents came up to see the babies for the first time, which was good. They usually come up for the games, but we've been on the road. It was fun to see my mom and my dad hold their grandkids. That was cool. I was just lying back, chilling, getting ready to get my mind right. As you know, my wife gives me advice on the game and my mom used to back in college but now she doesn't say too much. She's, like, "It's a job and you have to go do it." Other than that, she really doesn't say too much.
Sunday, November 11, 2001
In the first half on offense, we felt like we didn't play the way we wanted to play. Our defense was holding their man. They were getting their man and we came in the locker room and I just said to the offense that the defense was getting their man and we aren't doing anything. I didn't yell or scream but I was just saying it's time for us to hold up our end of the bargain. We have to hold our end up if we want to win. We came out in the second half and the line made a conscious effort to establish the line of scrimmage; not just to establish the run, but establish the line of scrimmage in pass-blocking and in run-blocking. In today's NFL, if you can control the line of scrimmage, you will win a lot of games. The mood in the locker room was great. It was good, but it was business. We said this is the first one and we need the next one against Pittsburgh. It was a good win, but we have business ahead of us. We put ourselves behind the eight-ball and now it's time to take ourselves from behind the eight-ball and take care of business. Coming off of my surgery earlier in the year, I feel that I'm back. I'm back and it's a matter of opportunities. When you get your opportunity, you have to take advantage of it. I love to have my number called. I think I'm back at where I need to be. I'm not saying I wasn't there when I first started. People may assume that, but I felt I was there. People look into the injury thing a little too deep because I look at it and say if I'm on the field, I'm going to make my plays. If people want to say the hernia slowed me, so be it, but I'm back now. I want to go out and play hard each and every week. That's all I want to do. I want to go out, play hard and get wins. The thing I want is that when people turn on that film, they'll be, like, that number 87 is busting his butt and that's just the way I like to play.