THIS WEEK: Still in search of their first-ever victory after four losses, the Jacksonville Jaguars move into the second month of their first season when they travel to Houston to face the Oilers at 3:00 p.m. CDT (4:00 EDT) Sunday, October 1 in the Houston Astrodome. This week's game is the first for the Jaguars in a domed stadium and marks the first time they will play a team for the second time. The 0-4 Jaguars are coming off a 24-14 loss to the Green Bay Packers on Sunday night, while the Oilers are 2-2 after beating the Cincinnati Bengals 38-28.
RADIO BROADCAST: All of the Jaguars' games are broadcast on WOKV (690 AM) and WKQL (96.9 FM) and the Jaguars Radio Network, with Brian Sexton calling the action and analysis by Matt Robinson and Deron Cherry. Jennifer Kumik and Bill Riley, sports director of WOKV, handle the pre-game and half-time shows. More than 30 affiliates in five states on the Jaguars Radio Network will also broadcast the game. Sexton, 26, is the NFL's youngest play-by-play announcer, while Robinson and Cherry bring a total of 17 years of NFL playing experience to the broadcast booth.
TELEVISION BROADCAST: Sunday's game will be televised regionally by NBC and locally on WTLV, Channel 12. Calling the action will be broadcasters Jim Donovan and Bob Golic.
THE SERIES: This is the second game between the Jaguars and Oilers. They met for the first time on September 3 on the opening day of the 1995 season in the inaugural game in Jaguars history. The Oilers won 10-3. Houston won the coin toss and moved the length of the field, scoring on a 4-yard pass from Chris Chandler to Haywood Jeffires. The rest of the scoring was a 19-yard field goal by Houston's Al Del Greco and a 26-yarder by Jacksonville's Mike Hollis.
THE OPPONENT: The Oilers are a charter member of the American Football League, starting play in 1960. Houston won the first two AFL championships behind the passing of George Blanda to Charlie Hennigan. They lost the 1962 AFL title game and have not been back to a league championship game since then. Behind the running of future Hall of Famer Earl Campbell, the Oilers advanced to conference championship games in 1978 and '79. They struggled again for a period of years, then advanced to the playoffs every season from 1987 to '93, though losing in the first round of the playoffs five of the last six years. In 1994, they struggled to a 2-14 record as defensive coordinator Jeff Fisher took over as head coach at midseason.
A VICTORY OVER THE OILERS WOULD: Be the Jaguars' first victory ever and be only the third time an expansion team has won one of its first five games. In 1961 the Minnesota Vikings won their first game, and in 1968 the Cincinnati Bengals won their second and third games.
THE COACHES: Jacksonville head coach Tom Coughlin led the Jaguars to two victories in five preseason games this year and is 0-4 during the regular season. Coughlin served as the head coach at Boston College from 1991 to '93, compiling a record of 21-13-1, with two appearances in bowl games and a ranking of 13th in the final AP poll of 1993. He was previously an NFL assistant coach with the New York Giants (wide receivers, 1988-90), Green Bay Packers (wide receivers and passing game coordinator 1986-87) and Philadelphia Eagles (wide receivers, 1984-85).
Houston coach Jeff Fisher is in his first full season as the Oilers' head coach after taking over as interim coach on November 14 of last year. He was officially named head coach on January 5. He compiled a 1-5 record in 1994 and is 2-2 this season. One of the highest-regarded defensive coordinators in the NFL, Fisher had spent the 1992 and '93 seasons as the 49ers' defensive coordinator, and he held the same position with the Rams in 1991. From 1989 to '90 he was Philadelphia's defensive coordinator, following three years as the Eagles' defensive backs coach. Fisher was a defensive back with the Chicago Bears from 1981 to '85.
JACKSONVILLE-HOUSTON CONNECTIONS: Two former Houston Oilers play for the Jaguars -- WR Ernest Givins and FB Le'Shai Maston. Givins is the all-time leading receiver in Oilers history with 542 catches and 7,935 yards, earning two trips to the Pro Bowl (1990, 1992). … Jaguars offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride was the assistant head coach/offense for the Oilers for the past two years (1993-94) after serving as their offensive coordinator for the previous four years (1989-1992). … The Oilers have four players from the state of Florida: PK Al Del Greco (Coral Gables), HB/TE John Henry Mills (Tallahassee), OT David Williams (Lakeland) and LB Micheal Barrow (Homestead). … The Jaguars have five players from the state of Texas: SS Chris Hudson (Houston, Worthing High), CB Mickey Washington (Beaumont, Texas A&M), CB Rogerick Green (San Antonio), FB Le'Shai Maston (Dallas and Baylor) and DT Corey Mayfield (Tyler). … Two Oilers played collegiately in the state of Florida: LB Micheal Barrow played for the University of Miami, T David Williams played at the University of Florida … Jacksonville rookies OT Tony Boselli and QB Rob Johnson played at the University of Southern California with Oilers WR Travis Hannah. … Oilers LB Joe Bowden played at Oklahoma with Jaguars DT Corey Mayfield. … Houston starting QB Chris Chandler attended the University of Washington, the alma mater of Jaguars QB Mark Brunell. … Oilers P Rich Camarillo and Jaguars starting QB Steve Beuerlein were teammates with the Arizona Cardinals. … Oilers WR and kick return specialist Mel Gray played in Detroit with Jaguars Harry Colon, Kelvin Pritchett and Shawn Bouwens. … Houston TE Frank Wycheck played on the Washington Redskins with Jaguars WR Desmond Howard. … Oilers C Mark Stepnoski was a member of the Super Bowl XXVIII champion Dallas Cowboys with Jacksonville CB Dave Thomas. … Oiler DT/DE Craig Veasey played last season with the Dolphins with Jaguars OT Jeff Novak. … Houston WR Derek Russell was a member of the Broncos' receiving corps with Jaguars WR Cedric Tillman the past four seasons. … Oilers DE Kenny Davidson spent the 1993 season in Pittsburgh with Jaguars TE Craig Keith.
LAST WEEK: The Jaguars lost their fourth regular-season game and first nationally televised game in franchise history to the Green Bay Packers 24-14. Jacksonville gained only 18 yards total offense in the first half, as the Packers took a 10-0 lead. But the Jaguars rebounded in the second half with two touchdown passes from Mark Brunell to Willie Jackson. Brunell was making only his second professional start. The Jaguars have scored 31 of their 44 points this season in the fourth quarter.
The Oilers beat the Cincinnati Bengals 38-28, as Chris Chandler completed 23 of 26 passes for 352 yards and 4 touchdown passes. Rookie Frank Sanders caught 2 of the TD passes. The Oilers' 38 points was their most since the memorable 41-38 playoff loss to Buffalo in 1992.
NOTES FROM THE PACKERS GAME: WR Willie Jackson, making his first NFL start, caught 7 passes for 66 yards and 2 touchdowns for the best single-game receiving performance by a Jaguars player. He also had 2 TD's called back when he was ruled out of bounds. Jackson also returned 5 kickoffs for 97 yards to give him 163 combined yards in the game, a Jaguars single-season high. … Mark Brunell started his second game at quarterback in his first action ever against his former team and completed 16 of 29 passes for 156 yards and 2 TD's. … James Stewart led Jaguars backs with 13 carries for 38 yards, and Brunell ran 4 times for 28 yards. … With two extra points, PK Mike Hollis has scored for the Jaguars in all four games and leads the team with 14 points. … Also making his first professional start, FS Monty Grow had his second NFL interception and second ever for the Jaguars on the Packers' first possession. It was the first time all season a Jaguars opponent did not score on its opening drive. … Bryan Barker punted 8 times for an average of 45.4 yards per kick, with 1 touchback and 2 inside the 20. Barker had 2 54-yard punts and a 53-yarder. … Desmond Howard returned 4 punts for 82 yards (20.5-average with a long of 40) to increase his season punt return average to 13.0 yards (10 for 130 yards). He ranks 2nd in the AFC and 4th in the NFL. … Tony Boselli, the first draft choice in Jaguars' history, played in his first NFL game after suffering a knee injury on July 17. Boselli entered the game on Jacksonville's third series at left tackle. In the second half, Jeff Novak, who had started all 4 games at left tackle, moved to right guard in place of Tom Myslinski. Novak later moved to left guard, replacing an injured Shawn Bouwens. S Chris Hudson, the third-round pick who had not seen action since the first preseason game on July 29, also played in his first NFL game.
The Jaguars recovered an onsides kick following Jackson's first touchdown when Dave Thomas forced William Henderson to fumble and Chris Hudson recovered. … The Jaguars had 13 first downs, all of them in the second half. … The Jaguars were outgained 322 to 201 but they did have 183 yards in the second half to Green Bay's 110. … The Jaguars did not turn the ball over for the first time all season, while Green Bay had 1 interception. … Jacksonville controlled the ball for only 7:37 in the first half but 26:09 for the game. … The Jaguars opened the game with a two-tight end formation, with Rich Griffith and Pete Mitchell, for the second time this season (they also started the first Houston game with two tight ends). … LB James Williams led the Jaguars in tackles with 11 (8 solos), while DT Kelvin Pritchett had 9 tackles and Jeff Lageman had 8. … Lageman and Pritchett combined for a sack on the first play of the game, and Lageman added a solo sack later in the game. He leads the team with 2 sacks. … The Jaguars scored both times they penetrated the Packers' red zone (touchdowns each time). Green Bay was 2 for 4 inside the 20 (two TD's). … The only player who suited up but didn't play was QB Steve Beuerlein, who has missed the last 2 games with a sprained medial collateral ligament in his right knee. … Not active were: QB Rob Johnson, FS Mike Dumas, LB Bryan Schwartz, G Eugene Chung, WR Ernest Givins, TE Derek Brown, DT Paul Frase and DT Mike Thompson. … The attendance at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium was 66,744. … The Jaguars captains were: G Tom Myslinski, DT Don Davey and LB Mark Williams.
FROM COACH COUGHLIN ON THE PACKERS GAME: ìIt was a full team effort. It wasn't just defense, although the defense was outstanding. If we had a little offense in the first half, it might have been a little different story. But I was very proud of how hard they played. They played with enthusiasm and good passion tonight. It's just a shame that we didn't have enough to win. But I can't fault the effort. The effort was outstanding. There's nothing to be ashamed of tonight. The way our players played, I told them after the game to get their heads up. We're disappointed that we didn't win, but if we can play like this with this kind of effort, play with this kind if passion and enthusiasm, we'll have our opportunities. We'll get our wins.
ìWe had nothing in the first half. It was pretty dismal in the first half. We started very slow. Offensively, we did not carry our end of the load for the first half. Our defense was playing outstanding with a lot of time on the field. The second half we were able to convert some things. Mark (Brunell) played a tough, competitive second half. He certainly had some big plays and some other opportunities as well.
(on the out-of-bounds calls that nullified two touchdowns by Willie Jackson) ìWe had a couple of out-of-bounds situations where we just have to have better presence and know how much room we're working with.
(on Tony Boselli, who played in his first NFL game) ìHe looked good, yet he hasn't had any experience. I'm sure there's going to be some things he's going to want to correct. The fact of the matter is, we had an opportunity for Tony to compete and to play, and that's a step forward for him and for our football team.
(on Willie Jackson) ìWillie seemed to come up with some plays in the second half. He's obviously strong and physical. He's difficult to tackle. He catches the ball. We had the problem with the sideline. Was he pushed out of bounds or did he go out of bounds of his own volition? Obviously, we fought like heck for it, the fact that he was pushed out of bounds, but we didn't get anywhere with that. For getting an opportunity to start and being in a position to make a contribution in the game, he played well.
FROM QB MARK BRUNELL: "It took us too long to get going in the first half. We came out in the second half like a new team. We've got to put two good halves together in order to win a game.î
(on playing his former team) ìIt was fun to see those guys, some old friends, but it was tough out there for us tonight. They have been pretty consistent over the last few years, but they pretty much ran the same defenses as they did the first three games. So there was really nothing new that we weren't prepared for. It is just a matter of us executing our offensive plays, and unfortunately we didn't do that tonight. ì
FROM OT TONY BOSELLI, WHO PLAYED IN HIS FIRST GAME: ìI was antsy. I wanted to get out there and get hit for the first time to get rid of the butterflies. It felt real good to get in there. It felt great. It was fun to play football. The knee felt great. I didn't even think about it. I played hard and went after them every play. I played solid, but I'm not satisfied. There is definitely things I can work on and improve my game. That was my first NFL start, and I have a long way to go be the kind of player I want to be.
FROM DT DON DAVEY: ìWe were real disappointed with how we played last week (against the Jets). We stressed all week on being physical and playing the ball. The first two weeks we played hard and for whatever reason last week we stunk up the place. We just wanted to come out and play hard and strong, and tonight I think we did that.î
MILLER LITE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: The Jaguars' nominee for the Miller Lite Player of the Week Award is WR Willie Jackson, who scored both of Jacksonville's touchdowns against the Packers. Jackson caught 7 passes for 66 yards and also had 2 touchdowns called back when the officials ruled he was out of bounds. Jackson was making his first NFL start in place of Ernest Givins, who missed the game with a hamstring injury.
JAGUARS INJURY UPDATE: Injured in the Oilers game were G Shawn Bouwens (sprained knee), FS Monty Grow (sprained right knee) and DE Joel Smeenge (strained quadriceps).
The status of LB Bryan Schwartz (sprained ankle), S Mike Dumas (ankle), WR Ernest Givins (hamstring) and QB Steve Beuerlein (knee) will be updated later in the week. The only other player with an injury is TE Derek Brown (broken rib/lacerated kidney).
NEXT WEEK: The Jaguars will be back in Jacksonville for the first of two consecutive home games. They will host the Pittsburgh Steelers at 1:00 p.m. EDT at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium for their fourth game against an AFC Central Division opponent. On October 8, the Chicago Bears will visit Jacksonville.
DAILY SCHEDULE: Tuesday -- Players day off. Wednesday through Friday -- Lockerroom open to media 11:45 to 12:15; head coach Tom Coughlin is available at 12:15 Wednesday and Thursday and at 12:00 on Friday. There is no availability on Saturday. On Monday, the day after the Oilers' game, the lockerroom will be open to the media from 11:45 to 12:15, and Tom Coughlin will be available at 12:15.
Practices are being held at the two practice fields adjacent to the new Jacksonville Municipal Stadium. Check with the Jaguars' Communications Office in (633-6000) for the daily practice schedule and to schedule interviews.
ROSTER MOVES: The Jaguars have not had any roster moves in the last week.
GIVINS' STREAK ENDS: Jaguars WR Ernest Givins, who faces his former team, the Houston Oilers, for the second time this season, had the second-longest streak of consecutive games started among wide receivers after Jerry Rice until being sidelined last week against the Green Bay Packers with a hamstring injury. Givins had had started 87 consecutive games and last missed a game on November 26, 1989 at Kansas City because of an ankle injury. In the first game against the Oilers this season, Givins caught 2 passes for 19 yards.
With every catch he makes, Givins moves up on the list of active receivers. In nine seasons with the Oilers, he caught 542 passes for 7,935 yards, and so far he has 7 catches for 60 yards and 1 TD with the Jaguars. Here is where he ranks among active players (Jerry Rice's stats from the Monday night game are not included):
Player Team Receptions Player Team Receiving Yards
Jerry Rice San Francisco 843 Jerry Rice San Francisco 13616
Andre Reed Buffalo 686 Henry Ellard Washington 11452
Henry Ellard Washington 686 Gary Clark Miami 10373
Gary Clark Miami 665 Andre Reed Buffalo 9698
Ernest Givins Jacksonville 549 Irving Fryar Miami 8264
Ernest Givins Jacksonville 7995
BOOTIN' BARKER: Bryan Barker continues to have stellar performances week after week. Last week against the Packers, he punted 8 times for a 45.3-yard average. For the season, he has punted 28 times for an average of 44.1 yards (5th in the AFC) and a net of 37.3 (6th in the AFC). Jaguars opponents have returned 14 punts for a total of only 112 yards (8.0-yard average). Last year, while with the Eagles, Barker led the NFC with a 36.3-yard net average
INSIDE THE RED ZONE: The Jaguars have penetrated their opponents' red zone 8 times in 4 games, coming away with 4 touchdowns, 3 field goals and one missed field goal. Jaguars opponents have scored 9 times in 13 possessions inside the 20-yard line (6 touchdowns and 3 field goals).
FIRST-ROUND COUNT: The Jaguars have nine players on their roster who were first-round selections in the college draft:
Player Pos. Year Team
Jeff Lageman DE 1989 New York Jets
Vinnie Clark CB 1991 Green Bay Packers
Kelvin Pritchett DT 1991 Dallas Cowboys*
Derek Brown TE 1992 New York Giants
Eugene Chung G/OT 1992 New England Patriots
Vaughn Dunbar RB 1992 New Orleans Saints
Desmond Howard WR 1992 Washington Redskins
Tony Boselli OT 1995 Jacksonville Jaguars
James Stewart RB 1995 Jacksonville Jaguars
- Pritchett was traded from Dallas to Detroit on Draft Day.
DRAFT REPORT: Eight of the Jaguars' 10 draft picks this year made the roster for the opening game and all 10 are still with the team (one is on injured reserve and the other is on the practice squad).
Rd. Player Status
1a OT Tony Boselli Played in his first game last week after being sidelined since July 17
1b RB James Stewart Starting halfback
2a OT Brian DeMarco Starting right offensive tackle
2b MLB Bryan Schwartz Started at middle linebacker in the third game; sidelined in Week 4
3 S Chris Hudson Backup safety; played in his first NFL game last week
4a QB Rob Johnson Third-string quarterback
4b DT Mike Thompson Backup left defensive tackle
5 FB Ryan Christopherson Backup fullback and short-yardage runner
6 OT Marcus Price On injured reserve (knee)
7 WR Curtis Marsh On the practice squad
THE ORIGINAL 10: Here's an update on the ìOriginal 10î Jaguars who signed contracts with the team on December 15, 1994:
WR Shannon Baker -- Waived on August 13
SS Hillary Butler -- Waived on August 19
DE Ferric Colons -- Waived on May 1
C/G Greg Huntington -- Backup center/tackle and special teams starter
RB Randy Jordan -- Backup halfback who started in Week 2 and scored the first touchdown in franchise history
DE Ernie Logan -- Backup left defensive end
OT Rickie Shaw -- Waived on August 19
DE Jason Simmons -- Waived on August 27 but placed on the practice squad on August 28
DE Ricky Sutton -- Waived on May 4
DT Chris Williams -- Waived on August 19
ABOUT THE STADIUM: The new Jacksonville Municipal Stadium has drawn rave reviews after its first three games:
NBC broadcaster Don Criqui: ìThere isn't a better football facility in America than Jacksonville Municipal Stadium. I've never seen a better facility. The natural field is a perfect playing surface.î
Jaguars coach Tom Coughlin -- ìWhen you stand at the base of this stadium, it's a magnificent stadium. It's the most beautiful place I've ever played in. This has to be one of the greatest stadiums in the country, bar none. Playing on grass, the weather, a brand new stadium. A great city. People who have waited years for a football team. I don't think there's a hotter place in the country than Jacksonville, Florida. This is tremendous.î
Rams coach Rich Brooks -- ìThis is a great stadium to play football in. The seats are close to the field, and the noise is very, very loud. We tried an audible and screwed it up because of the noise.î
Jaguars owner Wayne Weaver -- ìI think we've raised the bar on how stadiums are gong to be built in the future. The two magnificent Stadium Clubs are unique in any stadium. This stadium is already a candidate to host a Super Bowl game; all we need is the hotel rooms.î
Packers RB Edgar Bennett, a native of Jacksonville: ìIt's a beautiful stadium. You've got to tip your hats off to them. It's real nice. Definitely an upgrade.î
FAX ON DEMAND: All Jaguars press releases can be obtained through the InfoConnection fax-on-demand system. To receive the Jaguars' press releases each week via fax, dial (404) 399-3066 on your fax machine and enter the NFL password: 7575. Key in the following numbers for the Jaguars release: 2801 -- weekly release; 2802 -- alphabetical/numerical rosters; 2803 -- depth chart; 2804 -- offense/defense stats; 2805 -- Tom Coughlin bio; 2806 -- transactions. Dial 1000 for an NFL directory of releases. Press releases will be available on Monday afternoons.
1995 JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS SCHEDULE
Sunday, Sept. 3 HOUSTON OILERS L, 3-10 72,363
Sunday, Sept. 10 at Cincinnati Bengals L, 17-24 48,318
Sunday, Sept. 17 at New York Jets L, 10-27 49,970
Sunday, Sept. 24 GREEN BAY PACKERS L, 14-24 66,744
Sunday, Oct. 1 at Houston Oilers 4:00 p.m. NBC
Sunday, Oct. 8 PITTSBURGH STEELERS 1:00 p.m. NBC
Sunday, Oct. 15 CHICAGO BEARS 1:00 p.m. FOX
Sunday, Oct. 22 at Cleveland Browns 1:00 p.m. NBC
Sunday, Oct. 29 at Pittsburgh Steelers 1:00 p.m. NBC
Sunday, Nov. 5 Open Date
Sunday, Nov. 12 SEATTLE SEAHAWKS 1:00 p.m. NBC
Sunday, Nov. 19 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1:00 p.m. NBC
Sunday, Nov. 26 CINCINNATI BENGALS 1:00 p.m. NBC
Sunday, Dec. 3 at Denver Broncos 4:00 p.m. NBC
Sunday, Dec. 10 INDIANAPOLIS COLTS 1:00 p.m. NBC
Sunday, Dec. 17 at Detroit Lions 1:00 p.m. NBC
Sunday, Dec. 24 CLEVELAND BROWNS 1:00 p.m. NBC
Home games in CAPS. All times are Jacksonville time.
FOR FUTURE PRESS RELEASES --------------
TICKET INFORMATION: A limited number of tickets still remain for the Jaguars-Packers game. Seats in the North End Zone are available for $35 and seats in the West Upper Deck Sideline are available for $46. For information, call (904) 633-2000.
SMALL BUT DEADLY: The Jaguars have smallest starting receivers in the NFL in Ernest Givins (5-10, 180) and Desmond Howard (5-10, 181). In the season opener, they were the team's two leading receivers. Howard caught 3 passes for 33 yards and Givins had 2 receptions for 19 yards. ìSmall but deadly,î is how Givins describes the duo. In an era in which most teams are moving to taller and more physical receivers, the Jaguars start Howard at flanker and Givins at split end. ìBoth those guys have a knack for big plays,î said QB Steve Beuerlein. ìAnd we need to make sure they have the opportunity to make them.î
CONFERENCE CALL: __________________
STOPPIN' THE RUN: _________In the five preseason games, the Jaguars allowed only 462 yards rushing on 129 carries for a 3.6-yard average that would have ranked sixth-best in the NFL last year. Jaguars opponents had a long run of just 25 yards and no back gained more than 68 yards (Detroit's Ron Rivers). In fact, in three of the other four games, the opponent's leading rusher was stopped significantly (Carolina's Barry Foster 9 carries for 22 yards, Miami's Irving Spikes 9 carries for 25 yards and the Rams' Jerome Bettis 9 carries for 12 yards). Denver's Terrell Davis ran for 46 yards on 7 carries last week.
COACH COUGHLIN ON THE OILERS GAME: ì_______
1995 TEAM RANKINGS: __________