THIS WEEK: The Jaguars travel to Pontiac, Michigan to face the Detroit Lions in their third preseason game at 7:30 p.m. EDT Thursday, August 10 in the Pontiac Silverdome. The Jaguars are 1-1 after losing to expansion brethren Carolina 20-14 on July 29 and defeating the Miami Dolphins 24-21 on a last-minute field goal last week. The Lions are 1-0 after defeating the New England Patriots 30-17 last Friday.
RADIO BROADCAST: This game will be broadcast on WOKV (690 AM) and WKQL (96.9 FM) and the Jaguars Radio Network, with play-by-play man Brian Sexton and color analysts Matt Robinson and Deron Cherry. Reporter Jennifer Kumik will contribute to the pre-game and half-time shows. More than 30 affiliates in five states on the Jaguars Radio Network will also broadcast the game.
PRESEASON TV BROADCAST: The Jaguars' three remaining preseason games will be televised on WTLV, Channel 12, with Kevin Harlan and Mike Golic calling the action. Harlan is in his second year as an NFL broadcaster for the Fox Network. Golic played defensive tackle for nine years in the NFL for Houston, Philadelphia and Miami before retiring following the 1993 season. He is now a broadcaster for ESPN. In addition, the game will be broadcast on WCPX (Ch. 6) in Orlando, WCTV (Ch. 6) in Tallahassee, and WSAV (Ch. 2) in Savannah, Ga.
TICKET INFORMATION: Tickets for the game are available through the Detroit Lions Ticket Office at (810) 335-4151.
THE SERIES: This is the first game between the Jaguars and Lions. They will meet again this year in the next-to-last weekend of the regular season on December 17, again in Pontiac.
THE OPPONENT: The Lions were born in 1934, when G.A. Richards purchased the Portsmouth Spartans and moved them to Detroit. They played their first of the traditional Thanksgiving Day home games that year and won their first NFL championship a year later. They also won three NFL championships in the 1950s (1952, 1953 and 1957). The Lions have appeared in the playoffs three of the last four seasons, advancing to the NFC Championship game in 1992.
THE COACHES: Jacksonville head coach Tom Coughlin has led the Jaguars to one victory in two preseason games. Coughlin served as the head coach at Boston College from 1991-93, 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).
Detroit coach Wayne Fontes is in his eighth season as head coach, with a career record of 52-53 (51-50 during the regular season and 1-3 in playoffs). Fontes is on the verge of becoming the team's all-time leader in both wins and games coached (George Wilson had 55 victories in his 106 games and Monte Clark coached 107 games. Fontes has led the Lions to the playoffs in three of the last four years, and NFC Central Division titles in 1991 and '93. Fontes took over as interim head coach in 1988, replacing Darryl Rogers.
JACKSONVILLE-DETROIT CONNECTIONS: The Widell brothers will be reunited on Thursday night. Dave is the starting center for the Jaguars, while Doug is a guard in his second year with the Lions. The two brothers were teammates (and starting linemates) on the Denver Broncos from 1990 to '92. They were also teammates at Boston College in the mid-1980s.
Jaguars players who formerly were members of the Lions are: G Shawn Bouwens (1991-94), CB Darren Carrington (1990), S Harry Colon (1992-94), DT Kelvin Pritchett (a first-round choice who played for Detroit from 1991-94), QB Andre Ware (first-rounder, 1990-93) and WR Mike Williams (1989).
Lions LB Stephen Boyd, a fifth-round pick, played at Boston College under Jaguars head coach Tom Coughlin.
The game will feature four of the five Heisman Trophy winners from 1988 to '92: QB Andre Ware (1989) and WR Desmond Howard (1991) for Jacksonville and RB Barry Sanders (1988) and QB Gino Torretta (1992) for Detroit. The only Heisman winner in that span not playing in the game will be QB Ty Detmer, the 1990 Heisman recipient, who is now with the Packers.
COACH COUGHLIN ON THE LIONS GAME: ìWe've had two solid evaluations (in the first two preseason games), plus the training camp evaluation, which is day to day, and another ballgame this week. We will be realistic about our opportunities and our chances, so we'll see what happens.î
LAST WEEK: The Jaguars defeated the Miami Dolphins 24-21 on a 37-yard field goal by Scott Sisson with one second remaining in the game. The Jaguars rushed for 230 yards in the game and came back from deficits of 14-0 and 21-14 to win. It was the first victory ever for the Jaguars. The Lions beat the New England Patriots 30-17.
NOTES FROM LAST WEEK: FB Ryan Christopherson's three touchdowns against Miami led the team, and he also finished fourth in rushing with 24 yards on 8 carries. … QB Steve Beuerlein started the second straight game for Jacksonville and completed 4 of 6 passes for 48 yards … Mark Brunell and rookie Rob Johnson also saw extensive action. Brunell was 5 of 9 for 61 yards and quarterbacked the winning drive, while Johnson, in his first game, completed 3 of 6 passes for 36 yards and directed the tying score. None of the quarterbacks was intercepted. … Willie Jackson led the all players in receiving with five catches for 57 yards. He did not catch any passes in the first preseason game, but is the team's leading receiver after two contests. … Bryan Barker continued his fine punting. In two games, Barker has punted 6 times for 284 yards and a 47.3-yard average. … The Jaguars had more first downs than the Dolphins (22 to 13), outgained the Dolphins (344 yards to 190) and outrushed the Dolphins (230 yards to 61). Miami had 15 more passing yards (129 to 114) despite throwing the ball 5 more times (26 to 21). And the Jaguars controlled the clock, with an advantage of more than 3 minutes of possession time (31:35 to 28:25). … Harry Colon and Kelvin Pritchett led the team with 4 tackles each against Miami. Pritchett also had a sack. … After turning the ball over four times against Carolina, the Jaguars had only one turnover against Miami, on a fumble by QB Steve Beuerlein in the first quarter. However, Jacksonville opponents have yet to turn the ball over (in the Carolina game, Jacksonville recovered a ìpoochî kickoff, and an interception by Harry Colon was called back by a penalty). … The Jaguars have scored touchdowns in the second and third quarters of both preseason games so far, and they scored 10 fourth-quarter points vs. Miami. They have yet to score in the first period. … The Jaguars converted 6 of 11 third-down plays against Miami and 1 of 2 on fourth down. … A total of 76 Jaguars played against Miami. Seventy-four players had seen action a week earlier vs. Carolina. The only Jaguars who have yet to see action are CB Tommy Johnson (DNP in both games), LB Rod Smalley (hamstring injury), OT Tony Boselli (knee injury) and DE Joel Smeenge (calf injury).
FROM COACH COUGHLIN ON THE VICTORY OVER MIAMI: ìWe certainly had our share of errors, no question. But I give a lot of credit to the players who played hard and battled back. We had a lot of kids who had a chance to play tonight against a very, very good football team. And we held our own. It was a preseason game and both sides played a lot of people, and it came down to where we were able to control the ball at the end and get in position for a field goal. We needed to run the football. There was no way we could have the kind of balance we wanted if we couldn't rush the football.
(On the victory) ìWe have an opportunity to have something reinforced and get a little confidence. It's not easy to correct things when you lose. All it means is we have a chance to make our corrections and evaluate our personnel with a little different attitude.î
(On playing the Dolphins) ìWe didn't know what to expect, but we wanted to play against a world-class football team with great speed and outstanding personnel and see just how we measured up. It was good for us. It was a preseason game, but still it was good for us to measure up against the physical size and speed the Dolphins have.î
(On his team's long drives) ìIt was good to see that happen. The majority of your improvement comes between Games 1 and 2. You get your feet wet and you go back and analyze it and you resolve when you lose a game like we did the week before, I felt like our guys were serious about playing.î
(On his placekickers finally getting a chance to kick a field goal) ìWe needed that. I felt badly the week before that we didn't put either one of the kickers in the position where they had pressure. It was good to be in that kind of situation tonight because we got a lot of questions answered there as well. Yes, at the end of both games we were in situations where we were under pressure. In this particular one we had better poise and we were able to run, and it turned out.î
FROM FB RYAN CHRISTOPHERSON: It's just good for us to get a win. It's good to know we are getting better. And we'll keep working hard and showing improvement. I'm all new at this, so I'm just happy that we got a win.
(On his three touchdowns) ìIt was very exciting. It was a great thrill, especially in a game that we win and keeping our team in a game. I really didn't have to do much work. The offensive line and the fullbacks were knocking people off the football, so it made some running lanes pretty easy to get in there. I was expecting to play in short-yardage situations and to carry the ball in the fourth quarter out of some one-back (formations), so I was expecting to get some time. Having them give me the opportunity to play felt real good and they showed some confidence in me in crucial situations.î
FROM QB MARK BRUNELL: ìIt's fortunate that we got the ball down there in field goal position. Once you see you can move the ball with these guys, it really helps. You just feel that much more confident out there. We won, and that's what it's all about. It is a preseason win, but we'll take it. We played much better than we did last week.î
FROM PK SCOTT SISSON: (On the game-winning field goal) ìIt's a chip shot, but that's where you have to be concerned about the pressure. I was worried more about falling down on kickoffs in the mud. (On the kick) Everything was in place. Nice night, no wind, in the middle of the field. I should make that kick unless I talk myself out of it..î
RYNO GETS THREE: Rookie FB Ryan Christopherson scored all three of the Jaguars' touchdowns against the Miami Dolphins, giving him three of the team's five TDs so far during the preseason. Two of Christopherson's scores were off left tackle and the third was over the middle. Christopherson started working in the Jaguars' goal-line offense only at mid-week before the game against the Dolphins. In his last two seasons at the University of Wyoming, Christopherson, a fifth-round draft choice, scored 19 touchdowns and gained 2,469 yards.
STEWART LEADING RUSHER: After two preseason games, rookie RB James Stewart leads the Jaguars with 95 rushing yards on 21 carries. He has one touchdown. Stewart's 56-yard non-scoring run against Miami is also the team's longest play from scrimmage so far, and was made possible because of a great block by FB Le'Shai Maston (Desmond Howard scored on a 66-yard punt return vs. Carolina). Stewart has 21 of the team's 67 carries so far during the preseason. The Jaguars' second-leading rusher is QB Mark Brunell, who has gained 56 yards on 9 carries.
FULLBACKS MAKE AN IMPACT: Jaguars fullbacks received 11 carries against the Miami Dolphins and gained 39 yards, including three touchdowns by rookie Ryan Christopherson. Christopherson had 8 attempts for 24 yards, Dexter McNabb had 2 carries for 10 yards and Le'Shai Maston had 1 for 5 yards. McNabb also had 1 reception for 13 yards. In the Jaguars' first preseason game, Jaguars fullbacks carried the ball only 1 time for 2 yards (a run by Christopherson).
GETTING THEIR KICKS: Both of the Jaguars' placekickers scored points vs. Miami. Veteran Scott Sisson scored five points on a two extra points and his game-winning field goal, and first-year pro Mike Hollis scored one point on a conversion. In the first preseason game, Sisson scored both extra points, giving him seven points, second on the team after Ryan Christopherson's 18.
Hollis, however, did have a good game on kickoffs against Miami. He sent his first three kickoffs 69 yards to the 1-yard line, 59 yards to the 11-yard line and 70 yards to the goal line. On his fourth kickoff, Hollis' kick went only 25 yards to prevent a runback. His four kickoffs were returned a total of only 64 yards (16-yard average).BRUNELL MOVES THE JAGUARS: In two preseason games, Mark Brunell has quarterbacked the Jaguars on eight drives, leading to one touchdown, one field goal and one almost-score. Here's a look at Brunell's drives:
Game Plays Yards Result
Carolina 6 17 Fumble by RB James Stewart
Carolina 8 58 Interception
Carolina 3 9 Punt
Carolina 4 22 Fumble by RB James Stewart
Carolina 14 63 Failed 4th down conversion on 2-yard line
Miami 11 88 Touchdown
Miami 5 -1 Half ended
Miami 12 65 Game-winning field goal
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
Andre Ware QB 1990 Detroit Lions
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
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.
GIVINS MOVING UP: Jaguars WR Ernest Givins ranks high among the NFL's active statistical leaders.
Player Team Receptions Player Team Receiving Yards
Jerry Rice San Francisco 820 Jerry Rice San Francisco 13275
Andre Reed Buffalo 676 Henry Ellard Washington 11158
Henry Ellard Washington 667 Gary Clark Miami 10331
Gary Clark Miami 662 Andre Reed Buffalo 9536
Ernest Givins Jacksonville 542 Irving Fryar Miami 8006
Ernest Givins Jacksonville 7935
THE B.C. CONNECTION: Two Jaguars played under Tom Coughlin at Boston College. TE Gordon Laro is a rookie free agent who played under Coughlin in 1993 after transferring from Michigan, while MLB Tom McManus, a first-year player, played two seasons under Coughlin (1991 and '92). In addition, C Dave Widell played at Boston College (under Jack Bicknell) from 1984 to '87.
THE ORIGINAL 10: Here's an update on the original 10 Jaguars who signed contracts on December 15, 1994:
WR Shannon Baker -- Still on team
SS Hillary Butler -- Still on team
DE Ferric Colons -- Waived on May 1
C/G Greg Huntington -- Backup center and special teams starter
RB Randy Jordan -- Third-string halfback; third-leading rusher in Miami game
DE Ernie Logan -- Starting left defensive end in place of injured Joel Smeenge
OT Rickie Shaw -- Still on team
DE Jason Simmons -- Backup defensive end; has one sack
DE Ricky Sutton -- Waived on May 4
DT Chris Williams -- Still on team
JAGUARS INJURY UPDATE: The following players did not dress for last week's game: OT Tony Boselli (knee), RB Leon Brown (broken ankle), RB Reggie Cobb (sprained knee), DT Don Davey (sprained knee), DE Gonzalo Floyd (thigh), S Chris Hudson (groin), DE Jeff Lageman (groin) and MLB Bryan Schwartz (shoulder), OL Rod Smalley (hamstring) and DE Joel Smeenge (calf). In addition, OT Marcus Price suffered an ankle injury in the game against Miami and RB Mazio Royster had a sprained knee.
ROSTER MOVES: The Jaguars had five roster transactions in the last week: CB Vidal Mills was waived on August 1; and on August 6, they waived LB Reggie Freeman, placed RB Leon Brown on injured reserve with a broken ankle and signed C/G Frank Cornish and RB Markus Thomas. Cornish, 6-4 and 287 pounds, is a sixth-year pro who has played for San Diego, Dallas and Minnesota, appearing in 64 games and starting 21 since 1990. The son of a former defensive tackle for the Chicago Bears and Miami Dolphins, Cornish started all 16 games as a rookie in 1990. He was a three-year starter at UCLA. Thomas, 5-10, 192, is a second-year pro who was with the Eagles in 1993, although he was deactivated for all 16 games. In 1994, Thomas was cut during training camp. He played for the Scottish Claymores in the World League earlier this year. Those moves changes the Jaguars' roster count to 89, one below the league limit of 90 players under contract. He rushed for more than 1,000 yards three of his four seasons at Eastern Kentucky, finishing with a Division 1-AA-record 5,552 rushing yards.
NEXT WEEK: The Jaguars return home after the Detroit game and will play their first game ever in the new Jacksonville Municipal Stadium, the 73,000-seat spectacle that has replaced the Gator Bowl. The Jaguars will host the St. Louis Rams at 7:00 p.m. Friday, August 18. The Rams lost to Seattle 34-20 in their first preseason game.
REMAINING PRESEASON GAMES:
Friday, August 18 ST. LOUIS RAMS 7:00 p.m.
Friday, August 25 DENVER BRONCOS 7:00 p.m.
TRAINING CAMP SCHEDULE: The Jaguars are holding their first training camp at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Practices are daily at 8:40 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Practices are usually two hours in length. Head coach Tom Coughlin is available for interviews immediately after the morning practice, or approximately 10:40 a.m. Players are available for interviews during their lunch time, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. (CDT). Check with the Jaguars' Communications Office in DeBot Center (715/346-3781) for the daily practice schedule, credentials and to schedule interviews. Thge last day of training camp will be Wednesday, August 9. The Jaguars will fly to Jacksonville following the Lions game and, for the remainder of the preseason, they will practice on the two fields adjacent to the new stadium.
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 1000 for an NFL directory of releases. More specific information will be provided when available. Press releases will be available on Monday afternoons.
August 22 -- Roster cutdown to maximum of 65 players on active list by 4:00 p.m. EDT (the 28 existing teams cut down to 60 players).
August 27 -- Roster cutdown to maximum of 56 players by 4:00 p.m. EDT (the existing teams cut down to 53 players).
August 28 -- Clubs may establish a practice squad of five players by signing free agents who do not have an accrued season of free-agency credit.
September 1 -- All clubs are required to identify their 49-player active list by 7:00 p.m. EDT. No later than 1:30 before kickoff, clubs must identify their 45-player active list and third quarterback, if any.
September 3 -- The Jaguars host the Houston Oilers in their inaugural game.
September 18 -- Jacksonville and Carolina are required to reduce their active/inactive lists to 53 players.
October 10 -- Trading deadline.
Pride in JAGSonville -- leading to kickoff of the first game
Oilers are 17-18 on Opening Day, and have lost their last three.
THE COUNTDOWN: Only three weeks remain before the Jaguars play their first regular-season game in the NFL. _____________(stuff here on Opening Game celebration/get from Ann)
1995 JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS SCHEDULE
Friday, Aug. 18 ST. LOUIS RAMS 7:00 p.m. WTLV
Friday, Aug. 25 DENVER BRONCOS 7:00 p.m. WTLV
Sunday, Sept. 3 HOUSTON OILERS 1:00 p.m. NBC
Sunday, Sept. 10 at Cincinnati Bengals 4:00 p.m. NBC
Sunday, Sept. 17 at New York Jets 4:00 p.m. NBC
Sunday, Sept. 24 GREEN BAY PACKERS 8:00 p.m. TNT
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.