THIS WEEK: The Jacksonville Jaguars, still seeking their elusive fourth victory of the season after six consecutive defeats, will make their last road trip of their inaugural season to Pontiac, Michigan to face the Detroit Lions at 1:00 EST Sunday at the Silverdome. It is the Jaguars' fourth game against teams from the NFC Central Division and their second regular-season game ever in a domed stadium. Jacksonville has a 3-11 record following a 41-31 loss to the Indianapolis Colts, while the Lions are 8-6 after beating the Houston Oilers 24-17 on Sunday. It is the only interconference game in Week 16.
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, 27, 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 Jim Donovan and Tunch Ilkin.
THE SERIES: This is the first regular-season game ever between the Jaguars and Lions. They played during the preseason, with Detroit winning 19-3 on August 10.
A VICTORY OVER THE LIONS WOULD: Give the Jaguars their fourth victory of the season and break the previous record for most wins by an expansion team in NFL history (the Carolina Panthers already have six victories this season).
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. In 1994, they went 9-7 and advanced to the wild-card game before losing in the first round of the playoffs to Green Bay.
THE COACHES: Jacksonville head coach Tom Coughlin has led the Jaguars to three victories so far this season. He became head coach of the NFL's newest franchise on February 21, 1994 following three successful seasons as head coach at Boston College. Coughlin compiled a record of 21-13-1 from 1991 to '93 at Boston College, and had two appearances in bowl games and a ranking of 13th in the final AP poll of 1993. A veteran of 25 years of coaching, 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). He was a member of the Giants' 1990 Super Bowl XXV champions coaching staff.
Detroit coach Wayne Fontes is in his eighth season as head coach, with a career record of 60-59 (59-56 during the regular season and 1-3 in playoffs). Fontes is the team's all-time leader in both wins and games coached. Fontes has led the Lions to the playoffs in three of the last four years, and NFC Central Division titles in 1991 and '93. He took over as interim head coach in 1988, replacing Darryl Rogers.
JACKSONVILLE-DETROIT CONNECTIONS: The Widell brothers will be reunited on Sunday. 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), S Harry Colon (1992-94) and DT Kelvin Pritchett (a first-round choice who played for Detroit from 1991-94). … Lions LB Stephen Boyd, a fifth-round pick, played at Boston College under Jaguars head coach Tom Coughlin. Boyd roomed with Jaguars TE Pete Mitchell for four years and played alongside Jaguars MLB Tom McManus. … The game will feature two Heisman Trophy winners: Jacksonville WR Desmond Howard (1991) and Detroit RB Barry Sanders (1988). … Lions CB Corey Raymond was briefly on the Jaguars roster. … Jaguars vice president of football operations Michael Huyghue was the Lions vice president of administration and general counsel in 1993.
LAST WEEK: The Jaguars lost their sixth consecutive game 41-31 to the Indianapolis Colts. Jacksonville set numerous offensive records in the game and the defense held Colts RB Marshall Faulk to only 54 yards rushing. But, one week after scoring two touchdowns on special teams, the Jaguars allowed 14 points on special teams and had a field goal attempt blocked.
The Lions won their fifth consecutive game 24-17 over the Houston Oilers at the Astrodome. QB Scott Mitchell threw two touchdown passes -- both to Herman Moore -- to give him 28 for the season, a Lions record previously held by Hall of Famer Bobby Layne. Barry Sanders rushed for 53 yards.
NOTES FROM THE COLTS GAME: The Jaguars scored their most points in franchise history, surpassing the 30 points they scored against Seattle, and gained their most yards ever, 424, breaking their old record of 409 vs. Chicago. … On defense, Jacksonville held Indianapolis to a season-low 219 yards. The Jaguars' previous low was 240 yards by Houston. The Jaguars also held Colts RB Marshall Faulk to 54 yards on 22 carries. … Jacksonville outgained Indianapolis by 209 yards. … Jacksonville also had its second 300-yard passing game and 100-yard receiving game -- the first time they had both in the same game -- and fell only 8 yards short of its first 100-yard rushing performance. … The Jaguars scored on their final 4 possessions, with touchdeowns on each of their last 3. … James Stewart rushed for 92 yards on 19 carries and scored his first touchdown since October 15. It was the second-best rushing performance in Jaguars history. On October 15, Stewart gained 97 yards against Chicago. Against Indianapolis, he had a 24-yard run called back by a holding penalty, which would have been his longest of the season and put him over 100 yards for the game. … The Jaguars do not have a 100-yard rushing game this season, but they have 3 with 90 or more yards. … Mark Brunell started at quarterback for the first time since November 26 at Tampa Bay. Brunell had his second career 300-yard passing game. He completed 26 of 39 passes for a team-record 312 yards and 3 touchdowns. His attempts and completions are the second-best single-game totals in team history, and his 3 TD passes tied his team record set against Chicago. … Jimmy Smith scored a touchdown for the 3rd consecutive game. He caught a career-best 7 passes for 79 yards and 1 TD. Smith has 5 TD's in the last 3 games. Smith, a 3rd-year pro, had not caught a pass in the NFL until October 29. Since then, he has 3 games with 4 or more receptions. … Willie Jackson, who had missed the previous 2 games with leg and ankle injuries, had the Jaguars 2nd 100-yard receiving day ever when he caught 6 passes for a career-best 113 yards and 2 TD's. He previously scored 2 TD's in a game earlier this season against Green Bay. For Jackson, it was his 6th game with 6 or more receptions.… Brunell's 45-yard completion to Jackson in the second quarter was a season-long for both players. … For the 4th time in the last 6 games, TE Pete Mitchell caught 4 or more passes. Sunday he pulled down 4 balls for 25 yards. … Rich Griffith, who started at tight end, had his second 4-catch performance of the season, with a career-high 54 yards. … Mike Hollis kicked 1 field goal and a season-high 4 extra points for 7 points total. He continues to be the only Jaguars player to score in every game. … The Jaguars failed to recover any of 3 onside kicks in the game. Going into it, they had recovered 4 of 5 onsides kicks. … Bryan Barker punted 2 times for a 42.5-yard average with 1 inside the 20. … The Jaguars got their 1st sack since November 19 at Tampa Bay when DE Ernie Logan logged his 2nd sack of the season. They have not had a multiple-sack game since November 12 vs. Seattle. … MLB Bryan Schwartz led the team with a team-record 17 tackles (7 solos). Following him were LB Keith Goganious, DE Don Davey, and DT Kelvin Pritchett all with 7 tackles. … The opening kickoff return touchdown by Indianapolis' Aaron Bailey was the quickest score in stadium history. It took 15 seconds. … The only players who suited up but didn't play were QB Steve Beuerlein and G Tom Myslinski. Not active were: QB Rob Johnson, CB Tommy Johnson, FB Ryan Christopherson, FB Bryan Dickerson, DE Jeff Lageman, OT Bruce Wilkerson and DT Ray Hall. … Jaguars captains were: RB Vaughn Dunbar, S Mike Dumas and DT Paul Frase. … The attendance was 66,099. … The 46-degree temperature at kickoff equalled the Jaguars' coldest of the season, which was October 22 at Cleveland.FROM COACH TOM COUGHLIN ON THE COLTS GAME: ìWe gave up 14 points by special teams. We went from a solid performance (last week) to a not-so-good performance. On the opening kickoff, we had the wind and no trajectory on the ball. It was a line drive, and they busted that right off the bat. We battled back; we had some opportunities. There's no excuse for handling the punt inside the 10-yard line. That's a very fundamental mistake. The interception that they brought back (to the 3-yard line) was another three points, so you're talking 17 points. In the second half we tried everything we could to win the game, like the onside kicks. Two of those late scores had nothing to do with the defense. This will be one that will haunt us. Defensively we gave the Colts excellent field position in the fourth quarter trying to get the ball back. We didn't kick the ball well on the surprise onside kick. But we'd do it again. All we're trying to do is get an opportunity to score and win the game and give ourselves a shot in the arm.
(on the dropped punt by Cedric Tillman) ìThat was a fundamental mistake that should not be made. You shouldn't attempt to field the ball inside the 10. That's how we got in trouble.î
(on stopping Marshall Faulk) ìWe felt we needed to put pressure on the quarterback and stop Faulk and hold them to a certain number of yards rushing. I thought, for the most part, in the normal down and distance sequence, when the field position was not a problem, I thought our defense played well. The responsibility for the two late scores falls on my shoulders for the decisions to go for the onside kick.î
(on James Stewart, who rushed for 92 yards) ìIt's now five games in a row that James has played very well. We put him in a position where he would carry the ball more. He did that and had a fine game. He's been getting better. He's more composed, more poised, more aware of his role in the game. And Mark Brunell was a big plus today, (playing) maybe at 75 percent because of his hamstring problem.î
(on the onside kick with 12:17 remaining) ìWe practiced it, we talked about it. We thought we had an excellent opportunity with 12 minutes to go. We thought we had good momentum. We're down by 10. We knew we needed two scores, and we were afraid they would hold the ball and rush the ball. We thought the timing was right and we went for it, and I won't second-guess it. In another time would we? I'm not going to say I wouldn't. We're doing everything we can to be as aggressive as we can. That's the message I want sent to our football team and to our public -- that we'll do whatever we have to do to win. In many cases, that decision might not be the case in other years, but it is this year, and it was a very aggressive call. Had we gotten that, we could have made the margin three. That's the risk that you take. I don't like to be always making those kinds of decisions, but I'll do it and I'll do it right now -- whatever I can do to give our team a shot in the arm.î
FROM WR WILLIE JACKSON: (on team mistakes) ìWe were sitting on the sidelines, and we came out seven (points) down. You can't afford to make mistakes and win games like that in the NFL.î
FROM QB MARK BRUNELL: (on the overall team effort) ìWe struggled in the first half, and it's kind of been really the trademark of our team. For the most part, we just can't put two good halfs together. We look good maybe in the first half or else we look good in the second half. It's mistakes that we just kind of shoot ourselves in the foot and hurt ourselves. I know my interception really gave them seven points or three points -- whatever they got. Things like that you just can't do if you expect to win a football game.î
(on the three onside kicks) ìIt puts the pressure on the defense, but we have to give ourselves a chance to win the football game. The first one was a surprise and wasn't one that everyone lined up on one side. We were hoping to get a break. It didn't happen, and then we gave them good field position. It's a game of chances and if we would have got that, the momentum was going our way. It would have been nice to get that.î
FROM WR JIMMY SMITH: (on his personal performance) ìLike I said last week, that individual stuff doesn't really matter when you don't come away with a victory. I have great confidence in my ability and I'm just looking forward to each game and contributing to this team any way possible.î
(on the offensive effort) ìWe just have to work hard in all phases of the game. Last week we did excellent on special teams, and this week we didn't do anything on special teams. We really got off to a bad start on special teams and got down seven points with that big kickoff return. Things like that happen. We just have to work hard and compete in all phases of the game and come away with a victory.î
FROM S HARRY COLON: (on containing Marshall Faulk) ìMarshall was a piece of the puzzle. He did his job. He didn't hurt them. We might have contained him, but they hurt us in other ways in all aspects of the game. We have to find ways to make plays when the game is on the line and we didn't do that on defense.î
MILLER LITE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: The Jaguars' nominee for the Miller Lite Player of the Week Award is QB Mark Brunell, who started at quarterback for the first time since November 26 at Tampa Bay and completed 26 of 39 passes for a team-record 312 yards and 3 touchdowns. It was Brunell's second career 300-yard passing game, and his 3 TD passes tied his team record set earlier this season against Chicago. In addition, his attempts and completions are the second-best single-game totals in team history.
JAGUARS INJURY UPDATE: The following players suffered injuries against Indianapolis: WR Desmond Howard (concussion), TE Pete Mitchell (quadriceps contusion), RB James Stewart (foot) and DT Kelvin Pritchett (neck sprain). Their status, as well as that of DT Ray Hall (strained pectoral) and DE Jeff Lageman (sprained foot) will be updated later in the week.NEXT WEEK: The Jaguars will host the Cleveland Browns in the season finale for both teams at 1:00 EST Sunday, December 24 at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium. For the Jaguars, it marks the last game of their inaugural season, while the Browns may be playing their final game ever as the Cleveland Browns. It will be the second meeting between the two teams. The Jaguars defeated the Browns 23-15 on October 22 for their last victory.
DAILY SCHEDULE: Monday, Wednesday and Thursday -- Lockerroom open to media 11:45 to 12:15; head coach Tom Coughlin is available at 12:15. Friday -- Lockerroom open 11:45 to 12:15, with Coughlin at 12:00 noon. There is no availability on Saturday. Tuesday is the players' day off.
Practices are being held at the two practice fields adjacent to the new Jacksonville Municipal Stadium. Check with the Jaguars' Communications Office (633-6000) for the daily practice schedule and to schedule interviews.
ROSTER MOVES: On December 5, the Jaguars released WR Ernest Givins and LB James Williams and on December 6, they signed FB Bryan Dickerson from the Cincinnati Bengals practice squad.
EXPANSION DIVISION RECORDS: The Jaguars have a record of 3-4 in the AFC Central and will become the first expansion team to record a .500 divisional record in their inaugural season if they beat Cleveland in the final game of the season. No expansion team has finished .500 in its division until at least its third season. Following is a list of expansion teams ranked by earliest .500 divisional year (the Carolina Panthers are currently 2-5 in the NFC West):
Expansion First Divisional .500 Division
Team Year .500 Season Record_____
Miami Dolphins 1966 3rd, 1968 4-3-1, AFC East
Cincinnati Bengals 1968 3rd, 1970 3-3, AFC Central (won division)
Seattle Seahawks 1976 3rd, 1978 4-4, AFC West
Minnesota Vikings 1961 4th, 1964 6-5-1, NFL Western Conference
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1976 4th, 1979 6-2, NFC Central (won division)
Atlanta Falcons 1966 5th, 1970 3-2-1, NFC West
Dallas Cowboys 1960 6th, 1965 6-6, NFL Eastern Conference
New Orleans Saints 1967 8th, 1974 3-3, NFC West
Jacksonville Jaguars 1995 ??? ???
BARKER IS NFL'S TOP NET PUNTER THIS SEASON: Jaguars P Bryan Barker has the highest net punting average in the NFL this season at 38.9 yards. His net average of 38.9 yards is far above his previous best of 36.3 yards in 1994, which led the NFC when he was with Philadelphia. The Jaguars have allowed their opponents to return 41 punts for a total of only 283 yards -- a 6.9-yard average that is 6th best in the NFL. For the season, Barker has punted 74 times for an average of 44.1 yards, 6th in the NFL and above his career best of 43.3 in 1993 while with Kansas City.
Here are the NFL's top 10 net punters so far this season:
- Bryan Barker, Jax. 38.9 7. Klaus Wilmsmeyer, N.O. 36.6
- Lee Johnson, Cin. 38.6 8. Sean Landeta, St. L. 36.5
- Tom Rouen, Den. 38.4 9. Darren Bennett, S.D. 36.4
- Jeff Feagles, Ariz. 37.9 10. Reggie Roby, T.B. 36.2
- Matt Turk, Wash. 37.6 Mike Horan, NYG 36.2
- Louis Aguiar, K.C. 36.9
STATS AND SUCH: The Jaguars offense has not had the same starting lineup twice this season -- 14 different starting combinations in 14 games. The defense has had 11 different starting combinations, with a 3-game stretch that did not change as well as the same lineup for the last 2 games. … Pete Mitchell leads all NFL rookie tight ends in receptions with 36 catches. Eight tight ends were drafted in front of Mitchell, who went in the fourth round of the 1995 draft. … The Jaguars did not allow more than 30 points in theif first 9 games but have allowed more than 30 in 3 of the last 5. … The Jaguars have thrown at least one touchdown pass in every game since the season opener. … Jacksonville ranks 1st in the AFC in touchdown percentage inside the red zone. In 14 games, they have scored 23 touchdowns in 40 possessions inside the 20 for a 57.5 percentage (they also have 12 field goals). Three NFC teams rank ahead of Jacksonville. … The Jaguars have won 3 of the 5 games in which they have held opponents to fewer than 100 yards rushing. Jacksonville lost to the Jets (79 yards) and Colts (91 yards), but beat the Oilers (91), Steelers (68) and Browns (89). … The following 7 players have started every game: C Dave Widell, OT Brian DeMarco, DT Kelvin Pritchett, DT Don Davey, CB Vinnie Clark, CB Mickey Washington and S Harry Colon. … Through 14 games, the Jaguars are 1-6 at home, 2-5 on the road, 3-4 vs. the AFC Central, 3-1 when scoring first, 3-3 when scoring on their first possession, 3-1 when leading at halftime, 0-2 when tied at halftime, 0-8 when trailing at halftime, 2-1 when leading after three quarters, 1-10 when trailing after three quarters, 2-4 when scoring 20-plus points, and 3-3 when allowing 20 or fewer points. The Jaguars are also 2-4 when they have a time of possession of 30:00-plus, 1-2 when they make no turnovers, 0-2 when they have no takeaways, 2-3 when they have a plus-turnover ratio, 1-2 with an even turnover ratio, and 0-6 when they have a minus-turnover ratio. … The Jaguars have outscored their opponents in the fourth (105-86) quarter, while being outscored in the first (54-65), second (64-114) and third (28-74) quarters. … In the last 11 games, Jacksonville has lost the ball only 16 times, with 17 takeaways. … Mark Brunell continues to lead all NFL quarterbacks in rushing. He has 429 yards on 62 carries, with a 6.9-yard average that leads the NFL. He ranks 20th among AFC rushers and 11th among AFC passers with a 80.9 rating. … James Stewart moved up to 18th place in rushing in the AFC. He has 513 yards on 135 carries. … The longest current streaks for consecutive games started belong to CB Mickey Washington (34 games), C Dave Widell (31) and DT Kelvin Pritchett (29). … With 7 points vs. Cincinnati, PK Mike Hollis is 12th among kickers in the AFC in scoring. He has 77 points. … P Bryan Barker's 44.1-yard gross average is 6th in the NFL, and his net average of 38.9 leads the NFL. Barker's 74 punts are the 5th most in the league. … The Jaguars' 6.9-yard average on opponents' punt returns is 6th in the league. … Desmond Howard is 5th in the AFC and 8th in the NFL in punt returns with a 10.3-yard average (24 for 246, 40 long).
SMITH ON A STREAK: WR Jimmy Smith has scored 5 touchdowns in the last 3 games and leads the team in touchdowns scored this season. Smith, who has started only twice this season (November 26 vs. Cincinnati, Dec. 10 vs. Indianapolis) has caught 19 passes for 252 yards (13.3-yard average) and 3 touchdowns -- all in the last 6 games -- and he has returned 17 kickoffs for 370 yards and 1 TD. He also scored on a blocked punt. Smith is the Jaguars' only wide receiver who has played in every game. Here is a breakdown of his touchdowns the last 3 weeks:
Date Opponent How he scored___________
November 26 vs. Cincinnati 31-yard pass from Steve Beuerlein
December 3 at Denver Recovered blocked punt in endzone
December 3 at Denver 89-yard kickoff return (after a lateral from Desmond Howard)
December 3 at Denver 14-yard pass from Steve Beuerlein
December 10 vs. Indianapolis 4-yard pass from Mark Brunell
LAGEMAN THE LEADER: Jaguars DE Jeff Lageman is bidding to be his team's leader in sacks for the 4th time in the last 5 seasons. Lageman, who has missed the last 3 games with a foot injury, currently paces the team with 3 sacks. He notched team-highs with the New York Jets in 1991, 1993 and 1994. After posting a career-best 10 sacks in 1991, Lageman missed all but 2 games in 1992 before coming back to get 8.5 sacks in 1993 and 6.5 in 1994.
BRUNELL STILL IN FRONT: With 429 rushing yards, Mark Brunell leads all NFL quarterbacks. In fact, Brunell's yardage total already exceeds the top mark by a quarterback in 1994. Last season, San Francisco's Steve Young ran for 293 yards. The NFL record is 968 yards by Chicago's Bobby Douglass in 1972. Brunell ranked as the Jaguars' rushing leader for the first 6 weeks of the season, as well as games 9 through 12.
INSIDE THE RED ZONE: The Jaguars continue to be one of the NFL's best teams inside the red zone. Against Indianapolis, they scored 5 of the 6 times they penetrated the Colts' 20-yard line. In 14 games, Jacksonville has reached the red zone 40 times and scored 35 times, coming away with 23 touchdowns and 12 field goals (they also had two missed field goals, two interceptions and a fumble). Jaguars opponents have scored 44 times in 52 possessions inside the 20-yard line (26 touchdowns and 18 field goals). On goal-to-goal situations, the Jaguars are 17 of 20, with 13 touchdowns and 4 field goals. Their opponents are 21 of 21, with 14 TDs and 7 FG's.
JAGUARS STILL HAVE NFL'S BIGGEST OFFENSIVE LINE: The Jaguars have the tallest starting offensive line in the NFL and the second heaviest.
The Jaguars' starting offensive line averages 6-6.4 inches in height and weighs 312 pounds. Only the Dallas Cowboys weigh more than the Jaguars.
In fact, Jacksonville's smallest starting offensive lineman (LG Shawn Bouwens, who is 6-5, 293) is taller than the average lineman on all but five teams in the NFL.
ìSize matters, but what's important is production,î says Jaguars head coach Tom Coughlin. ìSize is an advantage in certain situations, and you'd like it to be a major plus.î
Jacksonville has three starters who are 6-7, and in the entire NFL there are only 13 players who are 6-7 or taller. Here is a breakdown:
Rk. Team Avg. Ht. Avg. Wt. Rk. Team Avg. Ht. Avg. Wt.
- Jacksonville 6-6.4 312 16. Miami 6-4.2 297
- Cincinnati 6-6.0 296 17. Indianapolis 6-4.2 293
- Seattle 6-5.4 305 18. San Francisco 6-4.2 279
- Oakland 6-5.2 306 19. Dallas 6-4.0 319
- N.Y. Giants 6-5.0 295 20. N.Y. Jets 6-4.0 309
- Cleveland 6-4.8 307 21. St. Louis 6-4.0 301
- Chicago 6-4.8 305 22. Houston 6-4.0 294
- Kansas City 6-4.8 300 23. Minnesota 6-3.8 293
- New England 6-4.8 294 24. Green Bay 6-3.6 299
- New Orleans 6-4.6 294 25. Arizona 6-3.4 300
- Denver 6-4.6 289 26. San Diego 6-3.4 299
- Washington 6-4.4 309 27. Pittsburgh 6-3.4 295
- Detroit 6-4.4 293 28. Tampa Bay 6-3.4 294
- Atlanta 6-4.2 301 29. Philadelphia 6-3.0 302
- Buffalo 6-4.2 298 30. Carolina 6-2.4 300
YOUNG UP FRONT: The Jaguars' starting offensive line is also one of the youngest in the NFL, with two rookies and one other player who had never started an NFL game until this season. Here's a look at the experience of the line:
Pos. Player Ht. Wt. Age NFL Starts Starts before '95 Year in NFL
LT Tony Boselli 6-7 323 23 10 0 1st
LG Shawn Bouwens 6-5 293 27 40 33 5th
C Dave Widell 6-7 308 30 64 50 8th
RG Ben Coleman 6-6 313 24 16 13 3rd
RT Brian DeMarco 6-7 321 23 14 0 1st
FIRST-ROUND COUNT: The Jaguars have eight players on their roster and another on injured reserve 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 (on I.R.) 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.
ABOUT THE STADIUM: The new Jacksonville Municipal Stadium has drawn rave reviews (in 6 regular-season home games, the average attendance is 70,497):
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
Steelers owner Dan Rooney: ì(Jacksonville is) the most enthusiastic place I've ever seen. (The stadium has) been an impetus to the community like you've never seen. You could say that's money well spent.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
Bengals general manager Mike Brown: ìThere are a lot of things to impress us about this stadium. The club seat arrangement, the sight lines -- really everything about it.î
Colts offensive coordinator Lindy Infante, who was the head coach of the USFL Jacksonville Bulls in 1984-85: ìI was curious to see the new stadium because I've heard so many good things about it. It really is outstanding. The people of Jacksonville have a lot of be proud of.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 late Monday afternoons.
ON THE INTERNET: The Jaguars' weekly press releases can also be accessed on the Internet at:
Also on the Internet is an NFL library with historical information and current NFL stats, as well as rosters and team rankings, the NFL newswire with daily team updates, chat rooms and bulletin boards, TV listings and a children's section.
JAGUARS DEFENSE: The Jaguars have allowed only 339 points in 14 games. That ranks second when compared to the eight previous expansions teams in NFL history. The fewest points allowed is an average of 21.4 by the 1968 Cincinnati Bengals. Here is a statistical breakdown:
Team Year Allowed Games Avg
Cincinnati 1968 299 14 21.4
Jacksonville 1995 339 14 24.2
Miami 1968 362 14 25.9
Seattle 1976 429 14 26.8
New Orleans 1967 379 14 27.1
Atlanta 1966 397 14 28.4
Minnesota 1961 407 14 29.1
Tampa Bay 1976 412 14 29.4
Dallas 1960 370 12 30.8
THE OFFENSE IS NO. 2, TOO: The Jaguars currently rank 2nd among the highest-scoring offenses on NFL expansion teams. Through 13 games, the Jaguars have scored 220 points, an average of 16.9 per game.
Team Year Points Games Average
Minnesota 1961 285 14 20.4
Jacksonville 1995 251 14 17.9
New Orleans 1967 233 14 16.6
Seattle 1976 229 14 16.4
Miami 1966 213 14 15.2
Dallas 1961 177 12 14.8
Atlanta 1966 204 14 14.6
Cincinnati 1968 175 14 12.5
Tampa Bay 1976 125 14 8.9
STATISTICALLY SPEAKING: When compared to the 8 expansion teams in NFL history, a number of Jaguars players rank highly. Here is a listing of the Jaguars' leading in 8 different statistical categories as compared to the team leader for the previous 8 expansion teams in NFL history (the statistics for the Jaguars' players are for 14 games, while other players are for the entire season):
Team Player Year Att. Comp. Yards TD INT Rating
Jacksonville Mark Brunell 1995 317 184 1893 14 7 80.9
Minnesota Fran Tarkenton 1961 280 157 1997 18 17 74.5
Cincinnati John Stofa 1968 177 85 896 5 5 60.8
New Orleans Gary Cuozzo 1967 260 134 1562 7 12 59.9
Tampa Bay Steve Spurrier 1976 311 156 1628 7 12 57.1
Dallas Eddie LeBaron 1960 225 111 1736 12 25 53.4
Seattle Jim Zorn 1976 439 208 2571 12 27 49.2
Atlanta Randy Johnson 1966 295 129 1795 12 21 47.9
Miami Dick Wood 1966 230 83 993 4 14 30.4
Team Player Att. Yards Avg. TD
Cincinnati Paul Robinson 238 1023 4.3 8
Atlanta Junior Coffey 199 722 3.6 4
Minnesota Hugh McElhenny 120 570 4.8 3
Seattle Sherman Smith 119 537 4.5 4
Tampa Bay Louis Carter 171 521 3.0 1
Jacksonville James Stewart 135 513 3.8 2
Miami Joe Auer 121 416 3.4 4
New Orleans Jim Taylor 130 390 3.0 2
Dallas L.G. Dupre 104 362 3.5 3
Team Player No. Yards Avg. TD
Seattle Steve Largent 54 705 13.1 4
Minnesota Jerry Reichow 50 859 17.2 11
New Orleans Danny Abramowicz 50 721 14.4 6
Jacksonville Willie Jackson 47 494 10.5 4
Atlanta Alex Hawkins 44 661 15.0 2
Cincinnati Bob Trumpy 37 639 17.3 3
Dallas Jim Doran 31 554 17.9 3
Tampa Bay Morris Owens 30 390 13.0 6
Miami Dave Kocourek 27 320 11.9 2
Team Player XP XPA FG FGA Pts.
Jacksonville Mike Hollis 26 27 17 23 77
New Orleans Charlie Durkee 27 27 14 32 69
Minnesota Mike Mercer 36 37 9 21 63
Cincinnati Dale Livingston 20 20 13 26 59
Miami Gene Mingo 23 23 10 22 53
Atlanta Lou Kirouac 19 24 9 18 46
Seattle John Leypoldt 19 22 8 12 43
Dallas Fred Cone 21 23 6 13 39
Tampa Bay Dave Green 11 14 8 14 35
EXPANSION KICKOFF RETURNERS
Team Player No. Yards Avg. TD
New Orleans Walter Roberts 28 737 26.3 1
Miami Joe Auer 28 698 24.9 1
Minnesota Tommy Mason 25 603 24.1 0
Atlanta Ron Smith 43 1013 23.6 0
Tampa Bay Rod McNeil 17 384 22.6 0
Cincinnati Warren McVea 14 310 22.1 0
Jacksonville Jimmy Smith 21 462 22.0 1
Seattle Oliver Ross 30 655 21.8 0
Dallas Tom Franckhauser 26 526 20.2 0
EXPANSION PUNT RETURNERS
Team Player No. Yards Avg. TD
Minnesota Tommy Mason 14 146 10.4 0
Jacksonville Desmond Howard 24 246 10.3 0
Dallas Bill Butler 13 131 10.1 0
Atlanta Ron Smith 11 80 7.3 0
Tampa Bay Danny Reece 20 143 7.2 0
Seattle Lyle Blackwood 19 132 6.9 0
Miami Bob Neff 10 60 6.0 0
Cincinnati Essex Johnson 22 111 5.0 0
New Orleans Walter Roberts 11 50 4.5 0
Team Player No.
New Orleans Dave Whitsell 10
Miami Willie West 8
Minnesota Rip Hawkins 5
Atlanta Jerry Richardson 5
Seattle Dave Brown 4
Roland Woolsey 4
Dallas Don Bishop 3
Tom Franckhauser 3
Cincinnati Jess Phillips 3
Tampa Bay Mark Cotney 3
Jacksonville Harry Colon 2
James Williams 2
Team Player No. Avg.
Jacksonville Bryan Barker 74 44.1
Cincinnati Dale Livingston 70 43.4
New Orleans Tom McNeil 74 42.9
Dallas Dave Sherer 57 42.5
Miami George Wilson 42 42.1
Atlanta Billy Lothridge 73 40.7
Tampa Bay Dave Green 92 39.3
Minnesota Mike Mercer 63 39.0
Seattle Rick Engles 80 38.3
FUTURE PRESS RELEASES
BARKER IS NFL'S TOP NET PUNTER THIS YEAR: Jaguars P Bryan Barker has the highest net punting average in the NFL this season and the second-highest net over the last two seasons.
This season, Barker's net average of 38.9 yards leads the entire NFL. And over the last two years, Barker's net average of 37.7 yards ranks second only to Denver's Tom Rouen, who has a 37.9-yard net average.
For the season, Barker has punted 74 times for an average of 44.1 yards, 6th in the NFL and above his career best of 43.3 in 1993 while with Kansas City. Barker's net average of 38.9 yards is far above his previous best of 36.3 yards in 1994, which led the NFC when he was with Philadelphia. The Jaguars have allowed their opponents to return 41 punts for a total of only 283 yards -- a 6.9-yard average that is 6th best in the NFL. No expansion team has ever sent its punter to the Pro Bowl.
Here are the two-season statistics of the NFL's two best net punters over the last two seasons:
Rk. Player No. Yards Gross Avg. TB In20 Blk Ret. Yards Net Yds Net Avg.
- Tom Rouen, Den. 119 5025 43.0 10 44 1 59 400 4512 37.9
- Bryan Barker, Jax. 140 5961 42.6 12 37 0 78 441 5280 37.7
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 W, 17-16 36,346
Sunday, Oct. 8 PITTSBURGH STEELERS W,20-16 72,042
Sunday, Oct. 15 CHICAGO BEARS L, 27-30 72,020
Sunday, Oct. 22 at Cleveland Browns W, 23-15 64,405
Sunday, Oct. 29 at Pittsburgh Steelers L, 7-24 54,516
Sunday, Nov. 12 SEATTLE SEAHAWKS L, 30-47 71,290
Sunday, Nov. 19 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers L, 16-17 71,629
Sunday, Nov. 26 CINCINNATI BENGALS L, 13-17 68,249
Sunday, Dec. 3 at Denver Broncos L, 23-31 72,231
Sunday, Dec. 10 INDIANAPOLIS COLTS L, 31-41 66,099
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.
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 (two are on injured reserve).
Rd. Player Status
1a OT Tony Boselli Starting left offensive tackle
1b RB James Stewart Has started 7 games at halfback
2a OT Brian DeMarco Starting right offensive tackle
2b MLB Bryan Schwartz Starting middle linebacker
3 S Chris Hudson On injured reserve (groin)
4a QB Rob Johnson Third-string quarterback
4b DT Mike Thompson Backup defensive tackle
5 FB Ryan Christopherson Backup fullback and short-yardage runner; has 1 TD run
6 OT Marcus Price On injured reserve (ankle)
7 WR Curtis Marsh Backup wide receiver and kickoff returner
TICKET INFORMATION: A limited number of upper deck sideline and end zone tickets still remain for $35 and $46. For information, call (904) 633-2000.
THE LAST TIME: (info on the last time the two teams played / use for CLEV release)
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 -- Waived on November 21
RB Randy Jordan -- Backup halfback who scored the first TD in franchise history vs. Cincinnati
DE Ernie Logan -- Backup left defensive end; started Week 5 vs. Houston
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