NEXT GAME: OCTOBER 26 VS. RIVAL TENNESSEE TITANS
THIS WEEK: The Jacksonville Jaguars are 1-5 entering their bye week and will not play this weekend. They will return to action on October 26 when they host the Tennessee Titans at ALLTEL Stadium. The Jaguars are 5-3 in games played following their bye week. This week, the Jaguars will begin preparations for a Titans team they will face twice in a four-week period. Three of the Jaguars' next four games are against division rivals from the AFC South.
The Jaguars lost to the Miami Dolphins 24-10 last Sunday. However, the game showed the makings of a sturdy defense that held the Dolphins to 234 yards on offense — the lowest total by a Jaguars opponent in two seasons. The Dolphins scored 17 points off Jaguars turnovers and their other seven points off their own fumble.
"We're going to play good defense here," said Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio. "It's going to keep getting better." Of the bye week, Del Rio said, "From an injury standpoint, we could use it. We have some guys who are nicked up. We can go back and work on some little things that are separating us from having great effort and wins from having great effort and losing close ones. We look forward to the opportunity to work on some of the little things we need to correct."
One of those is too many turnovers. In their last two losses, the Jaguars have six interceptions and four fumbles. Still, Del Rio shows confidence in rookie quarterback Byron Leftwich, the seventh overall choice in the 2003 draft. "We made a decision to go forward and we're not going to look back and second-guess. We have to look at the silver lining or the experience factor, but we're trying to win right now."
TICKET INFORMATION: Tickets are still available for all remaining games. Fans can call 1-877-4-JAGS-TIX or (904) 633-2000 or buy tickets online at jaguars.com.
JAGUARS ON THE AIR THIS WEEK:
Monday — Jaguars Reporters, 6:00 p.m., WOKV Radio, with Brian Sexton, Vic Ketchman
Monday — The Jack Del Rio Show, 7:30 p.m., WTEV Ch. 47
Tuesday — The Jack Del Rio Show, 6:00 p.m., WOKV Radio
Wednesday — Jaguars This Week, 6:00 p.m., WOKV Radio
Saturday — Jaguars Weekend, 7:30 p.m. and 12:00 a.m., WTEV Ch. 47
Sunday — THE Jaguars Show, 11:00 a.m., WTEV Ch. 47
Sunday — Jaguars Midseason Report 2003, 11:30 a.m., WTEV Ch. 47
INJURY UPDATE: The only player injured in the Miami game was CB Jason Craft (knee). Three players missed the game because of injuries: QB Mark Brunell (elbow), WR Jimmy Redmond (foot) and CB Kiwaukee Thomas (groin). The status of all injured players will be updated on Wednesday.
THE COACH: Jack Del Rio was named Jaguars head coach on January 17, 2003, becoming the second head coach in Jaguars' history. At 40, Del Rio is the second youngest head coach in the NFL (four months older than Jon Gruden). Del Rio spent 11 years as an NFL linebacker and had a standout college career at the University of Southern California. He previously coached in New Orleans (1997-98), Baltimore (1999-2001), and Carolina (2002). He was the Panthers' defensive coordinator, and in his only season with the club the defense improved from 31st in the NFL to second, the biggest one season defensive improvement in NFL history. Del Rio was the linebackers coach for three seasons in Baltimore, where the Ravens' defense also ranked second each season. He helped the team win Super Bowl XXXV over the New York Giants and coached the Ravens' talented linebackers, overseeing the development of Peter Boulware, Jamie Sharper and Ray Lewis, the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year in 2000 and the MVP of Super Bowl XXXV. Prior to coaching, Del Rio played 11 seasons in the NFL, with New Orleans (1985-86), Kansas City (1987-88), Dallas (1989-1991) and Minnesota (1992-95), playing in the Pro Bowl following the 1994 season. Del Rio was a starter at linebacker for Southern California (1981-84), where he earned All-America honors, was a runner-up for the Lombardi Award and co-MVP of the 1985 Rose Bowl. Del Rio has learned from some of the best coaches in all of football. He was recruited to USC and played for John Robinson, and in the NFL he played under Bum Phillips, Jim Mora, Jimmy Johnson and Dennis Green. As an assistant coach, he has worked for Hall of Famer Mike Ditka and Super Bowl winner Brian Billick, as well as John Fox. Drafted by baseball's Toronto Blue Jays, Del Rio batted .340 while playing catcher on USC's baseball team in 1983 and 1984 with future stars Randy Johnson and Mark McGwire. He was a third-round choice by the New Orleans Saints in 1985 and was named to the NFL's All-Rookie team.
LAST WEEK: The Jaguars were defeated by the Miami Dolphins 24-10 at ALLTEL Stadium, losing for the fifth time in six games this season. The Dolphins scored 17 of their points off Jaguars turnovers and seven off their own fumble. The Jaguars had five turnovers — three interceptions and two fumbles — which failed to help a strong defensive effort. The Jaguars held the Dolphins to 234 yards, the lowest total for an opponent since the 2001 season. The game was 10-10 in the fourth quarter. Miami scored its winning touchdown after fumbling the ball on the two-yard line on a third-down play. But Randy McMichael picked up the ball and scored, and a replay challenge by the Jaguars upheld the play. With 1:29 left in the game and the Jaguars trying to tie the score, Sam Madison intercepted Byron Leftwich and ran 29 yards for a touchdown. Leftwich, making his third NFL start, scored the Jaguars' only touchdown on an eight-yard run in the third quarter. Miami opened the scoring with 10 points in the first period, including a 14-yard touchdown by Ricky Williams, who was trapped and reversed field, took advantage of a fine block on Tony Brackens and scored. Seth Marler, who kicked a 20-yard field goal in the second quarter, was wide right on a 31-yard attempt in the fourth quarter that would have cut the Miami lead to 17-13.
NOTES FROM THE DOLPHINS GAME: The loss was the Jaguars' first to the Dolphins, following a win in both the regular season and the postseason and two in the preseason. … Jacksonville is now 5-4 in games before their bye week. … The Jaguars had more first downs (22 to 16), more yards (332 to 234) and more time of possession (32:54 to 27:06). … Miami's 234 yards was the fewest by a Jaguars opponent since Minnesota gained 214 yards on 12/23/01. … The 11 penalties for 149 yards against Miami were the most yards ever allowed by the Dolphins (previous: 143 on 10/1/95 vs. Cincinnati) and the most ever by a Jaguars opponent (previous: 129 by Seattle on 11/12/95). The 11 penalties is tied for the second most by a Jaguars opponent (most: 14 by Cincinnati on 11/26/95). … The Jaguars had five turnovers and two takeaways and are now minus-two for the season. … The Dolphins gained 91 yards on the ground. Jacksonville has the AFC's best defensive rush average, allowing only 3.1 yards per carry. … Fred Taylor led the team with 35 yards rushing on 16 carries (season-low 2.2-yard average). … Byron Leftwich completed 24 of 42 passes for 256 yards, no touchdowns and three interceptions and a passer rating of 45.3. He had his first NFL rushing touchdown (eight yards). His attempts and completions were both career highs and the most by a Jaguars quarterback since Mark Brunell was 24 of 46 on 10/20/02 at Baltimore. In his first three starts, Byron Leftwich has passed for 823 yards, the third most by a rookie quarterback since the 1970 merger. Vinny Testaverde passed for 871 yards in his first three career starts for Tampa Bay in 1987, followed by Buffalo's Dennis Shaw (868 in 1970). … Fred Taylor had a game-high eight receptions for 64 yards. It marked his most catches in a game since 9/20/98 vs. Kansas City (9), his third game as a pro. … Jimmy Smith caught six passes for a game-high 65 yards. … In his first game with the Jaguars, Mark Royals punted one time for 42 yards (he also was roughed on his first kick and the Jaguars got a first down). … Tony Brackens got the Jaguars' only sack, his fourth of the season. They allowed four sacks. … SLB Akin Ayodele led the team with 10 tackles (5 solo), followed by DT Marcus Stroud with 9 tackles (5 solo). … Jason Craft's interception was his second of the season and seventh of his career. His 21-yard return was a career-long. … Akin Ayodele had a fumble recovery that was forced by Hugh Douglas. … Every player who dressed saw action except QB David Garrard, G/OT Leander Jordan and TE Chris Luzar. The inactive players were: WR Jimmy Redmond, CB Kiwaukee Thomas, CB Blue Adams, LB Keith Mitchell, OT/G Sammy Williams, OL Marques Ogden, WR J.J. Stokes and QB Mark Brunell (third QB). … Jaguars captains were: DT John Henderson, S Donovin Darius, C Brad Meester and S Nick Sorensen.
FROM COACH JACK DEL RIO ON THE DOLPHINS GAME: "I'm disappointed not to get the win. We did some decent things, but we turned the ball over too much. You can't win in this league turning the ball over that many times. They had 17 points directly off those turnovers. That makes it very difficult against anybody, especially a stingy defense like Miami. Our No. 1 battle cry this week was to win the turnover battle. If we did, we felt we could win the game. We did not. After being out there for 60 minutes, I feel like if we win that turnover battle, we would win the game, but it didn't happen."
(on the fumble in which Miami scored a TD) "That was one I'd like to have had. We were hoping the ball was down or his knee was down. When you force a fumble, you hope you're off the field there, and they ended up picking up the TD. That was a tough one. Even after that, we had our chances to stay in the game and fought hard to stay in the game. In the end we came up short."
(on the Jacksonville defense holding Miami's offense) "(Ricky Williams) gained some yards in areas where we really broke down, assignment-wise or technique-wise to help him get going at all. I felt like we were strong enough up front to stop him, and for the most part we did. It wasn't a matter of them beating us to the punch or knocking us off the ball. We lost leverage a couple of times. We're going to play good defense here. It's going to keep getting better."
(on Byron Leftwich's game) "We have to look at the silver lining or the experience factor, but we're trying to win right now. The bottom line is we didn't play well enough to win, and I'm looking for wins."
(on second-guessing himself playing Leftwich) "No. I'm not even going to play that game. We made a decision to go forward and we're not going to look back and second-guess."
(on the bye week) "From an injury standpoint, we could use it. We have some guys who are nicked up. We can go back and work on some little things that are separating us from having great effort and wins from having great effort and losing close ones. We look forward to the opportunity to work on some of the little things we need to correct. We're looking forward to putting in our time and doing what we need to go do to correct some things."
FROM QB BYRON LEFTWICH: "I think anytime you have turnovers in a game and put your defense in the situation we put our defense in you're not going to win many ball games."
(on whether or not he needed more touch on the pass interference plays to Jimmy Smith and Troy Edwards) "Not really. Those were touchdowns if the defensive backs don't grab the receivers. You want to put the ball in a place where those guys can make a play. I just tried to do that, but I have to watch the film to see if I needed more touch. The great thing is we got pass interference calls so it's tough to say."
FROM DE HUGH DOUGLAS: "The bottom line is that we just didn't get it done, and that is frustrating. We have to just keep plugging away and get ready for the next one."
(on getting another Jaguars win) "I think it's going to take some luck, We're doing some good things out there, but it's just not going our way. We need to keep plugging away and hopefully we can get it done."
FROM RB FRED TAYLOR: "We have to just keep on grinding it out. We're doing some good things and we're doing some bad things. We are definitely in a lot of these games that we have lost, but in the NFL the better team is always the one that is victorious at the end. It's not that we're getting blown out. We have a good team and we just have to find a way to put it all together."
(on his performance) "Personally, it's very frustrating. You don't start a game off the way I did. I felt like I wanted to cry on the sidelines, but if I let my teammates see that, they would have thought that I was giving up on them. I have to get better myself, especially with holding onto the ball. I knew going in that the Dolphins are a team that loves to tackle the ball. I was just trying to make a play and they got the fumble. No excuses."
NEXT WEEK: The Jaguars will host the Tennessee Titans at 1:00 p.m. Sunday, October 26 at ALLTEL Stadium. It will be the 17th regular-season game between the two franchises, the most ever in a Jaguars series, and the Titans hold a 9-7 lead (Tennessee also won the 1999 AFC Championship game). The Titans won both games in 2002, 23-14 in Tennessee on October 13 and 28-10 in Jacksonville on December 22. This season, the Titans are 4-2 and in second place in the AFC South. The Jaguars are 5-3 in games played following their bye week.
LEFTWICH THIRD AMONG ROOKIE QUARTERBACKS SINCE 1970: In his three NFL starts, Jaguars QB Byron Leftwich has the third-most passing yards of any NFL quarterback since the 1970 merger.
JAGUARS VS. LAST FIVE ENEMY RUSHERS: In the last five games, the Jaguars have held opposing ballcarriers to an average of 51 yards per game and an average of only 2.7 yards per rush. For the season, the Jaguars rank fifth in the NFL in rushing defense (84.7 yards per game) and first in the AFC and third in the NFL in rushing yards per attempt (3.1).
SMITH 18TH AND 20TH AMONG ALL-TIME RECEIVERS: Jaguars WR Jimmy Smith ranks 18th on the NFL's all-time receiving list and 20th in career receiving yards. Smith has 678 career receptions for 9,489 yards.
BRADY RANKS NO. 5 AMONG TIGHT ENDS: In the last five seasons, the Jaguars' Kyle Brady has the fifth most receptions of active tight ends.
DOUGLAS IS EIGHTH-LEADING ACTIVE SACKER: Jaguars DE Hugh Douglas ranks eighth among active players in sacks.
TAYLOR HAS SEVENTH-MOST TOUCHDOWNS LAST FIVE YEARS: Despite missing 24 full games and parts of nine others, Jaguars RB Fred Taylor has scored the seventh-most touchdowns over the last six seasons among active players.
THE EUROPEAN CONNECTION: Two Jaguars players who spent the spring playing in the NFL Europe League are already making their presence felt.
WR Matthew Hatchette, who led the NFL Europe League in receptions in the spring, is tied as the Jaguars' second-leading receiver through six games, with 15 catches for 203 yards and two receiving touchdowns.
KR David Allen, who was the NFLEL's Special Teams Player of the Year in the spring (breaking the league's kickoff return yardage record with 915 yards), has played in the last four games and is ninth in the AFC with a 23.6-yard average on kickoff returns. He set up the team's only touchdown at Indianapolis with a 61-yard return. He had his first NFL reception of 31 yards against Miami.
MORE TOUCHDOWNS THAN INTERCEPTIONS: Jaguars QB Mark Brunell has the fifth best ratio of touchdown passes to interceptions in NFL history. In 11 seasons, Brunell has 144 TD passes and only 86 interceptions (none this season).
NEW FACES: There are 28 new faces among the 53 players on the Jaguars' current roster.
Unrestricted Free Agents (4) — DE Hugh Douglas, FB Marc Edwards, LB Keith Mitchell, LB Mike Peterson
Veteran Free Agents (12) — DE Lionel Barnes, S Deke Cooper, WR Troy Edwards, RB Chris Fuamatu-Ma'afala, WR Matthew
Hatchette, G Jamar Nesbit, P Mark Royals, S Nick Sorensen, WR J.J. Stokes, LB Shannon Taylor, CB James Trapp, OT/G Sammy Williams
First-year free agents (1) — RB/KR David Allen
Trade (1) — S Anthony Mitchell
Draft Choices (7) — QB Byron Leftwich, DB Rashean Mathis, G Vince Manuwai, TE George Wrighster, RB LaBrandon Toefield,
OT Marques Ogden, CB Blue Adams (signed off Tampa Bay's practice squad)
Undrafted Rookies (3) — CB Chris Brown, WR Cortez Hankton, PK Seth Marler
O-LINE AND D-LINE: For the first time in Jaguars history, the starting offensive line and defensive line have stayed the same for the first six games.
The offensive line of LT Mike Pearson, LG Vince Manuwai, C Brad Meester, RG Chris Naeole and RT Maurice Williams has started all six games, with all of the starters except Manuwai having played every offensive snap (Manuwai has alternated some with backup Jamar Nesbit).
In 1997, the offensive line did not change for the first 10 games of the season (LT Tony Boselli, LG Ben Coleman, C Dave Widell, RG Rich Tylski and RT Leon Searcy). For the 11th game, Michael Cheever moved in at center, and then there were numerous changes the rest of the season due to injuries.
In the franchise's first eight seasons, the defensive line had never gone past the fourth game of the season before the starters changed. This year, the starters — LE Tony Brackens, DTs Marcus Stroud and John Henderson, and RE Hugh Douglas — play 50 to 80 percent of the defensive snaps, while often rotating with backups such as DEs Lionel Barnes and Paul Spicer and DT Rob Meier.
The Jaguars' defense ranks fifth in the NFL in rushing defense, allowing only 84.7 rushing yards per game.
JAGUARS ROOKIE STARTERS ON OPENING DAY: Two members of this year's draft class started the season opener, becoming the 11th and 12th rookies to start for the Jaguars on opening day.
1995 — OT Brian DeMarco, TE Pete Mitchell, RB James Stewart
1996 — LB Kevin Hardy
1997 — None
1998 — S Donovin Darius
1999 — CB Fernando Bryant
2000 — G Brad Meester, DB Kiwaukee Thomas
2001 — S Marlon McCree, OT Maurice Williams
2002 — None
2003 — G Vince Manuwai, S Rashean Mathis
JAGUARS IN THE COMMUNITY: Each Tuesday during the NFL season, Jaguars players are involved in the community making visits to schools and other non-profit agencies. Here are some visits for this week:
Tuesday, October 14
10:00 – 11:00 a.m. S James Trapp will visit Eugene Butler Middle School to congratulate 25 winning students who attended Sunday's Jaguars game. The students were rewarded to a game by showing improvement in their attendance, behavior and schoolwork throughout the week.
10:30 – 11:30 a.m. OT Mike Pearson will make an appearance at Tandem Nursing and Rehabilitation Center of Orange Park to meet with the residents as part of their "Football Fanatics" pep rally.
10:30 – 11:30 a.m. OL Marques Ogden will talk with students at Ribault High School about accountability, attitude and making the right decisions.
1:00 – 2:00 p.m. LB Akin Ayodele will visit Cendant Mortgage Company as part of a Jaguars ticketing sales event. Ayodele will meet and greet employees and sign autographs.
2:00 – 3:00 p.m. CB Kiwaukee Thomas will meet Jaguars fans and sign autographs at J's Bridal and Wedding Shop.
7:00 – 9:00 p.m. CB Rashean Mathis will meet Jaguars fans and sign autographs at Dick and Jane's Sportscards.
JAGUARS AMONG THE LEAGUE LEADERS: The Jaguars rank 15th in the NFL in total offense (18th rushing, 10th passing), and they are 11th in defense (5th rushing and 19th passing). … The Jaguars are tied for sixth in the AFC with a 53.3 percent rate on scoring touchdowns inside the red zone (8 of 15). … QB Byron leftwich is ninth in the AFC in passing with a 78.0 passer rating. … PK Seth Marler is seventh in the AFC with 38 points (11 of 11 PATS, 9 of 14 FGAs). … RB Fred Taylor is tied for 10th in the AFC among non-kickers with 18 points (3 TDs). Taylor is tied for sixth in the AFC with 457 rushing yards and is tied for eighth in the AFC with 28 receptions (second among running backs). He ranks third in the conference with 697 yards from scrimmage. … David Allen is ninth in the AFC with a 23.6 average on kickoff returns. … DE Tony Brackens is tied for seventh in the AFC with four sacks.
STATS AND SUCH: A total of 18 players have started every game this season (8 on offense and 10 on defense): OTs Mike Pearson and Maurice Williams, Gs Vince Manuwai and Chris Naeole, C Brad Meester, TE Kyle Brady, RB Fred Taylor, FB Marc Edwards, DEs Tony Brackens and Hugh Douglas, DTs Marcus Stroud and John Henderson, LBs Mike Peterson and Akin Ayodele, CBs Fernando Bryant and Jason Craft, and Ss Donovin Darius and Rashean Mathis.
The Jaguars have had nine plays of 30 or more yards in 2003. They had only 16 plays of 30-plus yards in 2002, 11 in 2001, 26 in 2000, 23 in 1999, 29 in 1998, 22 in 1997, 26 in 1996 and 12 in 1995. The Jaguars have allowed seven 30-plus plays this season… Of the Jaguars' 126 completed passes, 63 have been to wide receivers, 16 to tight ends and 47 to running backs. … The Jaguars are 4 for 9 on fourth-down conversions; their opponents are 3 for 4. … On 15 drives inside the opponent's 20, the Jaguars have scored eight touchdowns and five field goals. Their opponents have had 16 trips inside the red zone and have come away with 11 touchdowns and three field goals. … Jaguars opponents have begun eight possessions inside their own 20 and scored on one of those drives (1 TD), while the Jaguars have begun 16 possessions inside their own 20 and scored on four of those drives (3 TDs, 1 FG). … In nine seasons, the Jaguars are 17 for 27 on two-point conversions (0 for 1 in 2003), while their opponents are 7 for 25 (0 for 2 in 2003). … In nine seasons, the Jaguars' record for each month is: 1-0 in August, 16-17 in September, 14-20 in October, 19-12 in November, 18-15 in December and 1-1 in January. … In 2003, the Jaguars have outscored their opponents in the second quarter (37-21), and have been outscored in the first quarter (10-31), third quarter (33-41) and fourth quarter (30-61). … The Jaguars have used turnovers to score 17 points, while their opponents scored 30 points off Jaguars' turnovers.
Mark Brunell is 63-54 in 117 regular-season starts, 67-58 overall. Byron Leftwich is 1-2. … WR Jimmy Smith has played in 129 of the 134 games in Jaguars history. Of the current players, next are QB Mark Brunell (120) and DE Tony Brackens (98). … The longest streak of consecutive starts is held by C Brad Meester (54), followed by TE Kyle Brady (52) and CB Jason Craft (27). The longest streak of games played is Craft (70), Brady (56), Meester (54) and DT Rob Meier (54). … Eight players have played in 100 or more games during their careers: CB James Trapp (148), WR Jimmy Smith (136), TE Kyle Brady (130), QB Mark Brunell (122), WR J.J. Stokes (115), DE Hugh Douglas (112), WR/KR Jermaine Lewis (102) and FB Marc Edwards (102). … Brady leads with 124 career starts, followed by Brunell (117) and Smith (108).