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Jaguars confronted by issues


It is a team with issues other than just the need for a win. For example:

Injuries have left the Jaguars with a patchwork offensive line that includes a rookie at left guard, journeymen players at center and right guard, and at right tackle a backup player who is attempting to make a comeback from a traumatic knee injury a year ago.

Standing behind that re-built offensive line is quarterback Mark Brunell, the Jaguars' most expensive salary cap hit. Brunell has been sacked 38 times and is well on his way to an all-time NFL sacked record.

First-round draft choice R. Jay Soward was vilified by his coach following Sunday's loss to the Redskins. Today, coach Tom Coughlin was more supportive.

"I think he's trying. He's on the spot. How he responds to that will be interesting. He never backs away from anything when he's wrong," Coughlin said of Soward, who dropped two passes, one of which should've been a touchdown, and fumbled a punt in the loss to Washington.

Defensive end Tony Brackens apologized for kneeing and kicking Redskins guard Jay Leeuwenburg. Brackens was ejected from the game and is awaiting word from the league as to how much he'll be fined.

"Mine will remain confidential," Coughlin said of disciplinary action he's taken against Brackens.

Of course, the need for a win is greater than all of the Jaguars' other issues. This Sunday, they'll face the Dallas Cowboys at Texas Stadium, as the Jaguars attempt to end their five-game losing streak.

"This theme is an old theme. You've got to stop beating yourselves first. It's really about managing yourself on the field," said Coughlin, whose team is minus-8 in turnover differential in the last three games.

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