Jaguars coach Tom Coughlin has found himself answering as many questions this week about the Seattle Seahawks, as Coughlin has about his own team. Everyone seems to want to know what's wrong with the Seahawks.
"You take nothing for granted in this league. You assume nothing. We're trying to take care of our own team," Coughlin said, in conversation about Sunday's opponent, the 3-7 Seahawks.
Seattle remains puzzling. It is a team with several big-name players and, certainly, one of the best coaches in the NFL, Mike Holmgren, whose reputation is for glitzy offense and developing quarterbacks. Neither has been the case in his two years in Seattle.
"They have some very good players. We have to play good football to win. Ninety-nine percent of your focus has to be on this week. If you don't win this week, it doesn't matter what happens (the rest of the year)," offensive tackle Tony Boselli said.
Boselli's comments were in reference to the Jaguars' slim playoff hopes, which would seem to rest on winning their remaining seven games. The Jaguars' remaining schedule would seem to be favorable, as would this Sunday's matchup against a team traveling across the country to play against a bye-rested Jaguars team.
"We realize that we put ourselves in a tough situation. It's easy to talk about it. Seven times we have to go out and do it. We gave some games away, but we can't worry about that now," Boselli added.
The Jaguars' worries are still health-related. Wide receiver Jimmy Smith is back at practice and Coughlin said he's optimistic about what Smith will be able to contribute Sunday, and defensive end Renaldo Wynn appears recovered from his knee sprain, but now there are concerns about cornerback Aaron Beasley, who has missed two days of practice with a back sprain.
Beasley injured the back after a fall last Thursday, and his status for Sunday is uncertain. It is especially worrisome considering that starting left cornerback Fernando Bryant has been bothered by foot and hamstring injuries this season. If Beasley can't play, rookie Kiwaukee Thomas would start at right corner.
"You don't make excuses. If you feel like you're good enough to play, then go play," Boselli said, referring specifically to himself. Boselli has played every game, though he has been unable to practice full speed due to his recovery from offseason knee and ankle surgeries. "You have to work through some things sometimes. That's the kind of year it's been," Boselli added.
It remains that kind of season for the Jaguars, who wait for the day when they might be at full strength.