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Jaguars rest; Jacksonville doesn't


Tom Coughlin's team takes a much-needed rest this week, as the spotlight shifts to Wayne Weaver's team.

No, not Weaver's Jaguars, but Weaver's committee of Super Bowl pitchmen, who believe Jacksonville will be named by the NFL as the site of the 2005 Super Bowl. An announcement will be made by the league this Wednesday, and the belief is Jacksonville is going to be a "franchise" winner for the second time in seven years.

"It would be great for Jacksonville. Everybody has to be excited about that. The people who've masterminded this deserve all of the credit in the world," Coughlin said of the pitch for a Super Bowl.

Today, Coughlin is excited about the resurrection of sorts of his football team, which won in overtime in Dallas Sunday and kept alive slim hope of recovery. Can the Jaguars rally and finish with their fifth consecutive winning record? Can they win their remaining seven games and make their own "pitch" for a playoff berth?

"Play well and let's get some wins. We have a seven-game schedule. Anything is possible," Coughlin said of his team's mindset as it strolls into its bye week. The Jaguars (3-6) will follow their bye by playing host to the Seattle Seahawks (2-7) on Nov. 12.

"We've got a chance to rest some people and get them back. It comes at a good time," said Coughlin, whose team beat the Cowboys despite the absence of star wide receiver Jimmy Smith, defensive tackle Gary Walker, and defensive ends Renaldo Wynn and Joel Smeenge.

In their most depleted state of the season, the Jaguars relied on a simple game plan: Run the ball and don't turn it over.

"It is that simple. It comes down to a physical game and the teams that win are the teams that rush the ball and don't turn the ball over," Coughlin said.

The Jaguars executed that plan perfectly, and quarterback Mark Brunell contributed the most efficient performance of his career, completing 20 of 24 passes for 231 yards and three touchdowns. The final score was a 37-yard, wide-receiver-screen to Alvis Whitted.

"This game is going to give him great confidence," Coughlin said of Whitted, who was selected to start ahead of first-round pick R. Jay Soward, on the merits of what Coughlin considered to be a superior week of practice by Whitted last week.

"His hands have definitely improved. A game like that could really help him. If he could just continue to grow, there's no question his speed puts people in peril."

Whitted nearly came to a stop at the one-yard line, seemingly taunting the Cowboys. "That means there's a little more work to do," Coughlin said.

In his quest for improved execution, Coughlin has no complaints about yesterday's performance. "To be plus-three is normally 85 percent you're going to win," Coughlin said.

He cited two key plays in the game: defensive end Paul Spicer, a practice-squad player who was playing in place of Wynn and Smeenge, forced a Randall Cunningham fumble and Tony Brackens recovered, which led to the Jaguars' second touchdown inside the two-minute warning in the second quarter; defensive tackle Emarlos Leroy forcing a fumble by Emmitt Smith as the Cowboys were driving for a score in the second half.

"I'm sure people had to go deep into the book to find out who Paul Spicer is," Coughlin said.

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