The following is a transcript of a question and answer session between jaguars.com Senior Writer Vic Ketchman and Jaguars owner Wayne Weaver.
VK: Where do you stand on the Cincinnati field conditions issue?
WW: You can make a big deal about the field, and at this level, the way we're paying players, it's the responsibility of the clubs to make darn sure they present a field that's playable and in good condition and doesn't expose players to undo risk, but other than that, both teams played on the field, both teams played in the cold weather, and I don't use that as an excuse at all for our poor play. You can go back and think about the Hollis kick and the number of fumbles in the game, but at some point a player has to be focused enough to understand how critical it is in certain situations to hold onto the football, and you can't tell me that in any kind of weather, if you're focused, you can't do that. That's where I'm having a problem. We lost the game, in my opinion, because of a lack of focus, and I hate to say it, but maybe players wanted to get it over with and get off the field.
VK: Is the loss to the Bengals just one loss on a cold day and on a bad field, or is it symbolic of something deeper?
WW: I really don't know the answer to that. I'm struggling with the answer to that, because we've lost too many games this year that appear to be a lack of focus, that we just don't finish. I don't know if it's a leadership issue, that we just don't have players out on the field exerting enough leadership; I don't know the answer to that. All I know is that I think we have a great bunch of guys who want to win, sometimes I just don't know if they know how to finish under these pressure situations.
VK: It was another late-game collapse. Is it important to find out why?
WW: I think we clearly have to sit back and re-examine everything we've done this year. I really do believe it's a leadership thing. We have to find some guys who are going to step up and really be the leaders the young guys are looking up to, and when we get into these critical pressure situations, there's someone who's giving a calming effect, "OK, guys, we've just got to make these plays." I don't know that that's happening.
VK: You've experienced down years in business -- obviously, not many of them -- but what is the course of action that has usually reversed the trend?
WW: You usually have to sit down with your people and go back to the drawing board and say where are our strategies flawed and how do we fix them? A good leader knows how to do that. He knows how to identify what the problems are. It's not always a quick fix, but over a period of time you correct it. We've got to analyze this year and we've got to come back next year saying we've got some issues we've got to resolve. Whether it's more leadership from players, I don't know, but we've got some issues we've got to resolve to be a championship football team.
VK: Do the failures of the Washington Redskins this season tell us anything?
WW: The Redskins have a number of great athletes they've brought in, but it goes back to leadership, it goes back to chemistry on a ballclub, it goes back to how deeply a player feels about winning. Those are the elements, and I'm not sure you can bring in a bunch of great athletes and put them together and get everybody to care as much as the other guy.
VK: Are you looking forward to the end of the season and the start of new business?
WW: I'm looking forward to the Giants game because I do think we're going to learn a lot about this football team in New York. For us to say we just want to get out of the season is unacceptable, because I do think we're going to learn a lot about the character of this football team on Saturday in New York. I'm looking forward to that game. The start of new business? We're evaluating everything right now and, obviously, the Giants game is going to be critical as to how we evaluate our people and some of the decisions we're going to make. This season is not over. It's a disappointing year, but we've got to go figure out why we weren't able to finish some of the games we obviously should've won.