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Line sees it as a challenge


No offense was intended, but the Jaguars offensive line was nonetheless offended and it plans to do something about it, according to veteran Maurice Williams.

"Did it bother you that the offensive line was called out following the game on Monday?" Williams was asked following Wednesday's practice.

"Yeah," Williams said. "We take that as a challenge that we need to play better than we did. We are professional athletes. We want to play at the highest level we can."

Williams was speaking for the offensive line in general. After allowing quarterback David Garrard to be sacked once and hurried often in the first quarter of the 12-9 loss in Miami, Garrard and coach Jack Del Rio called for improved pass-protection.

"We got David hit too much. There wasn't anything too difficult to pick up," Del Rio said.

"Like I told them, if you can keep me upright, there are some things we can do," Garrard said. "We have to do a better job of everybody being on the same page. We have to make sure everybody knows who they have. That way, we can play fast."

The Jaguars went back to work on Wednesday morning, but it was the defense that dominated again. Three dropped passes by Greg Jones hurt the offense's cause, Garrard had one pass intercepted and the most effective plays for the Jaguars offense were screens and check-downs.

"We want to play great defense here," Del Rio said. "We set a standard here. We want to be great on defense."

The defense was great on Wednesday morning, which is cause for at least 50 percent satisfaction. It would be even more satisfying if the Jaguars offense came to life against the Tampa Bay Bucs this Saturday.

"There are some things we feel good about, and some things we have a long ways to go," Del Rio said in an assessment of his team with just half a week of training camp remaining.

It is generally conceded that it's on offense that the Jaguars have the longest way to go. First-round draft choice Eugene Monroe just joined the team last Friday and his development at left tackle would make a big difference in the offensive line in particular and in the offense overall.

"That cohesiveness in the front five is something we're looking to have. The pad level got a little high; we weren't coming off (the ball) together," Del Rio added of the offensive line's performance in Miami. "We need that unit to gel. It starts in the trenches."

No offense intended. It's just an undeniable fact that the offensive line was the team's trouble spot a year ago and any improvement the Jaguars hope to make in 2009 must begin with improvement in that area.

"Guys are fighting for spots on this football team. When one side (of the ball) is winning, we're not going to get carried away," Del Rio added.

Meanwhile, rookie running back Rashad Jennings has been added to the injury list. Jennings wore an ice bag on his left thigh during practice on Wednesday. Wide receivers Mike Walker (ankle) and rookie Mike Thomas (hamstring) and rookie cornerback Derek Cox (groin) were also held out of practice.

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