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Meester high on offense


Brad Meester smiled when he was asked for a guarantee, but he didn't retract his prediction that the Jaguars will have a "tremendous offense" that will "put a lot of points on the board" in 2006.

"You just have to have faith in what we're doing," he told reporters on Tuesday. "We're playing half a game. Some of our second halves are the best parts of our games."

Meester has been a fixture in the Jaguars offensive line and he believes this year's offense is the best in his seven years in Jacksonville.

"I've seen things this year I haven't seen in the past," he said. "This is the best offense we've ever had, without a doubt. This is the type of offense that's going to overcome (adversity). This is definitely going to be an explosive offense this year."

They are remarks that will undoubtedly leave Jaguars fans scratching their heads. If this is such a tremendous offense, why has its first unit struggled to move the ball in the team's first two preseason games?

"We're not using the entire game plan. The run game is a huge asset to our offense. Once we get the run established, it's going to open up our passing game tremendously," Meester said.

The offensive line has struggled in pass-protection through the first two preseason games – especially in Saturday night's loss to Carolina – but the Jaguars center blamed the sacks on a lack of specific preparation.

"Some of that is recognizing blitzes. One of the big things for us is preparation. Once we start breaking teams down, one of the big advantages for us up front is knowing what they're doing," Meester said. "There are a lot of plays that we are one block away from huge gains."

Meester offered this evaluation of the offensive personnel: "Byron (Leftwich) is a tremendous leader of our offense. Fred (Taylor) in the backfield; you can't beat a guy like that. We have a tremendous receiving corps and up front we have guys who've played quite a few years together."

The Jaguars currently have the league's sixth-ranked preseason offense; 27th rushing and third passing. Those statistics, however, have largely been achieved late in the game by reserves playing against reserves.

"We got a few things we need to fine-tune and then we'll get ready for Dallas," Meester said, referring to the Jaguars' regular season opener.

Fred Taylor told reporters he's ready to go now. The Jaguars veteran running back dismissed the notion of a controversy about who should be the team's starting running back, and said he'd be happy to share time with Greg Jones.

"For me, it's funny … people wanting me to fall. I'm nine years in. I'm a little more mature. You can judge me however you want. My character is I'm never going to quit," Taylor said.

Coach Jack Del Rio told reporters on Monday Taylor would be the team's starting running back on opening day. "I don't know why there's a Fred watch," Del Rio said.

"I never thought about it," Taylor said of a competition with Jones for the starting job. "It's always in the coach's hands. I just do what I do."

Taylor answered affirmatively when asked if he'd be willing to share playing time with Jones.

"I've always been that way. Back to my days at the University of Florida, from day one I was rotating; coming here early with Stew (James Stewart). All I've wanted to do is play. I'd be a fool to say I can carry the ball every single play. I know how to share," Taylor said.

The Jaguars were to practice Tuesday afternoon at 1:30.

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