The following is Jaguars wide receiver Keenan McCardell's diary for Nov. 29-Dec. 3, 2000.
Wednesday, November 29, 2000
There was no let-down coming into Wednesday after the Tennessee win. Coach Coughlin really stressed that early in the meetings before practice. It was a day that felt like we had just lost. He was real stern, making sure we didn't get that mentality. That's what usually happens when you play a big emotional game; you can get a let-down. There are a lot of veterans here and we realize that it feels good to come in on Wednesday after a win, so let's keep it going. I think everybody took the professional route and said this feels good and let's keep it going. We were in here Wednesday all about business.
Thursday, November 30, 2000
On Thursday, coach Coughlin stressed that we could not look past these (the Cleveland Browns) guys. They could come in here and really upset us. This is the NFL. They are very talented and played well with us up in Cleveland in the first half. They were fired up coming off an embarrassing loss to Baltimore and that made us have a sense to get out on top early against these guys. They were going to come in fired up to redeem themselves. We started a little slow on Wednesday, but on Thursday we got going good at the beginning of practice. At home my wife was saying if you guys keep winning, you'll never know what can happen. She's been around football awhile. She knows the only thing you have to do is get on a roll and the hot team will win. Just keep winning and maybe we'll get into the playoffs. I think she wanted to get into the playoffs, because of the playoff check. She knows she can get it and go spend it! Just joking, sweetheart. Most guys who have wives, the playoff check goes straight to the wife. She told me that we are playing good ball and she just wants us to keep winning.
Friday, December 1, 2000
We wanted to have a balanced attack against these guys. With Fred Taylor running the way he is; Cleveland's run-defense wasn't that good. We knew we had to come out and pound them early. We wanted to be physical from the opening kickoff. It's December in the National Football League and you win most of your games by running the football.
Saturday, December 2, 2000
On Saturday, I didn't watch any college football. This was probably one of the first weekends that I didn't have anyone come into town for a game. It was nice to be home and relax. My wife was there and my daughter went to sleep with me while I was relaxing. It was nice. It was kind of boring. I'm used to having family and friends at the house talking football. I didn't even feel like looking at football. When we went to the hotel, I just wanted to see the score of the Florida-Auburn game. I knew the Gators were going to win, but I just wanted to see how badly. The mastermind Steve Spurrier always pulls a good game out in the championship game. He throws the ball, runs the ball, he keeps people off balance.
Sunday, December 3, 2000
We came out and jumped on them early. They put up a little fight in the second quarter, but the touchdown at the half really doused their sprits. It's a big difference going down 20, versus going down 13. Down 13 you have hope. If you score twice, you're back on top, but the touchdown right before the half really hurt them. On my touchdown, it was a simple in-route. I took the route a little deeper because no one was in the end zone. Why take it to the two and let Fred run it in. Nothing against Fred. I took the route about two yards deeper, raised my hand and Mark saw me. As people will see on the television replay, I was laughing because I was wondering what happened. I could here the Cleveland guys fussing saying who their man was, but no one picked me up. They left me so wide open. I was, like, this can't be right! I told one of their guys that they blew the coverage and he didn't say anything back to me. I was, like, blown overages get you beat every time. We felt jumping on them early and getting them out of the game was the best method of winning. I think everybody was happy to just go out and play. We felt bad putting up so many points on Chris (Chris Palmer, Browns head coach) because he's like family to us. He's been in this organization with this team. We were just executing in all phases and it felt great. This was probably the first time we (starters) came out of the game with six minutes left in the third quarter in a regular season game. Most of the time when you come out that early it's a preseason game. We were on the sideline, really not believing we were on the sidelines. We were watching the young guys making sure they played hard. Stressing to them that this is their chance to play and show the coaches what you can do. After the game I didn't do anything special. I went and relaxed because nobody was there. I just stayed at the house and watched Sunday Night Football.