Jack Del Rio knew the issue.
"There's a little bigger group in here this Monday," he said with a smile as he sat down to address the media Monday afternoon.
But while the Jaguars' head coach knew the topic of the day was who the Jaguars will start at quarterback Sunday against the Carolina Panthers – and while he said he understands the interest – he said that doesn't mean it's time to provide an answer.
Who will start Sunday? Luke McCown or Blaine Gabbert?
The answer for now: Wait and see.
"The next question is going to be, 'OK, now what are you going to do?''' Del Rio said Monday, a day after Gabbert – the No. 10 overall selection in the 2011 NFL Draft – replaced a struggling McCown in the fourth quarter of a 32-3 loss to the New York Jets in East Rutherford, N.J.
"The only thing I'd like to say at this point today is, 'We're evaluating the tape, and have not even begun to turn our attention to the Carolina Panthers yet.' If we decide to make a change at any position, we'll let you know when it's appropriate.
"There's no rush right now. We're kind of putting yesterday behind us."
McCown, making his second start for the Jaguars and ninth in eight NFL seasons, completed 6 of 19 passes for 59 yards and threw four interceptions for a passer rating of 1.8. Gabbert replaced him in the fourth quarter and completed 5 of 6 passes for 52 yards and a rating of 102.8.
McCown said not having a timetable on a decision was of little concern.
"The work still has to be done and the preparation still has to be taken care of," McCown said. "Coach has a decision to make and that doesn't change how I go about preparing. That doesn't change how Blaine will go about preparing. Were in the process right now, in the meeting rooms, getting ready for Carolina and we'll get ready for them."
Del Rio declined to discuss the philosophy or approach that will go into the decision.
"There's really no good answer that's going to ultimately be the best answer that's going to solve everything as we sit here Monday, the day after the game," Del Rio said. "When there's a decision made and we feel it's appropriate to notify you we'll let you know. . . .
"I've said what I have to say on the quarterback. I know inquiring minds want to know. When there's information to give you, we'll provide it. There's really not a lot of benefit for our football team to sit here and play the speculative game with you all on what may or may not happen, or when something may or may not occur."
Del Rio also said he had no "seller's remorse" over the decision two weeks ago to release David Garrard – the starting quarterback from 2007-2010 – and make McCown the starter.
"That's a fair question to be asking," Del Rio said. "You can go to last year's Week 2 and Week 3 games and see some real eggs there, too."
Garrard threw four and three interceptions, respectively, in back-to-back Week 2 and Week 3 losses last season to San Diego and Philadelphia.
"It's not like keeping David was going to be a guarantee that we wouldn't have substandard quarterback play," Del Rio said. "We had a bad day Sunday throwing the football. We've seen bad days here in the past. That's why the question comes, 'When is this talented rookie going to get his shot?'
"He will at some point. We're just not ready to discuss that today."
Del Rio said McCown's four interceptions stemmed from different issues. He said McCown tried to pass into too-tight a window on two occasions, overthrew Mike Thomas on another and should have thrown out of bounds on a third-quarter interception that cornerback Antonio Cromartie returned to the Jaguars 1.
"Luke struggled yesterday," Del Rio said. "There's no sugarcoating that. We just can't turn the ball over, particularly at key moments. . . . You're not going to win many ball games when you're throwing picks like that – not what we're looking for."
Del Rio said while the passing game was one area the Jaguars "broke down" in the loss to the Jets on Sunday, he said nearly as important may have been special teams.
The Jaguars allowed two early long returns to cornerback/returner Antonio Cromartie – 39 and 46 yards – that helped special teams give the Jets what Del Rio said was a major advantage.
"They covered kicks better than we did," Del Rio said. "They blocked better on their returns than we did. Their average drive start was significantly better than ours, and that was a major factor in the game Sunday. We identified that as an area that would be important going in. We've got to be better there. We'd like to think that is a strength of our football team."
In other Jaguars news Monday:
*Wide receiver Kassim Osgood sustained a strained hamstring Sunday and did not return. Del Rio said there was no immediate prognosis on how much time Osgood could miss. "I'll know more after a day or so and things settle down," Del Rio said.
*Defensive end Aaron Kampman, after missing the first two games of the season with a knee injury that kept him out the final eight games last season, will not play against Carolina, Del Rio said.
*Del Rio said no determination has yet been made on the status of tight end Marcedes Lewis for Sunday. He missed Sunday's game with a calf strain sustained the previous week against Tennessee. Del Rio said Lewis, cornerback Derek Cox (chest) and wide receiver Jason Hill (hip) have a chance to play Sunday.
*Del Rio said he hopes right tackle Eben Britton can return to the lineup Sunday. He played a part-time role as a blocking tight end Monday after missing the regular-season opener following back surgery in training camp. "We'll see how the week goes," Del Rio said. "I know he's gotten better each week. I believe he came out of the game feeling good about the work he got in yesterday and look to increase his role."