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No wavering on Brunell


The following is a transcript of a question and answer session between Senior Writer Vic Ketchman and Jaguars owner Wayne Weaver.

VK: Mark Brunell's future with the Jaguars has clearly become an issue. Where do you stand on it? WW: We've always said our goal is to get to the Super Bowl. I don't think anyone has wavered that if we're going to get to the Super Bowl Mark is going to be the quarterback who is going to take us there. I haven't wavered on that. When you get into a slump like we've been in and you're 2-4, it's not all on the quarterback. Mark's got to get help from that offensive line. We've just got to play better football. Mark's got to play better football.

VK: Will you try to re-sign him?

WW: Oh, absolutely.

VK: Do you accept the theory that winning and losing in the NFL is cyclical?

WW: I guess you'd have to define winning and losing. I think teams can be competitive. Can you play at the highest level year in and year out? I'm not sure you can. I think if you draft well, and that is absolutely the key; if you draft well and have young people coming up in your organization, yes, you can be a playoff team. I don't buy that you can't be a competitive football team.

VK: By the end of the season, you'll have to have in place an offseason plan for salary-cap recovery. When will you begin formulating that plan?

WW: We've already started that, Vic, and there's no question and we can't hide from the fact that we do have a serious salary cap issue. Is it insurmountable? No, but we have to be creative, we have to be thoughtful. Are we going to lose a player here or there? Yes, but if we make good decisions and we're thoughtful of how we strategize not only this coming season but the next two or three seasons, and how we're going to keep the core of this football team together, I think we can (recover). It goes back to making good decisions.

VK: Will that plan be affected by what happens in the remainder of this season?

WW: Obviously, the results of this season play in to anything you do; how you evaluate your personnel and where you've got to go out and make sure you've made some changes to improve your football team for future seasons. Absolutely, our record and how we play this year will certainly impact our decisions.

VK: Does public opinion influence your thoughts one way or another?

WW: Not at all. You have to stay the course. It's like in business. I've been through too many times in my businesses when everything looked dark and cloudy, and all of a sudden people rallied together and got the right strategies in place and broke out of it. It's no different in this business. We have to hang in there and keep doing what we think are the right things to do, and not react to something because of public pressure.

VK: The ability to have strong convictions in the face of adversity and criticism; does this organization have that?

WW: I believe we do. I certainly know I've had my share of adversity throughout the years in my businesses. Two of the things that attracted me to Tom Coughlin were his resolve and his discipline. I think we do have that in this organization, both from the business side and the football side.

VK: What do you require in the way of performance by your team in the remainder of this season?

WW: The only thing I require is to know that our coaches and our players have not given up; that this season is not over. We've got two very difficult games facing us immediately, and that's what we've got to focus on. We've got to go out and change our trend. We've got to go out and win some games now, and this team is capable of doing it, and this team's got the resolve to do it.

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