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Pearson in; Brunell OK


Zach Wiegert will move to right tackle and rookie Mike Pearson will get his first professional starting assignment this Sunday in Baltimore, when Pearson steps in at left tackle against Ravens defensive end Mike McCrary.

Jaguars coach Tom Coughlin announced those moves today during his noon press conference. The Wiegert/Pearson maneuvering was made to compensate for the loss of right tackle Maurice Williams for the season.

"He has to prepare himself for that experience," Coughlin said of the challenge Pearson will face against McCrary, Peter Boulware and company. "Both of those guys are outstanding. He's got to be ready," Coughlin added.

Pearson was selected in the second round of this year's draft from Florida, where he was a finesse left tackle in the Gators' pass-blocking scheme. From the moment he joined the Jaguars, it was obvious Pearson needed to become physically stronger to hold up at pro football's most demanding offensive line position.

"Mike was drafted here for the long term to be a left tackle. We felt we needed to put the best athlete on the field," Coughlin said.

Meanwhile, it appears Mark Brunell will be the Jaguars' starting quarterback this Sunday, a week after having to leave this past Sunday's game in the first quarter with a concussion.

"I feel better than I have the past couple of days. I anticipate playing," Brunell told reporters today.

Coughlin said Brunell still has a "low-grade headache," but added: "He's clear. His eyes look great. His thinking is fine."

The sideline hit Brunell took from Titans cornerback Samari Rolle produced the second concussion of Brunell's career. The first occurred in the third game of last season, when Cleveland defensive tackle Gerard Warren delivered a savage, helmet-to-helmet blow following a Browns interception. In the next two games, Brunell was ineffective and appeared gun-shy.

"I'm 10 years into this thing and I've only had two" concussions, Brunell said. "You know when you're ready to play."

The day after Warren's hit, Brunell told reporters he believed the hit was an intentional cheap shot. Asked today if he felt the same about Rolle's motive, Brunell said: "Borderline; it could go either way."

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