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Preparation for Cleveland was crisp


Wednesday, August 30, 2000

Getting ready for Cleveland was very good for the team and me. I''m going back to where I used to play and I want to have a good outing in front of some fans that I used to play for. For the team, we just want to get off to a big start. Everybody is talking about our injuries, but it'ls time to put that to rest. The real deal is here now.

Preparation went well today. We had a good crisp practice.

Thursday, August 31, 2000

On Thursday, you look at what you did wrong on Wednesday. You go out and correct those things on Thursday and you hone in on your skills a little bit more for that game on Sunday. Thursday was a great practice for us, in and out, crisp, and everything was going just the way we wanted it to go. Everybody came out of Thursday''s practice with a lot of confidence, like, "Hey, let''s get this game here, let's get this game here."

At home on a Thursday, for me, I get a chance to have dinner with my family; sit down and play with my little girl, to keep me away from football. After I put her to bed, the wife and me will talk and I''ll let her go to bed. I'll stay up and watch some film to get ready for Friday; about 9:30 p.m. or 10 p.m. on Thursday I'm watching film to see if I can find just a little extra advantage for us. It seems funny that you can watch a whole bunch of film, but when you get home you find a little edge here and there. Those are the things I do on Thursdays to get ready for a Sunday game.

Friday, September 1, 2000

Friday is a short day here. It''s a fun day. You're going through practice crisp, you want to be full speed, everything working, everything clicking, no mistakes. Everybody is upbeat, up-tempo. It comes down to, hey, when you leave that field, the hay is in the barn and it's time to play. I think everybody realized that and everybody got real focused.

My Friday evening is dinner out with the family. This Friday I went out and caught a high school football game. I went out to see Sandalwood and Forrest. I just went out to see what was going on. Usually I'm out to dinner and back home because Friday is a big day for your rest period, to get rested for an early Sunday game.

Saturday, September 2, 2000

Saturday, it''s like no more talking. You look at Friday's practice and it's time to play. Let's get on the plane, get to the city, get acclimated to the city, get your mind set, get to the hotel, have a dinner somewhere and come back to the hotel ready and focused on that Sunday''s game. It's always good to be prepared, but after a while it's time to stop all of the talking about preparation. You should be ready to play. If you''re not ready by Saturday, then you're not ready for Sunday. That's the way I feel.

When we get there Saturday, it''s kind of laid back. In Cleveland, I didn''t want to go out. I just wanted to stay in my hotel room and just stay focused. I was in a zone just relaxing. I just wanted to get off my feet and watch some college football, then the only thing I do is go to sleep and get up in the morning and get ready for a big day on Sunday.

Sunday, September 3, 2000

My alarm goes off at eight a.m. It's an 8:15 a.m. wake-up call. I get up, wash my face, brush my teeth and go down stairs for a nine a.m. pregame meal. I have my traditional bacon, pasta with A-1 sauce, and a glass of water and Gatorade. That's been the tradition for the last 10 years now on every gameday. I come up to the room, get a cup of coffee and get ready to dress. I get on the 10:20 a.m. bus to go to the stadium.

On the bus ride, I listen to some tunes, get my mind right, relax and focus. Once I''m in the locker room, everything's got to be perfect. As Jerry Rice says, "If he looks good, he plays good." When he's in the locker room, he's preparing his uniform the right way. You want to feel comfortable in your uniform and you go out and play.

Once that opening-day whistle blows, you get goose bumps. It's the opening day of 2000; let's go do this.

Everybody is out there for one goal, and that''s to win; bring a win home for the Jaguars. During the game I was doing my part to help us win. It wasn''t Keenan this, but it was what we needed for us to win. I wanted to do my part to help us win and everybody had to do their part. Everybody out there on Sunday did their part to help us win. Everybody stepped up in a big way and I think we felt very good and confident coming out of the Cleveland game.

It''s rough to see your comrades fall, but it's a contact sport. Things happen and you feel for them and then you have to step up even more and get that win for that person, and get that championship for that person. All of those guys have been through the battles and training camp with you. I''ve been to war with Damon (Jones) for four years now. Everybody out there has sweated; shedding some blood on the field. When they go down, it hurts you inside. They''re like brothers to you and you want them to come back as fast as possible. To ease their pain we just try to get a big W.

When I got back home, my wife said, "You had a good game," and just walked off into the bedroom. I said, "OK, thank you." She''s like, I expect that of you. That's the kind of relationship my wife and I have. She''ll tell me when I have a bad game, and it''s kind of funny that she gave me a complement. No celebration; got a pizza, and me and my little girl watched Powder Puff Girls. I watched a little of the Tennessee game and that was it.

My body feels a little beat up. It feels better when you win, if your body is beat up. It seems like when you lose, your body feels like it's a little sorer than when you win.

I think Monday was a good day for us to see our corrections and get a head start on Baltimore; to just get the blood circulating so we can get all of the aches and pains out and come back getting ready for Wednesday. We picked up film today on Baltimore and have a rough schedule coming up because it''s all divisional games and we have to take advantage of it.

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