THIS WEEK: The Jacksonville Jaguars will host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at 7:00 p.m. Friday at ALLTEL Stadium. It is the preseason home opener for the Jaguars and their second game of the 2002 exhibition season.
The Jaguars are coming off a 23-13 loss to the Atlanta Falcons last Friday in the Georgia Dome. Fred Taylor returned to action and looked sharp, gaining 42 yards on eight carries in limited action. The Jaguars played most of their 89-man roster in the game. The team has 47 new players and could have as many as 10 new starters this season. The new players include six unrestricted free agents, six veteran free agents, 13 first-year free agents, two trade acquisitions, one player obtained off waivers, nine draft picks and 10 undrafted rookies.
The Jaguarsâ€™ overall preseason record is 18-12. The Buccaneers played their first preseason game on Monday night vs. the Miami Dolphins.
TELEVISION BROADCAST: The game will be televised locally on WJXT Channel 4, with Sam Kouvaris calling the play-by-play, former Jaguar Jeff Lageman adding analysis and ex-Jaguar Tom McManus as the field reporter. The game will also air in Savannah on WSAV-TV. The Jaguars Pregame Show airs 30 minutes before kickoff at 6:30 p.m. with hosts Jennifer Candelino and McManus.
RADIO BROADCAST: All Jaguars games are broadcast on WOKV (690 AM) and WKQL (96.9 FM) and the Jaguars Radio Network. Brian Sexton calls the play-by-play and former NFL quarterback Matt Robinson adds analysis, with Jennifer Candelino serving as field reporter for the preseason. Sexton and Robinson are in their eighth season together. Robinson, Vic Ketchman and Cole Pepper handle the pre-game show (three hours before kickoff on bothstations), and Pepper and ex-Oakland Raider Pete Banaszak do the post-game show. A total of 16 affiliates in three states on the Jaguars Radio Network will also broadcast the game. The Florida affiliates are: Altamonte Springs (WHOO-AM, 1080), Bradenton WAMR-AM, 1320), Brooksville (WRUF-AM, 850), Chiefland (WRUF-AM, 850), Cocoa Beach WHOO-AM, 1080), Crescent Beach (WFOY-AM, 1240), Crystal River (WRUF-AM, 850), Dade City (WRUF-AM, 850), Daytona Beach (WELE-AM, 1380), Deltona (WHOO-AM, 1080), Flagler Beach (WFOY-AM, 1240), Fort Myers (WAMR-AM, 1320), Fort Pierce (WPSL-AM, 1590), Gainesville (WRUF-AM, 850), Haines City (WHOO-AM, 1080), Lake Buena Vista (WHOO-AM, 1080), Lake City (WNFB-FM, 94.3), Lakeland (WHOO-AM, 1080), Live Oak (WNFB-FM, 94.3), Longwood (WHOO-AM, 1080), Madison (WSTI-FM, 105.3), Melbourne (WHOO-AM, 1080), Ocala (WRUF-AM, 850), Orlando (WHOO-AM, 1080), Ormond Beach (WELE-AM, 1380), Palatka (WIYD-AM, 1260), Palm Coast (WFOY-AM, 1420), Port Charlotte (WAMR-AM, 1320), Port St. Lucie (WPSL-AM, 1590), Sanibel (WAMR-AM, 1320), Sarasota (WAMR-AM, 1320), St. Augustine (WFOY-AM, 1240), Stuart (WPSL-AM, 590),
(on Fred Taylor) "We told Fred in the huddle how good it was to see him in there again. We sure missed him. He got an opportunity to show everyone and remind them what heâ€™s capable of doing and it was great to see. I just get to hand off and watch Fred work. Heâ€™s an incredible running back."
(on problems with the passing game) "It was a combination of things, Atlanta being in the right coverage and techniques, lack of protection. These are things that can be fixed. We just need to look at the film and come out next week and move the ball. This is no time to panic. Iâ€™m not worried."
FROM RB FRED TAYLOR: â€œI want to execute more in the next game. I also need to sharpen up in the passing game."
(on whether he was encouraged by his play) "My expectations are always high. I feel I am a lot better than anything I did out there tonight. The offensive line opened the holes pretty good so anybody could have run through them. My job is once I get past the line of scrimmage. I want to make the safety miss and hopefully take it the distance. I can do that and Iâ€™m used to doing it. I have a lot of work to do."
(on his confidence in his cutting ability) "I was searching. Every time I got in the open field I was searching a little bit. We havenâ€™t had a lot of contact in practice, as far as tackling and hitting the ground, so it takes some time to get used to it. You have to remember I havenâ€™t been in game action since September of last year. I wasnâ€™t nervous about playing, just anxious. I was a little nervous tonight, but after the first play I was fine. We had some positives and negatives. We just have to build on this game and the next so we can be ready for the season opener."
Tallahassee (WNLS-AM, 1270), Titusville (WHOO-AM, 1080), Venice (WAMR-AM, 1320), Winter Garden (WHOO-AM, 1080). Georgia affiliates are: Brunswick (WWSN-FM, 103.3), Cuthbert (WCUG-AM, 850), Dawson (WCUG-AM, 850), Hinesville (WIFO-FM, 105.5), Homerville (WWSN-FM, 103.3), Jesup (WIFO-FM, 105.5), Quitman (WSTI-FM, 105.3), Savannah (WFXH-FM, 106.1), Thunderbolt (WFXH-FM, 106.1), Valdosta (WSTI-FM, 105.3), Waycross (WWSN-FM, 103.3). South Carolina affiliates are: Beaufort (WFXH-FM, 106.1), Hardeeville (WFXH-FM, 106.1), Hilton Head (WFXH-FM, 106.1), Port Royal (WFXH-FM, 106.1), Ridgeland (WFXH-FM, 106.1).
ON THE INTERNET: The Jaguars website has unveiled a re-designed look for the 2002 season. For breaking news, columns, feature stories, press releases, historical information, video highlights, rosters, depth charts and statistics, go to www.jaguars.com Updated daily, the Jaguarsâ€™ Official Web Site has been ranked among the 100 Best Sites in the World by PC Magazine. The site also features online ticket buying, new merchandise offerings and multimedia, including video of Jaguars television shows and live radio game broadcasts.
TICKET INFORMATION: Tickets are still available for $25, $35, $45, $50, $65 and $95 per ticket. Fans can call 1-877-4-JAGS-TIX or (904) 633-2000 or buy tickets online at www.jaguars.com
THE OPPONENT: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were awarded a franchise on April 24, 1974 and began play in 1976. They lost their first 26 games but advanced to the NFC Championship game in only their fourth season in 1979. The Buccaneers also advanced to the playoffs in 1981 and â€™82, but then they lost 10 or more games each season from 1983 to â€™94 and finished below .500 in 1995 and â€™96. From 1997 to 2001 under head coach Tony Dungy, the Buccaneers never had a losing season, qualifying for the playoffs in 1997, 1999 (when they advanced to the conference title game) and 2001. Last season
the Buccaneers were 9-7 and in third place in the NFC Central Division, making it to the playoffs before losing to Philadelphia in a Wild-Card Playoff game. Dungy was replaced as head coach by Jon Gruden on February 18, 2002.
THE SERIES: The Jaguars and Buccaneers have played twice during the regular season. In 1995, the Buccaneers won 17-16 in Tampa when the Jaguars failed on a two-point conversion with 37 seconds remaining in the game. In 1998, the Jaguars defeated the Buccaneers 29-24 at ALLTEL Stadium. This is their first meeting in the preseason.
THE LAST TIME: The Jaguars beat the Buccaneers 29-24 on November 15, 1998 in Jacksonville. It was the Jaguarsâ€™ eighth win in 10 games and their fourth come-from-behind victory of the year. The Jaguars scored twice in a 47-second span in the fourth quarter on Mike Hollisâ€™ third field goal of the game and Fred Taylorâ€™s third touchdown of the game. The Jacksonville defense held Tampa Bay without a first down on its last two possessions. The Buccaneers had taken a 24-20 lead on the first play of the fourth quarter when Trent Dilfer threw his third TD pass of the game, a 79-yarder to Reidel Anthony, his second score. Following that score, the Jaguars gained 152 yards in their comeback and held the Buccaneers to 11 yards on their final three possessions. Taylor rushed for 128 yards, tying the teamâ€™s then-single-game record.
INJURY UPDATE: Two players suffered injuries in the Atlanta game: LB Akin Ayodele (hip) and CB Kiwaukee Thomas (thumb). Nine players missed the game because of injuries or surgery: WR Darnay Scott (shoulder), S Donovin Darius (shoulder), RB Reggie White (quadriceps), LB T.J. Slaughter (shoulder), DE Javor Mills (hamstring), OT Freddie Moore (knee), WR Micah Ross (knee), DE Tony Brackens (knee) and DE Stalin Colinet (knee).
THE COACHES: Jacksonville head coach Tom Coughlin (62-50 in regular season, 4-4 in postseason) has led the Jaguars to two AFC Central Division championships and two appearances in the AFC Championship game in seven seasons as the only head coach in franchise history. The Jaguars made the playoffs all four seasons from 1996 to â€™99 - a first for an NFL expansion team. In 1999, the Jaguars had the best record in the NFL (14-2), advancing to the conference championship game before losing to Tennessee. In 1998, Coughlin guided his team to its first AFC Central Division championship with an 11-5 record. The Jaguars defeated the New England Patriots in a Wild-Card game before losing to the New York Jets in the Divisional playoffs. In 1997, the Jaguars were 11-5 and finished second in the AFC Central, and they were defeated by Denver in the Wild-Card playoffs. In their second season in 1996, the Jaguars advanced all the way to the AFC Championship game, finishing second in the division with a 9-7 record. In the playoffs, the Jaguars upset the Bills and Broncos on the road before losing at New England. In 1995, the Jaguars finished with four victories in their inaugural season. Coughlin became head coach of the Jaguars on February 21, 1994 following three successful seasons as head coach at Boston College. He compiled a record of 21-13-1 from 1991 to â€™93 at Boston College, and had two bowl game appearances, as well as a ranking of 13th in the final AP poll of 1993. A veteran of 31 years in coaching, he was previously an NFL assistant coach with the New York Giants (wide receivers, 1988-90), Green Bay Packers (wide receivers and passing game coordinator 1986-87) and Philadelphia Eagles (wide receivers, 1984-85).
Jon Gruden, considered one of the brightest coaching minds in the league, took over as Tampa Bayâ€™s head coach this season. He posted a 40-28 record during his four seasons as the Oakland Raidersâ€™ coach, including back-to-back AFC West titles (2000-01). It was the first time an AFC West team had won consecutive division titles since 1986-87, and the first time Oakland has turned the trick since 1975-76. He led the Raiders to 8-8 records each of his first two seasons (1998-99). Prior to becoming the youngest head coach in the NFL, Gruden spent seven years as an NFL assistant, including three seasons as offensive coordinator for the Philadelphia Eagles (1995-97). He previously coached for the Green Bay Packers (1992-94), and the San Francisco 49ers (1990). Gruden played quarterback at the University of Dayton (1983-85) while earning a bachelorâ€™s degree in communications. Dayton had a 24-7 record in Grudenâ€™s three varsity seasons there. He began his coaching career as an assistant at Tennessee (1986-87), Southeast Missouri State (1988), Pacific (1989), and the University of Pittsburgh (1991).
COUGHLIN ENTERS EIGHTH SEASON WITH JAGUARS: Jaguars head coach Tom Coughlin is in his eighth season as the teamâ€™s head coach, tied for the third-longest tenure of any NFL coach with his current team. In addition, Coughlin has the fifth-best record of all current NFL coaches in division games (minimum of 20 wins) and the seventh-best record in home games (minimum of 16 home games). Records include all teams coached by an individual during the regular season.
JACKSONVILLE-TAMPA BAY CONNECTIONS: Four former Jaguars are now members of the Buccaneers: WR Keenan McCardell (1996-2001), QB Rob Johnson (1995-97), CB Corey Chamblin (1999) and P David Leaverton (fifth-round draft pick in 2001) â€¦ One former Buccaneer is now a Jaguar: DT Matt Sweeney (2001) â€¦ Six Buccaneers have ties to north Florida: LB Derrick Brooks (Florida State), S Dexter Jackson (Florida State), WR E.G. Green (Florida State), QB Brad Johnson (Florida State), DE Greg Spires (Florida State) and OT Kenyatta Walker (Florida) â€¦ Players who were college teammates include: Jaguars OT/G Todd Fordham and Buccaneers LB Derrick Brooks, DE Greg Spires and E.G. Green at Florida State; Jaguars rookie DT John Henderson and LB Eric Westmoreland and Buccaneers G Cosey Coleman and RB Travis Stephens at Tennessee; Jaguars OT Maurice Williams and PK Hayden Epstein and Buccaneers WR Marquise Walker at Michigan; Jaguars DT Marcus Stroud and Buccaneers S Jermaine Phillips and CB Tim Wansley at Georgia; Jaguars S James Boyd and CB Bruce Branch and Buccaneers FB Mike Cerimele at Penn State; Jaguars DT Jovon Bush and Buccaneers LB Chris Jones at Clemson; Jaguars G/OT Chrys Bullock and Buccaneers QB Shaun King at Tulane; Jaguars QB Mark Brunell and Buccaneers OT Pete Pierson at Washington; Jaguars S Marlon McCree and Bucs LB Jamal White at Kentucky; Jaguars CB Ike Charlton and Bucs C/G Todd Washington at Virginia Tech; Jaguars LB Wali Rainer and Bucs CBs Ronde Barber and Dwayne Stockes and Virginia; Jaguars LB Danny Clark and Bucs FB Jameel Cook at Illinois; Jaguars S Ainsley Battles and Bucs OT Brian Gruber at Vanderbilt; Jaguars TE Kyle Brady and Bucs WR Joe Jurevicious at Penn State; and Jaguars G/OT Derrick Chambers and OT Mike Pearson and Buccaneers OT Kenyatta Walker at Florida.
TRAINING CAMP SCHEDULE: The Jaguars are in their third and last full week of training camp. Practice times this week are as follows: Sunday - 3:20 p.m.; Monday - 8:40 a.m. and 3:20 p.m.; Tuesday - 3:20 p.m.; Wednesday - 8:40 a.m. and 3:20 p.m.; Thursday- closed walk-through at stadium. Player interviews are from 11:00 to 12:15 on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at the Radisson Riverwalk Hotel. Practices are held at the practice fields at ALLTEL Stadium. Check with the Jaguarsâ€™ Communications office (633-6000) to schedule interviews.
NEXT WEEK: The Jaguars will travel to Champaign, Ill. to face the Chicago Bears at 8:00 p.m. EDT Friday, August 23. The Bears are playing all of their home games this season at the University of Illinois while Soldier Field is being rebuilt. It will be the second time the Jaguars have faced the Bears in their last four games. Jacksonville ended its 2001 season with a 33-13 loss at Chicago last January 6. The two teams have never played in the preseason before. In the regular season, the Bears hold a 2-1 lead.
LAST WEEK: The Jaguars lost their preseason opener for the first time in four years when they were defeated by the Atlanta Falcons 23-13 last Friday night in the Georgia Dome. Fred Taylor played for the first time in more than 10 months and rushed for 42 yards on eight carries in a fine return to action after missing the final 14 games of 2001 with a groin injury. But the Jaguarsâ€™ offense sputtered most of the game, gaining only 160 total yards, just 29 passing. Two rookies scored all of the Jaguars points. Hayden Epstein kicked two field goals and an extra point and QB David Garrard scored on a 14-yard run.
NOTES FROM THE FALCONS GAME: The Jaguars have an 18-12 record in the preseason in eight seasons. â€¦ The Jaguars had fewer yards (160 to 310), fewer first downs (11 to 18) and less time of possession (25:21 to 34:39). â€¦ The Jaguars converted only 4 of 12 third downs (33 percent), while the Falcons converted 7 of 13 (54 percent). â€¦ The Jaguars had no turnovers and two takeaways. â€¦ Mark Brunell played four series and completed 3 of 8 passes for 28 yards. Fourth-round draft choice David Garrard played five series and completed 4 of 8 passes for 41 yards. Rookie Quinn Gray saw action on the final two plays. Garrard led the team with 47 yards rushing, including the teamâ€™s only touchdown. â€¦ Jaguars quarterbacks were sacked five times for 40 yards in losses and the team did not make any sacks. â€¦ Rookie TE Chris Luzar was the only player to catch more than one pass; he had two receptions for 18 yards. â€¦ Chris Hanson punted six times for a 49.7-yard average (he had three kicks returned for 55 yards). â€¦ PK Hayden Epstein connected on his only two field goals attempts, hitting from 32 and 21 yards. â€¦ Jaguars captains were: G Brad Meester, OT Todd Fordham, DE Rob Meier and DE Paul Spicer.
FROM COACH TOM COUGHLIN ON THE FALCONS GAME: â€œWe lost a football game that wasnâ€™t nearly as smooth as I thought it would be. I thought our defense did some good things. We flew around well and got some licks in there. They also did a good job of getting out of some tough situations, but the offense obviously sputtered. The positives on offense were that we ran the ball pretty well. Fred Taylor ran well, and we could have stuck with that a little more. The negatives on offense were the pass protection and the inability to be efficient vs. the blitz. Our backs getting run over by the linebackers in pressure situations. I thought Hayden Epstein kicked the ball well, and Iâ€™m pleased with that.
(on the play of David Garrard) "Obviously, it was his first time in action tonight. I didnâ€™t think he had his eyes downfield very early in the contest; later on in the game he did. He stuck a nice ball in there. Protection wasnâ€™t great for him, he scrambled around a little bit because he had to early on and didnâ€™t get the ball thrown. He did make progress. Iâ€™m sure will be a heck of a learning experience for him."
(on whether he knew this game would be be like it was) "I wanted the effort and physical play, but I cautioned them about the turnovers and the penalties, so that bothered me. The thing thatâ€™s going to be important now - yes, we have a lot of young guys and, yes, we have people in a lot of different positions - but the level of play now has to accelerate. The young people, whoever they are, if they canâ€™t keep up with the pace, then they are not going to be in the picture."
FROM QB MARK BRUNELL: â€œIt was the first game. There are things we need to improve upon, but itâ€™s a start. They have a good defense with that 3-4 front and some good corners, but we didnâ€™t move the ball like I wouldâ€™ve liked. We ran the ball well early on, but we didnâ€™t throw the ball good enough."