Thursday, August 23, 2001, 7:30 p.m. EDT
ALLTEL Stadium, Jacksonville, Fla.
THIS WEEK: With one win and one loss in two preseason games and the regular season quickly approaching, the Jacksonville Jaguars return home to host the Kansas City Chiefs at 7:30 p.m. EDT Thursday at ALLTEL Stadium. It is the final home preseason game for the Jaguars and the last game before the mandatory cutdown to 65 players on August 28.
The Jaguars are coming off a 27-5 loss to the New York Giants last Thursday at Giants Stadium. The Jaguars have failed to score a touchdown so far in the preseason, coming away with just seven field goals on offense.
The game marks the fourth consecutive season that the Jaguars and Chiefs have played, with the Chiefs holding a 2-1 lead in the exhibition series. The two teams have also played twice during the regular season, with Jacksonville winning both times. The Jaguars have a 17-10 record in the preseason in their seven seasons.
The Jaguars have 43 new players on their roster and they made a lot of personnel moves during the offseason. However, Jacksonville still retains the same core group of players that advanced to the AFC Championship game two seasons ago. In fact, the Jaguars return 16 starters from two seasons ago - seven on offense and nine on a defense that allowed the fewest points in the league in 1999. The new players include 10 draft picks, 19 undrafted rookies, six veterans and eight new first-year players.
Jacksonville's 7-9 record during 2000 marked the team's first losing season since its inaugural year of 1995. Still, in the last four seasons, the Jaguars have the second-best record in the NFL. Their 43-21 record in that time is two games behind Minnesota (45-19) and tied with Denver. Jacksonville also has the third-best home record in the last four years (32-8, two games behind Green Bay), and their road record of 20-14 since 1996 is tied for the best in the league with Minnesota and Tennessee.
TELEVISION BROADCAST: The Jaguars-Giants 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 Dave Widell as the field reporter. The Jaguars Pregame Show airs 30 minutes before kickoff at 7:00 p.m. on WJXT with hosts Jennifer Candelino and Dave Widell.
RADIO BROADCAST: All of the Jaguars' games are broadcast on WOKV (690 AM), WBWL (600 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. Sexton and Robinson are in their seventh season together. Robinson, Vic Ketchman and Cole Pepper handle the pre-game show (one hour before kickoff on all three stations), and Pepper and ex-Oakland Raider Pete Banaszak do the post-game show. A total of 19 affiliates in three states on the Jaguars Radio Network will also broadcast the game.
ON THE INTERNET: For breaking news, press releases, historical information, video highlights, rosters, depth charts and statistics, go to www.jaguars.com Updated daily, the Jaguars' 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 live video of Jaguars television shows and live radio broadcasts of games.
THE OPPONENT: The Chiefs were an original member of the AFL, beginning play in 1960 as the Dallas Texans. Owned by Lamar Hunt, the founder of the AFL, the team won the 1962 AFL Championship, then moved to Kansas City in 1963. They won the 1966 AFL title and played in the first Super Bowl, and they won their first Super Bowl in 1969, defeating Minnesota. The Chiefs finished out of the playoffs for 14 straight seasons from 1972 to '85, but they qualified for postseason play every year from 1990-'95. In 1996, the Chiefs finished 9-7 and lost out on a playoff tiebreaker to the Jaguars. They made the playoffs again in 1997, but finished out of the postseason each of the last three years. In 2000, they were 7-9. Dick Vermeil was named head coach on January 12, 2001, replacing Gunther Cunningham.
THE SERIES: The Jaguars and Chiefs have played three times in the preseason, with Jacksonville winning twice. The Chiefs won 22-21 in Kansas City in 1998, and the Jaguars won 31-6 in 1999 and 26-22 in 2000. In the regular season, the Jaguars are 2-0 in the series, winning 24-10 in 1997 and 21-16 in 1998. Both games were played at ALLTEL Stadium. The Chiefs will travel to Jacksonville again later this year, when the two teams close out the regular season on December 30.
THE LAST TIME: In the 2000 preseason, the Jaguars improved to 3-0 by defeating the Kansas City Chiefs 26-22 at Arrowhead Stadium on August 19. Quarterback Mark Brunell led the Jaguars to a 10-6 lead, and then, after falling behind in the fourth quarter, the reserves had to pull out the victory. Rookie Shyrone Stith rushed for 103 yards, including a 78-yard touchdown run, and Brunell connected with Jimmy Smith on a 32-yard TD pass to go with Mike Hollis' four field goals.
In the last regular-season game, the Jaguars won 21-16 on September 13, 1998 at ALLTEL Stadium. Reggie Barlow returned a punt 85 yards for a touchdown and a 7-0 lead before the Jaguars' offense even got onto the field. Mark Brunell threw a 17-yard TD pass to Jimmy Smith in the second quarter and James Stewart scored on a one-yard run in the third period to account for all of Jacksonville's points. The Chiefs scored 10 unaswered points to close the gap, but the Jaguars ran out the clock at the end of the game.
A JAGUARS VICTORY OVER THE CHIEFS WOULD: Give them a 2-1 record in the preseason, an 18-10 preseason record in seven seasons and a 3-1 record vs. the Chiefs in the preseason.
INJURY UPDATE: WR Keenan McCardell underwent hernia surgery on Aug. 16 and is out indefinitely. C John Wade (foot) is on the active/physically unable to perform list, and S Erik Olson (groin), WR Emanuel Smith (finger) and CB Kory Blackwell (groin) were placed on injured reserve on Aug. 17. TE Damon Jones (knee) and G/OT Zach Wiegert (knee) are rehabbing from 2000 surgeries usually participate in one practice during the two-a-days. In addition, WR Jimmy Smith (abdomen) is slowly rehabbing, though he might see action vs. Kansas City. Five other players missed the second preseason game: LB Anthony Denman (calf), DT Ryan Harklau (leg), CB Evan Hlavacek (hamstring), MLB Richard Hogans (concussion) and TE Ryan Neufeld (calf).
THE COACHES: Jacksonville head coach Tom Coughlin (56-40 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 six seasons as the only head coach in franchise history. The Jaguars made the playoffs all four seasons from 1996 to '99 - a first for an NFL expansion team and one of only two teams in the NFL to do so (along with Minnesota). 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 them to their first AFC Central Division championship with an 11-5 record. They 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 the regular season in second place 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 '93 at Boston College, and had two appearances in bowl games and a ranking of 13th in the final AP poll of 1993. A veteran of 30 years of 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).
Dick Vermeil returned to coaching this season after a one-year absence. He retired following the 1999 season, after leading the Rams to a victory in Super Bowl XXXIV. That season St. Louis won by an average of 22.9 points, scoring more than 30 points in 11 of its 16 games. They scored 540 points, the third-highest season total in NFL history. Vermeil is just one of four coaches in NFL history to lead two different teams to the Super Bowl. Vermeil joined the Rams in 1997 following a 13-year stint as a broadcaster. He was the first special teams coach in NFL history in 1969, and returned to the Rams in 1971-73 as quarterbacks coach. Vermeil was named coach of the Philadelphia Eagles in 1976, and, two years later, he led them to their first playoff appearance in 18 seasons. Vermeil guided the Eagles to Super Bowl XV, where they lost to the Oakland Raiders. He retired from coaching in 1982 after leading the Eagles to four playoff appearances in seven seasons. Vermeil was a quarterback at San Jose State (1956-57) and started his coaching career at the high school and junior college level before joining Stanford in 1965. He became UCLA's offensive coordinator in 1970 and was named head coach in 1974. His Bruins upset undefeated Ohio State in the 1976 Rose Bowl.
COUGHLIN IN SEVENTH SEASON WITH JAGUARS: Jaguars head coach Tom Coughlin is in his seventh season as the team's head coach, fourth-longest length of any NFL coach with his current team. In addition, Coughlin has the fourth-best record of all current NFL coaches in division games and the sixth-best record in home games. (Records include all teams coached by an individual during the regular season.
JACKSONVILLE-KANSAS CITY CONNECTIONS: Jaguars special teams coordinator Frank Gansz was head coach of the Chiefs in 1987 and '88 … Gansz's son, Frank Gansz Jr. is the Chiefs' special teams coach ... Jaguars offensive quality control coach Garrick McGee was born in Kansas City ... Jaguars strength and conditioning coach Jerry Palmieri and assistant strength coach Greg Finnegan both worked with Kansas State's strength and conditioning program ... Chiefs strength and conditioning coach Jeff Hurd was the Jaguars' assistant strength and conditioning coach from 1995 to '97 … Jaguars partner Deron Cherry is one of the most popular players in Chiefs history. From 1981 to '91 he was one of the top free safeties in the NFL. Cherry, who had 50 career interceptions, was inducted into the Chiefs' Hall of Fame in 1995 ... Jaguars DL coach John Pease coached for the Philadelphia/Baltimore Stars when Chiefs' president/GM Carl Peterson was the Stars' president/GM ... Jaguars C Jeff Smith was a seventh-round pick by the Chiefs in the 1996 draft and played in 31 games with five starts in four seasons with the Chiefs from 1996 to '99... Jaguars QB Ted White spent the 1999 season on the Chiefs' practice squad and active roster after signing as an undrafted free agent ... Chiefs DE Jabbar Threats played with the Jaguars in 1997 and '98 ... Chiefs TE Mark Thomas spent the 1998 season on the Jaguars' practice squad ... Chiefs FB Jermaine WIlliams played in seven games for the Jaguars in 2000 ... Six Chiefs have ties to the state of Florida: CB William Bartee (Daytona Beach), DT John Browning (Miami), OT Willie Jones (Pahokee), WR Marvin Minnis (Miami, Florida State), S Brad Trout (Miami), PK Lawrence Tynes (Milton) … Chiefs TE Billy Baber and G Robert Hunt and Jaguars FB Patrick Washington were teammates at Virginia ... Chiefs QB Todd Collins and WR Derrick Alexander were coached at Michigan by Jaguars defensive coordinator Gary Moeller ... Jaguars TE Ryan Neufeld and Chiefs LB Larry Atkins and LB Donnie Edwards were teammates at UCLA ... Jaguars G Dwayne Ledford and Chiefs DT Norris McCleary were teammates at East Carolina ... Chiefs WR Larry Parker and Jaguars R. Jay Soward were teammates at Southern California ... Jaguars DT Gary Walker and Chiefs OT Victor Riley and FB Tony Richardson were teammates at Auburn ... Jaguars CB Aaron Beasley was teammates at the University of West Virginia with Chiefs DE John Browning.
LAST WEEK: The Jaguars were defeated by the New York Giants 27-5 in their second preseason game. The Jaguars managed only a field goal by Mike Hollis and a safety following a blocked punt, and they have now failed to score a touchdown in either of their two preseason games. The Jacksonville offense gained only 169 yards, just 50 of them rushing, as the Jaguars penetrated the New York red zone only one time. The team's starters played most of the first half. Mark Brunell played four series, then was relieved by Jamie Martin, who completed 11 of 26 passes for 121 yards.
NOTES FROM THE GIANTS GAME: The Jaguars had fewer first downs (12 to 17), fewer yards (169 to 217) and less time of possession (25:24 to 34:36). … They converted only 4 of 14 third downs (29 percent), though they held the Giants to 5 of 16 (31 percent). … Jacksonville had three turnovers and no takeaways. … The team's three quarterbacks who played (Brunell, Martin and Ted White) completed only 13 of 35 passes and were intercepted once. … Stacey Mack and Fred Taylor led the team with 18 rushing yards each. Alvis Whitted, Ryan Prince and R. Jay Soward each caught two passes. … S Donovin Darius and OLB Edward Thomas led the team with eight tackles each, followed by DE Rob Meier and S Marlon McCree with seven tackles apiece. … The only sack was made by backup DE Paul Spicer. The Jaguars allowed three sacks. … PK Mike Hollis kicked a 41-yard field goal and missed from 48 yards. … Aron Langley and David Leaverton shared the punting duties. Langley punted three times for a 29.0-yard average and 41 long, and Leaverton kicked four times for a 46.0 average, one inside the 20, one touchback and a 54 long. … Every player who dressed played except QB Jonathan Quinn. Sixteen players did not dress: WR Antonio Stanley, CB Kory Blackwell, CB Evan Hlavacek, S Anthony Denman, S Erik Olson, MLB Richard Hogans, C John Wade, DT Ryan Harklau, OT Mark Baniewicz, G/OT Zach Wiegert, WR Jimmy Smith, TE Ryan Neufeld, WR Keenan McCardell, TE Damon Jones, WR Emanuel Smith and DT Gary Walker (whose wife had a baby) … Jaguars captains were TE Kyle Brady and DE Renaldo Wynn.
FROM COACH TOM COUGHLIN ON THE GIANTS GAME: "We didn't play well. We were awful. I'm not disappointed about the second half and the effort we got. I'm disappointed in the offense, all the way through the game. I thought the quarterback play was very poor. I thought we got upset by the blitz in the first half. The Giants blitzed and we didn't respond well to it, even our veteran football players didn't. We've got some young guys playing on the right side, but that is not an excuse. We challenged them to come out and play physically, and we didn't do that. I was not pleased with the first half, in any way, shape or form."
(on Maurice Williams' matchup with Michael Strahan) "That was part of his evaluation: Is he going to be able to match-up against a great football player? Obviously, he learned a lesson."
(on Alvis Whitted's performance) "He didn't play very well tonight, and he's not responding well to that opportunity. This is a great opportunity for him. You can't be so inconsistent. To perform with a catch one time, and then a drop, and a fumble. Obviously, this is his chance, and he's got to do something with it."
(on whether it is hard to evaluate the offense without Keenan McCardell and Jimmy Smith) "No, because what you have to do is start with the front, and right now I'm very unsettled about that. You see a quality team like the Giants are defensively, and you are going to be put to a great test. They beat us in some technical situations, where we shouldn't been giving up plays."
FROM RB FRED TAYLOR: (on his concern over the team not scoring touchdowns) "I'm concerned. I don't remember the last time we went this long without scoring a touchdown. That has been a big emphasis, to score touchdowns."
FROM QB MARK BRUNELL: (on Coughlin's disappointment) "He has every reason to be disappointed in our performance. The whole team really struggled. We didn't execute. There were no surprises out there. We expected the Giants to blitz a lot tonight, and they did."
(on his performance) "I think the protection could have been better. My reads could have been better. We dropped a couple of balls. The whole offensive team did not click."
FROM OT TONY BOSELLI: "I think we are trying to make big plays, we're just not doing it. I don't know if it's a big play that going to get us out of it. I think we just have to execute a little better and be more consistent."
(on how team will react to the loss) "I hope we are mature enough. I hope we have enough guys that have been around and have been in situations when it's not going good. The last thing you need to do is start getting negative … If you want to be a good team, look at yourself in the mirror, find out what you did wrong, own up to it, go back to work and get better."
NEXT WEEK: The Jaguars will travel to Dallas for their final preseason game before starting the regular season. They will take on the Cowboys at 8:30 p.m. EDT Thursday, August 30 at Texas Stadium. The Jaguars are 2-0 vs. the Cowboys in the preseason, winning in both 1998 and '99. The series is tied 1-1 in the regular season, with the Jaguars winning 23-17 last season in overtime on the road. The Cowboys are led by QB Quincy Carter, the former University of Georgia star, who is now the starting quarterback.
2001 POSITION ANALYSIS: Here is a position-by-position breakdown of the Jaguars:
Quarterbacks (4) - Mark Brunell returns for his seventh season with the Jaguars. In 2000, he started all 16 games for the second time in his career. He completed 311 of 512 passes for 3,640 yards, numbers that were the second highest of his career, and passed for 20 touchdowns, tying his career high. The No. 6-ranked passer in NFL history, he is the only quarterback in the league who has rated among the top 11 in each of the last five seasons. He has a 51-33 record as a starting quarterback, the seventh-best percentage in the league, and his 48 wins the past five seasons are second to Brett Favre. Vying for the No. 2 job are veterans Jamie Martin and Jonathan Quinn, who led the Berlin Thunder to the NFL Europe League title earlier this year. Martin was the Jaguars' backup in 2000, playing in five games and completing 22 of 33 passes for 307 yards, 2 TDs and 1 INT. Quinn started two games in 1998, his rookie season, but has not thrown a pass in a regular-season game since then. The three quarterbacks have combined for 95 of the 104 starts in franchise history (including playoff games). The fourth quarterback on the roster is Ted White, who spent last season on the Buccaneers' practice squad. Gone: Nobody
Running Backs (7) - Fred Taylor is a threat to score every time he touches the ball, which is why Jaguars head coach Tom Coughlin wants to keep Taylor healthy for a full season and in the lineup. In 2000, Taylor missed the first three games of the season with a knee injury, then went on to rush for 1,399 yards and score 14 touchdowns. His streak of nine consecutive 100-yard rushing games tied for the third-longest streak in NFL history but was snapped in the season finale when he was injured again. Now healthy again, Taylor holds 30 team records. Battling for the backup role are Stacey Mack and Shyrone Stith. Mack, a third-year pro out of Temple, started two games last season and rushed for 145 yards on 54 carries. Stith, who led the team in kickoff returns with a 23.8-yard average, played sparingly at running back as a rookie last year, gaining 55 yards on 22 carries. He was a seventh-round draft pick out of Virginia Tech who left college a year early. Also competing for a backup role is undrafted rookie Elvis Joseph. The fullback position is wide open, with two new players battling for the role as Taylor's lead blocker - undrafted rookie Patrick Washington and Kevin Clemens (an Arena League player). Mack and tight end Lawrence Hart have also worked at fullback. Gone: Daimon Shelton, Anthony Johnson
Wide Receivers (10) - Perhaps the deepest position on the team, though it has been hit by injuries of late. Jimmy Smith (abdominal surgery), who has the most receptions (450) for the most yards (6,599) of any NFL receiver over the last five seasons, will start alongside Keenan McCardell (hernia surgery), who has caught 406 balls for 5,283 yards in that time (ranking fifth and seventh, respectively) when both are healthy. In 2000, McCardell led the team with 94 catches and his first 1,000-yard season since 1997, proving he still has a lot left. Smith had 91 receptions for a team-leading 1,213 yards in making the Pro Bowl for the fourth consecutive year. Sean Dawkins was the biggest veteran acquisition during the offseason. In eight years, the former first-rounder has caught 435 passes for 6,057 yards and 26 touchdowns. R. Jay Soward, the first-round draft choice a year ago, has had a stellar training camp so far but will miss the first four games of the regular season for violating the league's substance abuse policy. When he returns, he will compete for the No. 3 role, as well as return punts. Alvis Whitted had the finest season of his career in 2000, scoring three times on 13 receptions. A talented and speedy fourth-year player, he can also return kickoffs. Rounding out the competition are Damon Gibson, seventh-round draft choice Richmond Flowers and undrafted rookie sleeper Randal Williams out of New Hampshire. Gone: Reggie Barlow, Emanuel Smith
Tight Ends (6) - Kyle Brady realized his vast potential in 2000, when he doubled his career highs for both catches and yards (64 for 729). He is finally being recognized as one of the top tight ends in the league. Damon Jones, who suffered a season-ending ACL injury on the second play of the 2000 season, will slowly work back into the lineup as the No. 2 tight end. In 1999, he caught 19 balls for 221 yards and four TDs. Both Brady and Jones are excellent blockers, one reason why the Jaguars are the NFL's only team to rush for more than 2,000 yards each of the last three seasons. There is a battle for the third tight end between Ryan Neufeld, Lawrence Hart, Ryan Prince and Joe Zelenka. Gone: Rich Griffith
Offensive Line (17) - When Fred Taylor was running for more than 100 yards in nine straight games last season, the offensive line was the key. A problem-area early in the 2000 season after being decimated by injuries, the line jelled over the second half of the season. Four starters return in 2000. Left tackle Tony Boselli has now completely healed from his 1999 ACL injury and is back in form as the NFL's best offensive lineman. He has been named to five straight Pro Bowls. Returning at left guard is Brad Meester, a 2000 second-round draft choice who started all 16 games and is being touted as a future Pro Bowler. Jeff Smith, who started the final 12 games at center last season, re-signed as an unrestricted free agent and mans the center position. An underrated sixth-year pro, he was a key to the team's resurgence in the second half of the 2000 season. The right side of the line isn't settled yet, depending on the development of second-round draft choice Maurice Williams, who is expected to start at right tackle. If that is the case - and Williams has played with the first unit all of the preseason - veteran Zach Wiegert will start at right guard. Williams, the fourth offensive tackle drafted this year, is attempting to become the fourth Jaguar to start the opener on the offensive line (joining Boselli and Brian DeMarco in 1995 and Meester last year). Wiegert, a seventh-year pro who won the 1994 Outland Trophy at Nebraska, has started 20 games for the Jaguars over the last two seasons at both guard and tackle. He tore his left ACL in the eighth game last season and missed the rest of the year, but his rehab has gone well. Among the backups are tackle Gannon Shepherd and guards Aaron Koch (who started at right guard the first two preseason games and played some center) and sixth-rounder Chad Ward, who has looked impressive in camp. Center John Wade, who has 22 starts in his first three seasons, suffered a stress fracture in his right foot in June and has been placed on the active/physically unable to perform list. He will be out until at least September. Gone: Leon Searcy, Brenden Stai, Todd Fordham, Quentin Neujahr, Mark Baniewicz (on I.R.)
Defensive Line (14) - In the last five years, only three teams have allowed fewer than the 50 rushing touchdowns given up by Jacksonville, and the line should be improved this season with the addition of No. 1 draft pick Marcus Stroud, a defensive tackle from Georgia. Stroud is working with the second team in training camp but is expected either to start or see heavy play in the rotation with veterans Gary Walker and Seth Payne. Stroud was the 13th overall pick in this year's draft. Walker is a physical run-stopper who can also rush the passer, as evidenced by his 15 sacks in two seasons with the Jaguars. Payne has started the last two seasons, posting a career-high 74 tackles in 2000. At end, Tony Brackens and Renaldo Wynn return. Brackens is one of the top pass rushers in the game and had missed only five games in five seasons. The leading sacker in Jaguars history, he owns team records for forced fumbles, fumble recoveries and takeaways. Wynn had his finest season in 2000, once he was settled in at left end (he had started at the other three defensive line positions during his first three seasons). Wynn has 47 starts in his career and had a personal-best 3.5 sacks in 2000. Depth will be provided by youngsters Rob Meier and Paul Spicer, both of whom impressed Tom Coughlin in limited play in 2000. Third-year pro Larry Smith has moved from defensive tackle to end and will also see plenty of time in the rotation. Gone: Joel Smeenge, Emarlos Leroy
Linebackers (12) - The Hardy Boys - Kevin Hardy and Hardy Nickerson return, but there will be a new starter at weakside linebacker. Hardy, an All-Pro selection in 1999, has moved back to strongside linebacker, the position he held his first two seasons. The team's leading tackler the last three seasons, he has 23 sacks, five interceptions and eight forced fumbles in five years. Nickerson, a free-agent acquisition who played in only six games in 2000 because of hamstring and knee injuries, has vowed a complete return. One of the league's leading tacklers for the last decade, Nickerson did make 75 tackles in his six starts. He returns for his 15th season. There is a battle at weakside linebacker between T.J. Slaughter, who started six games at middle linebacker last year, and third-round draft choice Eric Westmoreland. Slaughter, a second-round pick a year ago, is one of only four Jaguars to make more than 100 tackles as a rookie and is a fierce tackler against the run. Although he has not played weakside linebacker since his sophomore season at Southern Mississippi, he has started both preseason games. Westmoreland, who has been compared to former Minnesota Viking Ed McDaniel, was a three-year starter at Tennessee. The top backup at strongside linebacker is Danny Clark, who led the team in special teams tackles as a rookie in 2000. Providing depth is the middle is Joseph Tuipala, a star in the XFL last spring. Gone: Lonnie Marts, Brant Boyer, Erik Storz
Defensive Backs (13) - Carnell Lake returns at free safety after missing the entire 2000 season with a stress fracture in his left foot. A five-time Pro Bowler and the leader of the Jacksonville secondary, Lake was voted to the Pro Bowl the last time he was healthy - 1999, his first season with the Jaguars. Donovin Darius will start at strong safety for the fourth season. He has led the team's secondary in tackles each of his three years, and he has started all 46 games in which he has played. For the third straight year, the cornerbacks will be Aaron Beasley and Fernando Bryant. A sixth-year pro and the team's single-season and career interception leader, Beasley mans the right side. He turned in five sacks last season, tied for third among NFL defensive backs. Bryant, who was named to every All-Rookie team in 1999, plays left cornerback and excels in man coverage. Vying for the nickel back position are corners Jason Craft and Kiwaukee Thomas, both of whom held that job for parts of 2000. Both players are former fifth-round draft choices (Craft in 1999 and Thomas in 2000). Rookies James Boyd and Marlon McCree are also pushing for playing time. Gone: Mike Logan, Rayna Stewart, Erik Olson
Kickers (4) - Mike Hollis is back for his seventh season. The third-most-accurate field goal kicker in NFL history, he has led the Jaguars in scoring all six seasons and is one of only four NFL kickers with more than 100 points each of the last five years. Hollis had perhaps his finest year in 2000, when he was forced to miss four games in September and October after undergoing in-season back surgery. He returned to kick 24 field goals in 26 attempts. For the first time, the punter will be new. Fifth-rounder David Leaverton out of Tennessee and first-year player Aron Langley are battling for the job, and they rotated the punting duties in the first two preseason games. Leaverton, the second punter drafted this year, is the favorite. Jim Tarle, who played the final six games of 2000, has handled kickoffs in the preseason. Hollis' snapper and holder will be new this year, most likely either Jamie Martin or Jonathan Quinn. Seventh-round draft choice Randy Chevrier is manning the No. 1 job at both short and long snapper during training camp, though former Redskin and 49er Joe Zelenka was signed last week to provide competition. Gone: Bryan Barker
A LOOK BACK AT THE 2000 SEASON:
-Finished fourth in the AFC Central Division with a 7-9 record
-Are one of only four teams that have been in the playoffs four of the last five seasons, joining Minnesota (5), and Miami (4) and Denver (4)
-In the last three seasons, are the only team in the NFL to repeat as division champions (1998 and '99)
-Won four of eight games at ALLTEL Stadium, where they have never had a losing season. In six years, they are 34-14 at home
-Won three games on the road
-Won five of 10 games in the division
-The franchise's six-year record in the regular season moved to 56-40
-The offense ranked 7th in the NFL in yards gained (10th rushing, 9th passing)
-The defense ranked 12th in the NFL in yards allowed (11th rushing, 14th passing)
-Scored 367 points (22.9 per game), the most in the AFC Central Division
-Had two receivers with more than 90 receptions and 1,200 yards - Keenan McCardell (94, 1,207) and Jimmy Smith (91, 1,213)
-Finished with 2,032 rushing yards, third most in team history and 70 shy of the team record
-OT Tony Boselli was voted to the Pro Bowl for the fifth consecutive year, and WR Jimmy Smith for the fourth straight
-Averaged 60,314 in attendance in 2000, and average 67,306 in six seasons
NFL EXPANSION TEAMS SINCE 1960 ... Of the 10 expansion teams in NFL history, the Jaguars have the best record and the most postseason appearances in any franchise's first six seasons. However, the Jaguars' seventh season poses a big hurdle, as they strive to match the accomplishments of the Dallas Cowboys (who were conference champions in 1965) and the Miami Dolphins (who were Super Bowl champions in 1972, when they went undefeated).
JAGUARS HAVE BALANCED OFFENSE ... Although the Jaguars are often referred to as a passing team, in reality they have a balanced attack that features the run.
In the last three seasons, the Jaguars have rushed for 6,225 yards on the ground, the fifth most in the NFL, and they are the only team to have more than 2,000 yards rushing each of the last three seasons. Here are the NFL's five best rushing teams over that time:
RK TEAM 1998 1999 2000 TOTAL
- Denver 2,468 1,864 2,324 6,656
- San Francisco 2,544 2,095 1,801 6,440
- Oakland 1,727 2,084 2,470 6,281
- Pittsburgh 2,034 1,991 2,248 6,273
- Jacksonville 2,102 2,091 2,032 6,225
And, over the past five seasons, the Jaguars have the sixth-most passing yards in the NFL. Here are the teams with the most total passing yards from 1996 through 2000:
Rk Team 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 TOTAL
- Minnesota 3,899 3,537 4,492 4,318 4,019 20,265
- Green Bay 3,938 3,896 4,340 4,132 3,916 20,222
- St. Louis 3,144 3,524 3,381 4,580 5,492 20,121
- San Francisco 3,859 3,432 4,510 3,526 4,400 19,727
- Indianapolis 3,544 3,560 3,739 4,182 4,413 19,438
- Jacksonville 4,367 3,922 3,343 3,716 3,947 19,295
- Denver 3,662 3,704 3,808 3,646 4,464 19,284
SMITH IS NFL'S LEADING RECEIVER SINCE 1996 ... Since the start of the 1996 season, Jaguars WR Jimmy Smith has the most receptions in the NFL, and teammate Keenan McCardell is fifth (Smith missed one game and most of three others in 2000). They are the only wide receiver tandem in NFL history to have 400 receptions each over a five-year span. The two receivers are close friends, with McCardell nicknamed "Thunder" and Smith called "Lightning." Smith was the NFL leader in 1999 with 116 receptions - the sixth most in a season in NFL history - and he easily broke the team record of 85 set in 1996 and '97 by McCardell. McCardell has a total of 486 career receptions, while Smith has 472.
SMITH'S LAST FIVE SEASONS SURPASSED ONLY BY RICE: From 1996 through 2000, Jaguars WR Jimmy Smith caught 450 passes for 6,599 yards. No other receiver in NFL history - except for future Hall of Famer Jerry Rice - has caught more passes for more yards in any five-year period.
In three different five-year periods, Rice had more catches and more receiving yards than Smith's totals. In addition to Rice, only three other players ever caught more passes in a five-year period than Smith, but they always had fewer yards receiving. Similarly, One other player ever had more receiving yards but fewer receptions than Smith.
The three players who had more receptions but fewer yards in a five-year period were: Cris Carter (three times: 1993-1997, 515, 6,379; 1994-1998, 507, 5,870; and 1995-1999, 475, 5,858), Herman Moore (1994-1998, 487, 6,431), and Tim Brown (1995-1999, 454, 6,210). The only player who had more yards receiving but fewer receptions in a five-year period was Michael Irvin (1991-1995, 449, 7,093).
Smith's career totals of 472 receptions for 6,887 yards are more than six of 17 receivers already inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and he has been a starter for only the last four-and-a-half seasons.
SMITH HAS FIVE STRAIGHT 1,000-YARD SEASONS: Jaguars WR Jimmy Smith has surpassed the 1,000-yard mark receiving five straight seasons, a feat accomplished by only six other players in NFL history and which ties him for fifth all time behind Jerry Rice (11 straight 1,000-yard seasons), Tim Brown and Cris Carter (8 straight), and Lance Alworth (7 straight). Here's the list:
PLAYER YEARS TEAM 1,000+
Jerry Rice 1986-96 San Francisco 11
Tim Brown 1993-00 Oakland 8
Cris Carter 1993-00 Minnesota 8
Lance Alworth 1963-69 Pittsburgh 7
Jimmy Smith 1996-00 Jacksonville 5
Michael Irvin 1991-95 Dallas 5
HOLLIS IS NFL'S THIRD-MOST ACCURATE FIELD GOAL KICKER EVER: Jaguars PK Mike Hollis is the third-most-accurate field goal kicker in NFL history in the regular season (he is also the second-most accurate in the postseason). In 2000, Hollis was successful on 24 of his 26 attempts (a career-high 92.3%), giving him a career accuracy mark of 83.07, although he fell behind Miami's Olindo Mare on October 29. Mare held the No. 1 position for two weeks until being passed by Green Bay's Ryan Longwell.
BRUNELL HAS SEVENTH-BEST WINNING PERCENTAGE: Jaguars QB Mark Brunell has the seventh-best career winning percentage of active quarterbacks (minimum 20 wins). Also, in the last five years, Brunell has the second-most victories (48) of any quarterback other than Green Bay's Brett Favre.
BRUNELL ON CENTRAL TIME: Jaguars QB Mark Brunell has the NFL's second-best division record as a starter among active quarterbacks. Since joining the Jaguars in 1995, Brunell has compiled a 30-14 (.682) record as a starter against the AFC Central. Following are the top four active quarterbacks in career division win percentage (minimum 25 starts):
Quarterback Record Pct.
Steve McNair 24-11-0 .686
Mark Brunell 30-14-0 .682
Brett Favre 47-24-0 .662
Randall Cunningham 42-25-1 .625
BRUNELL'S TOUCHDOWN TARGETS: Mark Brunell has thrown 106 TD passes in six seasons in Jacksonville. Here are the 17 players who have caught them: Jimmy Smith (30), Keenan McCardell (21), Damon Jones (10), Willie Jackson (10), Pete Mitchell (7), James Stewart (5), Fred Taylor (4), Ernest Givins (3), Cedric Tillman (3), Alvis Whitted (3), Kyle Brady (3), Andre Rison (2), Derek Brown (1), Ty Hallock (1), Desmond Howard (1), Natrone Means (1) and R. Jay Soward (1).