Tom Coughlin looked reporters in the eye and made a Joe Namath-like guarantee: "It's going to be a lot better this weekend," Coughlin said of the Jaguars' passing attack.
Coughlin also suggested that yesterday's practice produced a much-improved performance by the Jaguars' pass-offense, and quarterback Mark Brunell confirmed as much during today's media interview period.
"Eighty-two looked good," Brunell said with a smile when asked if the pass-offense was improved in yesterday's practice.
Brunell was referring to wide receiver Jimmy Smith, who ended his summer-long holdout by agreeing to new contractual terms this past weekend. Smith participated in his first practice yesterday.
Can Smith really make that much of a difference?
"He did yesterday," Brunell said.
"Having seen what Mark was talking about," Coughlin said of yesterday's practice and comments by Brunell during the preseason that he needed more repetitions with the first-team offense, "I thought yesterday's practice saw some movement in that direction.
"(Smith) brought a lot to the practice field and his presence was noticed by everyone. He made a couple of one-handers," Coughlin added.
"I just saw him and Mark working together and other guys getting together to help the passing game gel better," tight end Pete Mitchell said.
So Smith's "82" has apparently been replaced by a capital "S" on the front of his Jaguars jersey, and if that's true the timing couldn't be more perfect. Sunday, the Jaguars open the regular season against visiting AFC South foe Indianapolis.
"It's now the regular season and you're going to see people at their best," said Coughlin, who was asked what he would say to fans who were disappointed by a 1-3 preseason that failed to produce a touchdown by the first-team offense.
"I'd tell them to keep the faith; keep on fighting, keep on believing. Let's support our football team. We've got a team. Let's be out there for the team. You're not coming for the opponent. You're coming for the home team," Coughlin said.