Fred Taylor isn't backing down. He still believes the Jaguars are better than the Titans.
"I'll say it again," Taylor said today after the Jaguars had left the practice field. "If they need that extra motivation, they shouldn't show up. I'm not talking trash. I think we're going to beat them," he added.
Taylor was responding to a question about a similar quote of his that made the Tennessee Titans' locker room bulletin board this week. This Monday night, in Nashville's Adelphia Coliseum, Taylor will have a chance to stand behind his words and defeat the Titans for the first time since Sept. 27, 1998, a game that was played at Vanderbilt Unjversity.
Since then, the Jaguars have lost four straight to the Titans. The first of those losses denied the Jaguars an opportunity to clinch their first-ever AFC Central Division title that day, and canceled a celebration fireworks display. The most recent of the Titans' wins over the Jaguars was in last January's AFC title game at Alltel Stadium, and kept the Jaguars from going to the Super Bowl.
"I believe we're better than all of the teams that have beaten us, too," Taylor said today. "Turnovers aren't included in the game plan.
"I'm serious," he said of his prediction of a Jaguars victory in Nashville Monday.
This is the game of games, as far as pre-game hype and long-term ill feelings are concerned. Following the Titans' AFC title game victory in Jacksonville, Titans coach Jeff Fisher said at a Super Bowl press conference that he included Alltel Stadium among the Titans' many home fields since the franchise left Houston.
Fisher's remark was a big-time slap in the Jaguars' face. Now, the Jaguars have a chance to slap back. The Titans have never lost a game at Adelphia Coliseum. Should the Jaguars win Monday night, they will almost certainly include "The Delph" as their home away from home.
"There's a first time for everything," wide receiver Keenan McCardell said. "We know what he said. We've got to do something to get back at him. You realize what he said and you take it to heart. You take it to them because they're going to take it to us, because they feel we're down," he added.
At 2-4, the Jaguars are down, but the excitement for playing the Titans on Monday Night Football has seemingly pumped life into a team that might otherwise be licking its wounds this week.
"If we win, yeah, I'll forget about those losses (this season)," wide receiver Jimmy Smith said when asked if a win over the Titans would erase the Jaguars' disappointment to date this season.
"We're not concerned about Fisher. We're concerned about ourselves," Smith added.
In the war of bulletin-board quotes, Taylor and Fisher have been big-hitters. Who will "circle the bases" Monday night?