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Teal time in Jacksonville


Their quarterback is the fifth-ranked passer in the league, the team is off to its best start in three years and the really good news is that the Jaguars are healthy and may even get center Brad Meester back for this Sunday's game against the Houston Texans. Clearly, the Jaguars are on a roll as they head into two of the most important home games this team has faced in a long time.

"We're only going to talk about one game at a time. The Houston Texans are up next. This is a good football team coming in here this week. I think this will be the best football team we will have played so far," Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio told reporters at Monday's press conference.

Meanwhile, the team is urging fans to make Sunday a teal-out at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium. Why not? The time has never been better to create fervor for the Jaguars.

"We want the fans to show their colors by wearing teal. It's time to teal up. The coaches and players thought the Kansas City crowd looked great in red, so we're asking our folks to wear teal. Everybody has a job on Sunday. Our job is to wear teal and be loud," said Tim Connolly, the Jaguars' senior vice-president for business development.

The Jaguars made a similar appeal for a Monday night game against the Steelers last season and the results were dramatic. The Jaguars, of course, defeated the defending Super Bowl champions, 9-0, which punctuated the night.

"Those who show, come and have fun," Del Rio said.

Will the Jaguars make it fun? That has to be considered a fair question, based on the Jaguars' two losses to the Texans last season. This, however, is a very different season. The Jaguars offense, though the Jaguars are 25th in the league in points per game, is playing at its highest level in years.

"On that drive," Del Rio said, referring to an 18-play field goal drive on the Jaguars' opening possession of the game, "David Garrard came up huge with some third-down throws.

"I think he will continue to get better. He's off to a good start," Del Rio said.

Garrard is one of only two quarterbacks in the league who hasn't thrown an interception so far this season. It marks the first time in Jaguars history the team has gone through the first four games of a season without having thrown an interception.

"I think he's made very good decisions," said Del Rio, who was asked why Garrard has suddenly become a much more accurate passer. "Taking a little something off his fastball; I think he's done that," Del Rio said.

Garrard's performance has energized his teammates. In Sunday's 17-7 win in Kansas City, the Jaguars played at a high level in every phase of the game, including special teams, as rookie punter Adam Podlesh enjoyed his best performance as a pro.

"Having a humble appreciation for the amount of work that has to be done to prepare for each opponent," Del Rio said of his approach. "Sammy Knight has been a terrific addition to our football team. He understands what it means to prepare."

The Jaguars will begin preparations on Wednesday for the 3-2 Texans. It's a game the Jaguars can use to set up a showdown against the AFC South-leading Colts, but you won't hear Del Rio or any Jaguars player talk about the Colts this week. All of the focus will be on the Texans.

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