Jack Del Rio was ready to observe the 24-hour rule and leave Sunday's loss to the Colts behind, but, before moving on, there was enough time for some parting shots.
Colts punter Hunter Smith fired the first salvo in the postgame locker room. Del Rio said he was not aware of Smith's comments when the coach met with reporters Monday afternoon. Asked for a response, Del Rio said: "It must be something with the kickers over there. If he says something about Peyton (Manning), let me know."
The Jaguars coach made no mention of Smith's poor punt with a minute to play in the game and the Colts protecting a 21-14 lead. The punt traveled only 33 yards and left the Jaguars to begin their final drive near midfield.
OK, enough of that, right? Time to move on for both teams, and moving on should be more difficult for the Jaguars, who lost a game the statistics say they should've won.
Del Rio's message at his press conference emphasized the quality of the Jaguars' performance those statistics would suggest. He cited the Jaguars' 191 yards rushing, 39:24 time of possession, and Manning's 45 percent completion average. It marks the second consecutive game against the Jaguars at the RCA Dome that Manning has completed fewer than 50 percent of his passes.
"This is a good football team that's being worked and coached correctly. We're a good, hard-working football team. I'm going to be positive and we're going to coach and correct," Del Rio said. "Today, the motto is … the 24-hour rule. We made our corrections; watched the tape. We're doing a nice job of preparing and competing and that's the way it's going to continue to be."
Clearly, this was a hard loss for the Jaguars to accept. It was a loss to their AFC South rivals and it leaves them in chase mode, again. Del Rio, however, has no doubt his team will move on swiftly.
"I really believe we've learned to take each week … and focus on the preparation. I delivered that message today (to the team)," Del Rio said.
Two aspects of the Jaguars' performance on Sunday were not at their best. Special teams allowed an 82-yard punt return for a touchdown by Terrence Wilkins and Scobee missed both of his field goal attempts. Meanwhile, quarterback Byron Leftwich turned in his first bad outing of the season, throwing for just 107 yards, one touchdown, two interceptions and a 47.8 passer rating.
"He wasn't as sharp as he has been or will be. I know he'll play better. We are doing a nice job of protecting him. If we continue to protect our quarterback, he's going to throw the ball well," Del Rio said of Leftwich.