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We earned Titans' respect


The following is Jaguars wide receiver Keenan McCardell's diary for Nov. 22-26, 2000.

Wednesday, November 22, 2000

Coming off a two-day rest and a big victory over the Steelers in Pittsburgh, I think coach realized we had been in a big-time war. We came back to Jacksonville late Sunday night, so the two days off really helped. Coming into Wednesday, everybody was real upbeat, happy and we were feeling good. People around here had a lot of bounce in their step. We knew it was Titans week and we couldn't wait to get those guys in our stadium. We felt that we really owed them something. The late game in Pittsburgh forced us to get straight into Tennessee. Everybody was real focused on Wednesday was, like, let's get this right on Wednesday. Coach Coughlin wasn't at practice, but coach Capers picked up for him. The Titans were very arrogant, talked a lot of noise about Alltel being their second home and we felt offended by those comments from last year.

Thursday, November 23, 2000

Thursday was an early day, almost like a Friday, but even earlier. I think we started the day around 7 a.m. We went through our meetings and we went over Wednesday's practice. Coach Coughlin was back at practice on Thursday and was upbeat. He saw the film of Wednesday's practice and felt that it was a good one. We still had something to do and everybody knew that we would have to prepare a little bit harder to be ready for Tennessee. In practice we stressed that we must execute our game plan. We knew what Tennessee was going to do. If we executed well against these guys, the plays would be there. Thursday was a short day because everybody was thinking about the turkey. My wife and daughter when home to Houston to have Thanksgiving with her grandmother and I had Thanksgiving kind of by myself for half of the day, and then I went to Damon Jones' house and I had a great time. After practice I came home and ate what my wife had cooked. I had to eat what she cooked or else there was going to be some "stuff" going on at the McCardell house! I went to Damon's house for seconds and his mother prepared a great meal for all of us.

Friday, November 24, 2000

This Friday was a little more serious, because we didn't have a good Friday practice the previous week. Coach stressed how he wanted to have a good Friday practice, due to what happened last Friday in getting ready for Pittsburgh. Walking off the field, we had a great game plan. We knew we had to pound the ball. We knew we had to take advantage of the opportunities of going downfield when they gave them to us and get after them. Tennessee is always talking about getting us in the fourth quarter and punching us in the mouth. We couldn't wait until the fourth quarter to see who was really going to get punched in the mouth. We were ready to go on Friday.

Saturday, November 25, 2000

We had our walk-through on Saturday and everybody was real upbeat. We were very loose and couldn't wait to show the Titans what we could do. It reminded me of the times in school when you have a bully at your school that picked on you, but you went home and your brother gave you some lessons on fighting and you couldn't wait to get back to school to face the bully, and that's what this game was going to be like. My wife and daughter came back from Houston and I had a lot of family come in as well. We had a second Thanksgiving with my mom, dad and a gang of folks. We had a real nice time on Saturday and got ready for Sunday.

Sunday, November 26, 2000

For the entire game we were moving the ball, just like we did in the AFC championship game. I felt like they could not stop us. Some of their guys were saying, "You guys came to play today!" I kept telling them that's right, and we're going to beat y'all. Tennessee is a good team. I think they realized that we are a good team, too. They were looking around at each other, like, the Jaguars are real good. We went out and preformed some magic on them. I think they thought we were going to collapse in the fourth quarter. Their comment was to get the game into the fourth quarter and they could beat us. I take that to heart because the fourth quarter is crunch time. We stepped up to the plate. On the last drive I could see in their eyes they were, like, whoa, this is a little too much pressure for me. It was fun. Those are the types of games that I love to play in. I love to hear the crowd go nuts and they were awesome on Sunday. The Tennessee weight was lifted off of our backs, but it will never take the place of what happened in the AFC championship game. It was nice to win, because the whole world was, like, the Titans have the Jaguars' number. We got that off our back and it's time to move on to the next game, which is Cleveland on Sunday.

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