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'We have to get better'


Jack Del Rio managed to avoid Jimmy Johnson's infamous "revolving door" in Dallas in 1989.

"My approach was, 'Do your job and make sure you stay here. Don't get hurt, don't play bad,'" Del Rio said of his attitude in Johnson's 1-15 rookie season as head coach.

"I didn't even introduce myself to new guys. We're not with that kind of program. It won't look like Jimmy Johnson's first year in Dallas," the Jaguars rookie coach added.

But through the first two weeks of this season, Del Rio has had somewhat of a "revolving door" approach toward his first roster as an NFL head coach. Including the Jaguars' practice squad, Del Rio has made 16 roster moves in the last two weeks, including the release of two-year starting free safety Marlon McCree.

What does it all mean? Well, it would suggest Del Rio is the coach of a team whose roster is in need of repair.

"We're 0-2. Obviously, we have to get better," Del Rio said.

And they did improve today; at least on the practice field. "Today was much better. We got a little bounce in our step. The energy was better; the kind of practice we need to have," Del Rio said.

That was the good news in a week that will culminate with Sunday's game in Indianapolis, where the Jaguars will face a team they haven't beaten in four tries. And in the last three of those games the Colts have been quarterbacked by Peyton Manning, who has thrown for 797 yards, eight touchdowns and no interceptions against the Jags.

These are trying times for a rookie coach and a new-era team who are each seeking their first win. Del Rio is pinning what hope the Jaguars have of beating the Colts on his belief "the difference from the very best to the very worst is very small in this league."

Danny Clark will start in place of Keith Mitchell at linebacker, and T.J. Slaughter is also expected to see action. Slaughter is upset at having lost his starting job and would welcome playing time and an opportunity to prove Del Rio and his staff wrong in their evaluation.

"I want to play ball. I just need to get on the field. If they tell me to run through a wall, I'll run through a wall," Slaughter said recently.

"He's been practicing well. He's been practicing hard. His focus is on playing good football. I think he's dealing with it like a pro," Del Rio said of Slaughter.

Walls are good. Revolving doors are bad.

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