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Winning feeling was there


The following is Jaguars wide receiver Keenan McCardell's diary for Oct. 29-Nov. 4, 2001.

Monday, October 29, 2001

Monday was hard. We felt like we hadn't been getting our just due in calls, but that's the NFL. You have to make your calls and you have to go out and play. On Monday we came in upbeat. We really felt like we outplayed those guys. It was our time. It was out time to win. Offensively we got a lot better. We were not playing a shabby defense by any stretch of the imagination. We proved a lot to ourselves that we could move the ball on any defense if we just put our minds to it. I think the improvement there was needed. We need to pick up our play on offense and come to terms with our defense because our defense had been playing so well.

Tuesday, October 30, 2001

I had the chance to take my daughter to school on Tuesday and to do some real family things. I had a chance to take my twins out; get them outside and let them see the sun, which was good. I had to go to Babies-R-Us. Those things just put your mind back into reality and let's you know what real rife is all about. Football is an important part of my life, but my family is the most important part of my life. Being a veteran, I've learned to turn it on and turn it off. When I come home I leave everything here at the stadium. Some games you have to vent and I have a wife who will listen to me and she'll tell me to shut up, too. She'll say I have to go out and do something about it. When I flick that switch to go back to daddy, I have to give them my undivided attention. I have to let them know I'm there because, if not, they'll be asking what are you thinking about? Why aren't you playing with me? Being a vet I know how to flick that switch and when I drive into the parking lot here at the stadium, I know it's time for business. It's time for football.

Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2001

A lot of guys on Wednesday were saying it was our time. It's time for us to win. I think the only way we were going to make ourselves feel better was to go out and have a great practice on Wednesday and we did. We went out and flew around a little bit. We did what we had to do to prepare for these guys. We play these guys twice a year so you know what to expect. It was easy enough to know that this is what they are going to do until you stop it. If you don't stop it, Tennessee is going to say that we are going to give you the same dose. I thought both teams were going to throw the records out. We were going to forget that we were 2-4. I knew they were going to forget they were 2-4 because it was a must win for both teams. That was our approach going into the week. They're going to throw their record out, we're going to throw our record out, because it's going to be a battle of the AFC Central, so we just need to go out and play.

Thursday, November 1, 2001

I was feeling great on Thursday. I thought we had a great game plan. We had something that we had to sharpen up on, like third down, but Thursday was a great day for the offense. It was a great day for the team, period. We had a lot of confidence; flying around and a little laughing, in terms of saying good play. We weren't laughing for silly stuff. We were just, like, let's get to the weekend. After practice, I did my television show. I talked about what it took for us to win. We needed to continue to play well on offense and start fast against these guys. Even during our recent struggle I make time to honor my commitments and it goes back to a strong upbringing and being a professional. When you're not playing well, you have to admit you are not playing well. When you're playing, you have to say you are playing well, so the good comes along with the bad. You have to be an even keel person on both sides, whether it's good or bad. When I got home, the babies were waiting on me again. When you have twins you are changing diapers and making bottles and that's what I was doing Thursday.

Friday, November 2, 2001

Coach was demanding more speed on Friday. Players feel like they are practicing fast, but coaches always want you to go faster. It's understandable when we're in a losing streak. He wants things even faster so when Sunday comes you play faster. Friday was a day when coach was asking a little more from us. I don't think we gave it to him like we wanted to but I felt we were ready.

Saturday, November 3, 2001

When we arrive in any city we have a police escort and I don't even look at the police escort. I just want to get to the hotel as soon as possible so I can get some sleep. I don't get much sleep, so a road trip is good for me because I can get some sleep. It was a day vacation. Go out and play football. Play the game I love and have been playing since I was a kid. I wanted to get to the hotel room and get some rest for Sunday.

Sunday, November 4, 2001

I had one of those feelings before the game that this was going to be a good day for us. I was, like, we are going to do something. It was one of those funny feelings, like, wow, something good is going to happen to us. We jumped out 17-7 and that feeling was there. I was, like, I'm feeling it right. In the locker room at halftime everybody was feeling good and just saying continue to do what we did in the first half. We came out in the second half and I just don't know what happened. I felt on offense we could have held the ball a little longer to help our defense out. Personally, I felt I could have done more Sunday. It's all about your opportunities. I just feel like I can do more. The more opportunities I get, the more I can do. Some people say I was very productive, but I look at myself. I'm looking to play that perfect game, when everything is clicking. I just want to win. When the bell sounded for us to make a play on offense, we didn't. When that crucial time comes in the ballgame, all three phases need to answer that bell and say, here's the bell for the 15th round, this is the bell for the world championship, do you want it? If you answer that bell like you want it, you will get it.

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