--Coach Jack Del Rio is stealing a page from the Rex Ryan playbook when it comes to making bold predictions.
While Ryan has predicted the New York Jets will win the Super Bowl, Del Rio recently told the team's website, "We expect to take control of our division."
Since Del Rio is one of only three coaches in NFL history who hasn't won a division title in his first eight seasons, the odds are against him. But he has nothing to lose by saying it because owner Wayne Weaver has indicated he will be fired if he doesn't make the playoffs in 2011.
Explaining his optimism, Del Rio said, "I believe in what we're doing and how we're doing it."
--The Jaguars have had a problem with late-season collapses the last five years.
In 2006, they were 8-5 and finished 8-8. In 2009, they were 7-5 and finished 7-9 and last year they were 8-5 with a chance to win the division title with a victory at Indianapolis. They not only lost that game, they lost their final three games.
Del Rio thinks the problem is he pushed his team too much.
"I just think we pushed our young guys to the point where they didn't have anything left," he said.
He said reducing the offseason workouts may be one answer although Del Rio is noted as a players' coach who doesn't tend to grind his players in camp and doesn't have very many two-a-day practices.
Great Leaps From Tyson in Year Two
--DT Tyson Alualu, the team's first round draft pick a year ago, is expected to be much improved because he learned how to play a different way in his rookie season.
In college, he was a read and react player while the Jaguars want him to be more of a penetrating player.
"In his effort to penetrate, sometimes he took too big a first step and then the tackle might cut him out on a play away," coach Jack Del Rio said.
Del Rio said Alualu worked on becoming a more penetrating player with defensive line coach Joe Cullen and expects him to be better at it his second year.
--QB Luke McCown is coming back as the backup to David Garrard. McCown, who was a free agent, signed with the Jaguars to stay as the backup. McCown was injured in the second game in San Diego and was lost for the season, but the Jaguars think he is a capable backup.
They want to draft a quarterback of the future, but they would prefer to have a veteran backup so the young quarterback isn't thrown in there too early.
Spicer and Darius Complete the Circle
--For the second week in a row, the Jaguars have signed a former player to a ceremonial one-day contract so he can retire a Jaguar. First, it was defensive end Paul Spicer. And now safety Donovan Darius has done the same thing.
"My whole experience playing with the Jaguars was an honor," Darius said.
He was drafted in the first round in 1998 and last played with the Jaguars in 2006. He was cut during the 2006 season and signed with Oakland but was cut before the 2007 season opened. He then ended his career with three games in Miami.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "I've definitely grown as a coach. I've learned a lot." -- Coach Jack Del Rio on entering his ninth season.