Notes & Quotes from the Jacksonville Jaguars following week two
NOTES & QUOTES
Coach Jack Del Rio also said during his news conference that safety Gerald Sensabaugh, who is getting a second opinion, will likely undergo shoulder surgery and be lost for the season. The Jaguars let safety Deon Grant leave in free agency for Seattle in the offseason even though they have a lot of salary-cap room and now they find themselves short at the position. They'll either have to play veteran Sammy Knight in place of Sensabaugh or move cornerback Brian Williams to safety and play Scott Starks or veteran Aaron Glenn at cornerback.
The injuries also continue to pile up in the defensive line. Del Rio said that defensive tackle John Henderson would not be allowed to have any contact in practice this week because he took a blow to the head in Sunday's game.
Del Rio, who needs to make the playoffs to keep his job, is taking a bold approach this year. He never hesitated when the Jaguars faced a fourth-and-one at the Atlanta 49 with about 10 minutes left Sunday. With the Jaguars nursing a 10-7 lead, Del Rio was going to go for it. "Look, you've got to be able to make a yard to win a football game at some point," Del Rio said after Maurice Jones-Drew ran for six yards for a first down and the Jaguars went on to kick a field goal to beat the Atlanta Falcons, 13-7. "We had to play aggressively to go win that situation there," he said. "I immediately told them, "We're going for it (after Matt Jones caught an 11-yard pass on third down). No hesitation. What I liked is what I heard back, "Ok, coach, we're with you. Let's go."
The players endorsed the decision. "I thought we better go for it. I knew they weren't going to stop us from getting a yard. I told the guys, 'Nobody is going to stop us on one yard. Let's get this thing,'" quarterback David Garrard said.
"It's always good to be aggressive," Jones-Drew said. "I almost got to the house."
He burst through the line and Lawyer Milloy was the last player between him and the end zone, but he made the tackle. The offensive linemen also liked the vote of confidence from Del Rio on the decision.
Veteran Chris Naeole said, "There's where you make your money. That was a must-have."
The Atlanta game was the first blacked out on local TV since the team covered up almost 10,000 seats after the 2004 season. The Jaguars announced they distributed 61,821 tickets at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium, which now has a capacity of 67,164. The fans who did come were booing at halftime when the Jaguars were trailing 7-3. Garrard said, "I knew the fans were frustrated. I knew they wanted to see more. Toward the end of the half, we went three-and-out. Who wouldn't be upset about it? So I understand, but we can't worry about boos. You just hate to have them at home."
Jones-Drew was upset the game wasn't sold out. "Where I'm from (northern California), you're a fan regardless of the situation, if the team is losing or not. The Cleveland Browns don't win at all and they still sell out. It was kind of upsetting not to see as many people here. But the people who came showed their support," he said.
Although Garrard was sacked four times, opposing teams don't blitz him the way they used to blitz Byron Leftwich because he's more elusive. "It was obvious they were committed to protection and we've been getting a good pass rush by John Abraham. I was concerned about Garrard's arm strength,"
Falcons coach Bobby Petrino said.
The Jaguars felt their field-goal rush was one of the reasons why the Falcons' Matt Prater missed two field-goal attempts. Marcus Stroud said that special teams coach Joe DeCamillis installed some new rush schemes for the game. "I almost blocked the first one," Stroud said. "It went right by my head. But even if you don't hit it, if you get back right in his face, hopefully that'll make it kick it wide."
The Jaguars may be playing in the wrong conference. They're 9-0 at home against NFC teams under Del Rio, but they've lost their last four games to AFC teams, two at home and two away. Overall, they're 7-9 in their last 16 games.
The temperature was 88 degrees, making it the hottest home game ever for the Jaguars and tying the record for the hottest game overall. They've played three games in 88-degree temperatures, both in 1998 at Chicago and Tennessee.
Garrard and his wife, Mary, became parents for the first time early Monday morning when Justin Thomas Garrard was born.
PLAYER PERSONNEL NOTES
S Gerald Sensabaugh is getting a second opinion, but he may need shoulder surgery that will sideline him for the season.
S Sammy Knight replaced Sensabaugh when he went out with a shoulder injury, but the Jaguars could decide to switch CB Brian Williams to safety and play Scott Starks or Aaron Glenn at cornerback.
CB Brian Williams could be moved to cornerback to replace Sensabaugh.
CB Scott Starks could move to the starting lineup if Williams moves to safety to replace Sensabaugh.
CB Glenn could move to the starting lineup if Williams moves to safety to replace Sensabaugh.
DT John Henderson won't be allowed to have contact this week in practice because he suffered a blow to the head against Atlanta Sunday.