Fix Flat Defense

The Jaguars have to fix their defense in a hurry as they prepare to play a Tennessee Titans team that rushed for 282 yards against him in the opening game of the season.

The Jaguars lost that game only by a 13-10 margin, but the Titans dominated the game with their ground game.

Against the New Orleans Saints last Sunday, they also showed their vulnerability to the passing game.

Drew Brees made it look easy in the Big Easy against the Jaguars' defense as he beat the Jaguars, 41-24.

"That was really a highlight show out there today," defensive end Reggie Hayward said after the New Orleans Saints quarterback left the Jaguars looking for answers.

Brees strafed them for 445 passing yards and 538 total yards and Brees' passing total topped the previous high mark of 440 passing yards that Peyton Manning rang up against the Jaguars in 2000.

The Jaguars bore little resemblance to the defense that ranked second in yardage allowed in the league last year.

The Jaguars didn't put pressure on Brees as he was sacked only once and they didn't cover well as rookie safety Reggie Nelson and veteran cornerback Aaron Glenn, filling in for injured Brian Williams, struggled in coverage. And they missed a lot of tackles.

Brees and the Saints also played well.

Defensive end Reggie Hayward said, "You sort of think what could we have done to slow Brees down and there was probably nothing. He was just on today. He was like being a good shooter in a good rhythm. He had his mojo today. Of course, we could have gotten some pressure on him and we could have covered a little bit longer, but they were hot today. When a team is that hot, sometimes you've just got to weather the storm. We came into a good whipping today."

Vince Young of the Titans isn't going to throw against them the way Brees did, but the Titans have already proved they can run against them.

What made it more frustrating for the Jaguars was that their offense and special teams got 24 points as Reggie Williams hauled in an 80-yard touchdown strike from Quinn Gray and Maurice Jones-Drew ran a kickoff back 100 yards for a touchdown.

"We felt like offense didn't have a great game, but they put us in position to win. I think the special teams had some big plays. When we get 24 points we need to hold the fort a little bit better. When we get 24 points, that's winning football," Hayward said.

Hayward added, "To give up that many points, we're not accustomed to doing that. We have to buckle down."

Hayward said the mistakes they made can be corrected.

"Everybody has a little off day or something like that. We had a very bad off day. We're a very physical hard hitting team and I don't think we weren't physical but we didn't wrap up and pull people down like we normally do. That's what really cost us a lot of yards. A lot of guys were trying for kill shots instead of putting them on the ground.

"We make high profile athletes sort of pack it in and call it quits because they don't want to be that physical. We didn't do that today. We let them get the ball rolling," he said.

Defensive tackle Marcus Stroud said, "We didn't make it our kind of game. We didn't go out and execute like we should. We know we can tackle better. We know we can play better because we've done it."

Coach Jack Del Rio said, "I've got to do a much better job as a coach getting our staff and our players ready to play a game so we have an opportunity to slow them down. They outplayed us. They out-coached us. They were better today."




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