A TURNING POINT;Del Rio: Jaguars didn’t panic after rough stretch
Coach Jack Del Rio saw the positive signs in the
Jaguars’ darkest hour just two weeks
Jaguars stuck together after a pair
of 25-point losses to San Diego and Philadelphia and clawed their
way back into a four-way tie for the AFC South lead.
“When we were hit with adversity in those couple of big, tough
losses, I felt zero finger-pointing,” Del Rio said Monday.
He added, “It seemed like a very together group. Very committed,
staying the course. They continue to believe, keep the faith. Those
kinds of things allow you to persevere and come out of it.”
Jaguars beat Indianapolis and
Buffalo the last two Sundays.
“Here we are after Week 5, sitting there very much in contention
with a big division game coming up [Monday night against the
Tennessee Titans] and we’re looking forward to it,” Del Rio
This is a rare opportunity for the
Jaguars, who haven’t won a division
title since 1999, to contend for the division title because Peyton
Manning and the Colts have dominated the AFC South since it was
formed in 2002. The Colts have won the division title in every
season except 2002 and 2008, when the Titans won it.
Jaguars were 12-4 in 2005 and 11-5
in 2007, but had to settle for wild-card berths both years because
the Colts were 14-2 in 2005 and 13-3 in 2007.
Jaguars also need a victory to stay
above .500, which has been the trend for the
Jaguars in the Del Rio era. Del Rio
is 61-59 as a head coach.
Del Rio lauded the team’s work ethic, which he said was a
hallmark of the team since the Tom Coughlin days.
“This team has worked hard, I would venture to say, in its
entire existence. And most teams typically work hard, although some
are more committed and all in than others. This team has just got a
good feel to it. They’re a group of guys that bust their butt every
day,” he said.
Del Rio also said the victory over Buffalo was an “indicator of
He said, “It was a little bit of a test for us to respond coming
off a big divisional win at home here [against the Colts] and then
to go on the road [to play a team that] was desperate and very
hungry for a win, and then throw in some adversity early and being
able to overcome. I thought that was good for our team.”
He liked the fact that the team overcame a 10-point deficit.
“Just listen to what Maurice [Jones-Drew] says about that. This
is a new team, the 2010 version. I just believe that each year you
get a chance to redefine who you are, and we’ve really committed to
being better than that,” he said.
He said the
Jaguars also have raised
“Part of that is being consistent in our approach in everything
we do. This football team understands the things that are stake and
the work needs to be put in,” he said.
Jaguars aren’t surprised by their
“Part of the expectations are that we expect to win and we
expect to go on the road [and win]. We expect to follow a strong
performance against a divisional team with a win on the road. We
expected to. Even though it didn’t go the way we hoped it would, I
thought we continued to believe and continued to work,” he
He added, “Anybody that watched our game, there was no sense of
panic. It was a team that continued to go about its business and
kept coming, kept coming. We just feel like as a football team when
we continue to do that, good things will happen for us.”
Del Rio also predicted that the team will continue to improve,
including on the coaching side.
Del Rio said he usually doesn’t second-guess himself, but said
he shouldn’t have gambled on fourth-and-1 at the
Jaguars 45 in the third
“That probably went more to the gambling side there. That was
not a strong play by me. That’s a mistake. I should not do that,
but I did. The momentum they got there, I should have punted that
ball. I probably got a little overaggressive there,” Del Rio
The Bills took over and scored a touchdown to tie the game
Del Rio added, “That doesn’t mean I won’t do it again. That just
means I don’t like the way that one turned out.”
He said he had to make better educated guesses because, “You’d
like it to be something where you feel like the odds are in their
favor and that didn’t work out very well,” he said.
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