Conference Call: Jaguars Coach Jack Del Rio

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HEAD COACH JACK DEL RIO**

(on the changes that have gone on with the Jaguars since they played the Titans earlier in the season)

We just continued to work at it, play a little better football in some of the ballgames and gave ourselves an opportunity to kind of stay afloat.

(on if there is anything they are doing much better now than they were when they played the Titans the first time)

I think as a team we continued to work at and making some improvements.  We've got some younger players that are getting better.  The biggest thing as far as personnel wise, is that we elected to go with the two young safeties after that ballgame and we've been growing with them and making progress.

(on if they expect to have Eugene Monroe back in their starting lineup on Sunday)

We expect him back.  Guy Whimper did a nice job going in there.  We're happy with the input that he provided in a tough setting up there in New York, and obviously going to Tennessee and the way they're rushing people they've done a heck of a job there too.  It will be good to have Eugene back, but Guy did a nice job for us last week.

(on what kind of impact Randy Moss has had on the Titans in his three games with the team)

You guys can let me know what you think, that'd be best.

(on if he's surprised that Randy Moss hasn't had more statistical success since joining the Titans)

We just have to do the best that we can and prepare for the people they have and what they're trying to do with them.  Can't really get caught up with those type of questions or thoughts, for us we just have to identify the guys and the abilities that they have, and be prepared to do the very best we can against them.

(on if you have to look at more than just his three games with the Titans to prepare for Randy Moss)

Yeah, there is plenty of knowledge about Randy and the capabilities that he has.

(on if the AFC South Division will be decided by who gets hot this last month of the season)

I think we all play each other over the next month.  We're all sitting there within a game of each other and all have an opportunity.  For us, what we're focusing on is going up and trying to find a way to scratch out a win in Tennessee.  When we're done with that opportunity, we'll get ready for the next one.  That's really the way we've approached things all year, we're not going to change now.

(on if he's happy with the way the schedule was set up and having so many division games at the end of the season)

Well I learned a long time ago not to get too concerned with how the schedule works out.  Whether you think it's to your advantage or not, you have to go play the games.  You can't play them all at once; you play them one at a time.  That's why us coaches come up with some of those clichés.  It's really just about going out and playing well Sunday and finding a way to win, and everything kind of falls into place after that.

(on if he thinks that Jacksonville plays better than the sum of their parts)

That's what we're working at—that's the idea of team, is to come together.  With a group coming together you can become more than just the sum of the parts.  That's what we're after.  We're definitely driving for that and working for that and committing for that and dedicating ourselves to that.  When you have the results and you execute well, then you can achieve those types of things and that's really what we're after.

(on Jacksonville not having a very good turnover margin)

Oh my goodness!  That's an understatement; you're being too kind on that one.

(on if he feels fortunate to still be in the playoff hunt despite such a poor turnover margin)

Historically in this league, it's based so much on turnovers and the turnover ratio.  You're just playing against the odds if you're not protecting the football and taking it away yourself from the opponent.  We just have not protected it nearly well enough, nor have we taken it away enough so obviously that is something that we're beating that drum.  The guys understand the importance of it, but we've got to get that done.  The only chance that we have done the stretch here in December is to protect the football much better than we have in the first part of the year.

(on if his young defensive tackles are on track to be mentioned with Marcus Stroud and John Henderson)

Like when we got here in '03, those guys didn't have that type of recognition, nor did they have that type of reputation.  I think you earn that.  I would just say our two young tackles, they're young and they're both talented, but they've got a ways to go before you can talk about them like that, in my opinion.  You've got to earn that on the field and Stroud and Henderson put together a number of years together being disruptive.  Then we kind of knew what we had, but a lot of work went into them developing and us being able to utilize them and so right now I'd say there is promise and we like both of our tackles, but they've got a ways to go before you put them in the same sentence as that.

(on if he's expecting to see Kerry Collins start on Sunday)

Obviously Kerry has a great deal of experience, and yes we are expecting to see him.  I think he served as the backup last week, he went out and warmed up a little bit, all those things—all indications are that they'll have him this week.  I thought overall Rusty (Smith) did a decent job.  He moved the ball, they had some drops early that didn't help his confidence, and really just made a couple mistakes down in the red zone where they were actually going to get back in the game.  In my view of it anyway, actually the numbers end up being a lot worse than what the tape looked like.

(on why they were using timeouts at the end of the Monday Night Football game and if they were asked to use them by ESPN or an official)

There's really not any confusion.  We wanted to get a stop, didn't get a stop.  They came in here and earned a hard-fought victory—I don't know whether it was that hard for them, but they certainly came in here and took care of business and got a nice victory here.  That's our only divisional loss, so we know we need to play well in the division to win the division, you have to be able to beat your divisional opponents.  We get another opportunity on Sunday down there in Tennessee.

(on if Cortland Finnegan reminds him of anybody he's played with or coached)

No, not really.

(on if he thinks Cortland Finnegan is a dirty player)

The only thing that I say is that he likes to play, he's going to be aggressive and first of all, I like the way he plays.  I don't have a problem with it.  I just tell our guys if they feel something occurs right beyond the blow of the whistle or any of that type of stuff you need to react properly and have poise.  That is not the time to show me that you're a tough guy.  We talk about that, but I like his tenacity.  I like the way that he goes after people, he knows that and I've told him that before.

(on if he's ever seen anything like the Cortland Finnegan-Andre Johnson fight before and if he thought they should have been suspended)

Only in training camp have I seen things escalate like that.  Typically it doesn't.  In terms of punishment, I would let the commissioner handle that, that's his business and we'll just worry about getting ready to play the next game.

(on the argument that division winners shouldn't get an automatic home-playoff game)

I've already shared my sentiments; I shared my sentiments regarding that with the competition committee when we discussed it.  I was a big advocate to allow teams to earn their way based on record, but that was shut down.  The room was decidedly in favor of continuing to maintain the ability of a divisional winner to have a home-playoff game.  That's that, I had my say and nobody really cared.  The people who make those decisions, that decision's already been made.  To me, you play with what you have now and certainly whoever wins this division and any of the other divisions that don't have a runaway guy who is sitting there with two or three losses then at this point if that team wins their division they will have earned that right.

(on if the automatic home-playoff game rule for division winners could benefit the Jaguars)

Well we'll see about that.  Right now we just have to find a way to get these Titans slowed down and get a victory over there.

(on if he got a satisfactory explanation as to why the Kassim Osgood penalty was called)

I don't think I can get satisfactory because the only way that I'd be satisfied is to not have it called that way in the first place.  So no, there is really nothing to add on that.  It didn't come out the way that we wanted and that was one of many opportunities that we thought we had to execute better and to take advantage of the opportunities that we had there.

(on if there is a difference between getting off a jam and beginning your block)

He did what he has to do.  I mean the guy comes up and jams you at the line of scrimmage, I guess you could fall over.  Otherwise you're going to sit there and hold your ground and block, and that's what he did.  It's just hard for me to understand how that could be interpreted that way.

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