Jacksonville Jaguarshead coach Jack Del Rio met with the media today and discussed the season and issues going forward. As I mentioned before, owner Wayne Weaver did not roll over the assistant coaches contracts leaving them all one year deals. Jack Del Rio said he expects his staff to remain in tact, but will let the assistants seek other coaching opportunities if they arise because they are having to coach under 1-year deals.
Del Rio shouldered the blame for the Jaguars home loss to the Washington Redskins. Del Rio explained that there was no excuse for not doing more against a defense that was so depleted. "Probably our best defensive effort we had of the year. We struggled to score points against a depleted defense," Del Rio said (via Tania Ganguli). He knows the Jaguars lack the personnel on defense and the past drafts have hurt.
"I don't' separate myself from Shack [Harris]. I shared in some of those decisions about players that haven't panned out," Del Rio said (via Ganguli).
Del Rio also somewhat addressed the offense, more specifically the quarterback situation with David Garrard. "It's rare that a head coach gets the opportunity to rebuild a team for the second time. It's rare a head coach survives a QB not working out," Del Rio said (via Mark Long). "I think we've maybe not been aggressive enough bringing in talent at that position," Del Rio added. The Jaguars have drafted just a single quarterback in Del Rio's tenure, Byron Leftwich in 2003. "We're going to go back and demand even more (from Garrard)," said Del Rio. "I said it last year and it was taken the wrong way, he's been a very good quarterback. He's not been elite," the head coach said regarding Garrard. "But I saw guys like Rich Gannon late in their career become elite," added Del Rio (via Ganguli).
Del Rio also said he expects running back Maurice Jones-Drewto recover 100% from his off-season knee surgery. "He (Jones-Drew) looked at the different scenarios and chose to continue to play," said Del Rio (via Long). He said he knew about the injury in training camp, but Jones-Drew wanted to fight through it. Del Rio said the team was fortunate to get 14 games out of Jones-Drew, it's almost a confrontation anytime you try to take him off the field.