|Jaguars trying to avoid NFL history against Lions|
|Written by Admin|
|Thursday, 06 November 2008 13:51|
If the Jaguars lose at Detroit, they will be the first to get beaten in consecutive weeks by winless opponents who had lost at least six games, according to STATS.
``I'm sure the Jags have had somebody whisper that in their ears,'' Lions kicker Jason Hanson said. ``That's why we're going to get their best shot even though we're an 0-8 team that is statistically the worst in the league.''
Detroit became the only winless team in the league last week when Cincinnati held off a rally from the Jaguars, who failed to convert a 2-point conversion with 1:17 left that would've tied the game.
The Lions (0-8) rank last in defense and 27th on offense, but suddenly they're a little more intriguing after bringing quarterback Daunte Culpepper out of retirement.
ury and the team's apparent lack of confidence in second-year pro Drew Stanton.
Like a lot of people, Jacksonville coach Jack Del Rio thinks it would be very difficult for an NFL quarterback to play as quickly as Culpepper probably will be asked to in Detroit.
``It would be a heck of a deal if he can pull it off,'' Del Rio said.
Culpepper signed a two-year deal, which he negotiated as his own agent, on Tuesday when he began to learn the Lions' playbook. The 31-year-old Culpepper had 11 lackluster appearances in the previous two seasons for Oakland and Miami.
He was a three-time Pro Bowl quarterback in Minnesota before an injured right knee stunted his career in 2005. A second surgery in 2006 set him back again.
Culpepper is joining a team that has won only one of its last 16 games, falling to an NFL-worst 31-89 since 2001.
``I can't say that I'm going to be the guy who changes everything, but I want to be the guy that helps,'' Culpepper said. ``No one person in football wins or loses the game.''
The Jaguars (3-5) have lost two straight against teams they were expected to beat - the Bengals and Cleveland Browns - and seemingly are falling apart on and off the field after winning 11 games plus a playoff game last year.
stuffing the run on defense has been lost.
``I still think that we need that identity,'' Taylor said. ``We do not have it right now.''
Quarterback David Garrard agreed.
``The big difference between this year and last year is our physical play,'' he said. ``We were dominating people last year and we got to get back to that.''
Del Rio has been in damage-control mode, dealing with defensive tackle John Henderson smiling as he was walking off the field following the last loss, and the laughter in the locker room after the defeat.
``Those are some of the things that I've addressed, privately, that are not a good reflection of me and what I stand for,'' Del Rio said. ``I take pride in the fact this team is a reflection of me and I want it to be a reflection of me. I don't like that reflection.''
Del Rio sent Mike Peterson home on Wednesday and kept him away from the team Thursday. According to players, the two had a confrontation during a team meeting when the coach called out the linebacker for a muscle-flexing celebration after he made a sack as the team trailed the Bengals by 18.
Peterson, voted a captain by teammates and clearly the defensive leader, leads the team with 85 tackles. But he hasn't been one of Del Rio's favorites, especially because Peterson ripped the franchise for not offering him a contract extension during the offseason.
by moving some players to different stalls and shutting down TVs and radio, as well as games of dominoes.
``I want to make sure we've got the right type of culture going on in the locker room, the right type of interaction,'' he explained. ``We definitely don't want to be comfortable with the way things are going right now.''
The Lions also are trying not to be content with losing, hoping the addition of Culpepper provides the spark they've been missing.
Culpepper is back in the league after turning down opportunities to sign one-year deals with Pittsburgh and Green Bay to be a backup and briefly giving up hope of playing again.
The 6-foot-4, 260-pound quarterback acknowledged conditioning will be a challenge because his recent workouts were basically limited to running after some of his 6-year-old son's football practices.
Culpepper does not expect it to be difficult, though, to pick up Detroit's offense, which is similar to what he ran with the Vikings. He's confident in his ability to bounce back to become a star because he's two years removed from his last knee surgery.
``I never doubt myself when I'm healthy,'' he said.
The Lions have faith in Culpepper, too, even though he will likely be on the field less than a week after joining them.
``I would hope that it'll takes four days,'' Detroit defensive tackle Cory Redding said, ``and Sunday everything will be all peachy.''