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Old 01-04-2006, 07:30 AM
TomWilkinson TomWilkinson is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Las Vegas
Posts: 118
Default Jacksonville Gambling a Bit on Leftwich

Jacksonville Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio has said that starting quarterback Byron Leftwich against the New England Patriots after a six-week layoff is a bit of a gamble.

"We want to focus on the matchups and where we can get favorable matchups, where we could maybe reduce the risk of unfavorable matchups, and then go in and compete," Del Rio said Tuesday. "My job is to prepare the group of men and come up with the best combination of players that I think give us a chance to win on any given day."

The Jaguars went 5-1 with Garrard under center, but Del Rio didn't waste any time going back to starting quarterback Byron Leftwich.

"It is what it is," Del Rio said, "He's preparing to play, and as long as I feel he can protect himself and give us the best chance to win, then he'll play."

"I feel great. That's the thing," said Leftwich. "I haven't felt this good since May or June. I have no wear and tear on my body. I feel fine. I didn't hurt my arm. I still know how to throw that ball. I still know how to go to the right place with the football. I think I can do that."
"I'm not looking rusty in practice," he said. "I did the first day, but I'm not looking rusty in practice. I'm hitting everything and I'm feeling good. My goal this week is to make it through with no setbacks."

The Patriots know that the starting quarterback is only one part of the puzzle. "It's not about any one stat or any one unit, although they are all important," Patriots coach Bill Belichick said. "It ultimately comes down to how your team is able to perform on a collective basis for 60 minutes. That's what the score reflects; that's what the game reflects."
Tom Wilkinson
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