Shula has worked
with Leftwich on his footwork in the pocket and tried to quicken his release.
Koetter, who was fired after six years as coach at Arizona State, will give him
more shots at throwing downfield. A good offensive line, however, was dealt a
blow when veteran center Brad Meester broke his right ankle early in training
camp; he will miss at least the first month of the season.
Even if Leftwich
is substantially improved, it remains uncertain if Jacksonville has the
receiving personnel to worry defenses. Former first-round draft picks Reggie
Williams (ninth in 2004 out of Washington) and Matt Jones (a quarterback at
Arkansas before being taken 21st in '05) are expected to be sitting behind
Northcutt and Ernest Wilford at the start of the season. "All our receivers
know what we need and what we expect," says Del�Rio. "It's their
responsibility to get on the field and make plays."
If they do, and
if Leftwich is effective, the Jaguars are a threat to unseat the potentially
vulnerable Colts in the AFC�South. If the passing game sputters, they will
COACH JACK DEL
RIO (34-30 in NFL), fifth season with Jaguars