Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

NOTEBOOK; Jags Unable to Replace DB Mathis

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

NOTEBOOK; Jags Unable to Replace DB Mathis

Article excerpt

Byline: VITO STELLINO

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The Jaguars' 30-13 loss on Sunday exposed their lack of depth at cornerback.

They started safety Reggie Nelson at corner because Rashean Mathis was inactive with a broken left index finger.

Nelson is believed to be the team's third best corner, but the Titans targeted him with both the run and pass. He struggled and missed several tackles besides being beaten in coverage.

"I didn't play well at all,'' said Nelson, who was known as the Eraser at Florida, but was erased several times by the Titans' offense.

Nelson allowed Vince Young's only touchdown pass of the first half when Nate Washington beat him on a fade route to the right corner of the end zone.

Mathis made the trip with his left arm in a plastic cast but said it was for protection and expects to be back next week.

MORE SECONDARY SHUFFLING

With Nelson moving to corner, the Jaguars planned to play Sean Considine, who had been sidelined with a groin injury, in Nelson's spot. But Considine came down with the flu and didn't play. He was replaced by veteran Brian Russell, who had two tackles on the day.

RECORD DAY FOR DREW

Maurice Jones-Drew carried the ball just eight times, but two went for touchdown runs of 80 and 79 yards.

The runs were two of the three longest in franchise history and his 177 yards rushing was the fifth-highest total.

Jones-Drew didn't get a carry on the Jaguars' first three possessions of the game.

But on the first play of their fourth series, he took a pitch, cut back and went down the right sideline for 80 yards.

On the Jaguars' first play from scrimmage in the second half, he went 79 yards for a touchdown that tied the game at 13, but the Jaguars never scored again.

"The runs showed what we're capable of doing,'' said Jones-Drew, who lauded quarterback David Garrard for running downfield blocking on the second one.

Still, Jones-Drew said of the offense, "We left the defense out there too long [because they didn't sustain drives]. We prepared well, but we just didn't execute. We had little miscues here and there. …

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