Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Jaguars Get a Game on Thursday Night

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Jaguars Get a Game on Thursday Night

Article excerpt

Byline: Vito Stellino

INDIANAPOLIS | The Jaguars found out Friday they will be playing at least one prime-time game next season despite their 5-11 record.

Commissioner Roger Goodell announced that the NFL Network will carry a Thursday night game from Week 2 through Week 15 and every team will make at least one appearance.

Last year, the league broadcast eight games on the NFL Network and the Jaguars played in one of them, losing at Atlanta. They also played in two Monday night games on ESPN.

"We think it's great for the fans,'' Goodell said. "We think it's great for the teams because every team will get that prime-time exposure and we think it's great for the network.''

The teams may not be thrilled about the idea because many players and coaches don't like having a Thursday game following a Sunday game and the league hasn't made much of an attempt to give byes the Sunday before the Thursday game.

Last year, the Jaguars had a stretch of three games from Dec. 5-15 - Monday night, Sunday and Thursday night.

But the league is trying to promote the NFL Network, which isn't carried by some cable operators and is on a premium tier on others.

"The market has spoken,'' Goodell said. "The NFL Network is here and it's going to continue to grow.''


The two coaches, Bill Belichick of the Patriots and Tom Coughlin of the Giants, conducted their final news conferences of the week on Friday.

Belichick, who stopped practice for a half hour earlier in the week to simulate the long halftime show, said, "It's like starting all over again [for the second half]. It's like a doubleheader in baseball.''

Halftimes during the regular season last 12 minutes, but are about half an hour during the Super Bowl.

Coughlin was asked his daily question about how he has changed.

"You're asking the wrong guy,'' he said. …

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