Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Brunell Says He's Ready

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Brunell Says He's Ready

Article excerpt

Is Mark Brunell ready for some football?

That's a decision Jaguars coach Tom Coughlin will have to make

sometime today as his team prepares to play the Pittsburgh

Steelers tonight at Alltel Stadium in the Jaguars' firstever

Monday night football appearance.

Is Brunell's injured right knee -- which he injured Aug. 9 --

healed enough to allow him to see his first game action since

then? Or will Coughlin opt to go with the inexperienced Steve

Matthews, who would be making his second NFL start?

It's a tough decision when you consider two things you don't

want a quarterback to be against the Steelers: gimpy and/or

inexperienced.

Brunell, who will wear a brace for support, won't be 100

percent if he does play, and Matthews has just the one start on

his resume.

"I'm ready if he does decide it's me," Brunell said. "I've

prepared like I am starting."

Coughlin said Saturday it would be a game-time decision, but

all indications are that the starter will be Brunell.

Whoever Coughlin chooses, he had better be ready for that

Pittsburgh blitz.

Brunell has not played since sustaining torn ligaments in his

right knee in the Jaguars' second preseason game, but he did

take a majority of snaps last week leading up to the tonight's

game. The key in Coughlin's decision will be how he thinks

Brunell can protect himself from the Pittsburgh rush.

If Coughlin decides Brunell can't go, Matthews, who led the

Jaguars to a 40-13 victory over the New York Giants Sept. 7,

would be the starter.

"If Mark can't play, we have to pick up the pieces," said wide

receiver Keenan McCardell. "We proved we can win without him

before."

The Steelers (1-1) present entirely different problems than

the Giants. The Pittsburgh defense is a complicated attack

defense that can be both confusing and intimidating. …

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