Wiegert, Walker Appreciate Win, No Matter How It Came

By Bianchi, Mike | The Florida Times Union, September 23, 1999 | Go to article overview

Wiegert, Walker Appreciate Win, No Matter How It Came


Bianchi, Mike, The Florida Times Union


CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Zach Wiegert and Gary Walker have been in the other huddle. The loser's huddle.

In that huddle, everybody looks around at each other with dread drenching their faces. In that huddle, you can sense the doom and defeat. And, somehow, you just know you're going to lose. You just know.

Wiegert played for the Rams last year; Walker for the Oilers. Which is perhaps why they seemed so content after the harder-than-expected 22-20 victory over the Carolina Panthers yesterday at yet another NFL stadium named after a cellular phone company.

"When I was playing for the Oilers, we lost so many of these kind of games, it became a habit," said Walker, a defensive tackle who had two of Jacksonville's four sacks.

"This team is the total opposite of what the Rams are," said Wiegert, an offensive guard who helped clear the way for 214 rushing yards against the Panthers. "You could feel it today. When this team got into a close game, we expected to win. When I was with the Rams, we'd get into a close game and everybody was like:

'Oh, no, we're going to lose again.'"

You could almost predict this game was going to happen. The Jaguars had a huge home victory in the opener last week against one of the headline teams in the NFL. And yesterday they were on the road against one of the league's B-film teams. Naturally, there's going to be a bit of a comedown when you go from Casablanca (49ers) to Attack of the Killer Tomatoes (Panthers).

Pick a cliche, any cliche: On any given Sunday ... Week in, week out ... One game at a time ... The NFL season is a marathon, not a sprint ... A penny saved is a penny earned.

OK, forget that last one, but the others all fit here. Really, was there any question the Panthers would come out yesterday with pumped-up dander and puffed-out chests, wanting to show their more successful expansion siblings they still have a little rivalry left in them? …

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