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10-18-04, 12:25 PM #1
Upstart Jaguars, Leftwich prove to be `teal deal'
Upstart Jaguars, Leftwich prove to be `teal deal'
By DAVID WHITLEY
The Orlando Sentinel
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Did John Wayne wear teal cowboy boots? Would George Patton have been caught dead in a teal jeep?
Forget your preconceptions about real men and the colors they prefer. If Byron Leftwich keeps this up, the U.S. Marines may start hitting the beach wearing teal camouflage.
"Oh, man, he showed some heart," tight end Kyle Brady said.
Not literally, though the way things were going at Alltel Stadium on Sunday, nobody would have been shocked if Leftwich directed the winning drive with a couple of vital organs hanging out.
As it was, he managed to do it despite sprains to his left shoulder and right ankle. When you see that, it makes you wonder if something inexplicable is brewing in Jacksonville.
With a little less luck, the Jaguars' record could be downright Dolphins-like. But after Sunday's 22-16 win over Kansas City, they are 4-2 and have an aura about them.
It wears teal cleats.
"No. 7 back there," Fred Taylor said. "He just makes things happen."
On the scale of macho colors, teal ranks somewhere above pink but below chartreuse. It has been accepted on uniforms, but shoes? The women on Sex and the City are supposed to wear teal shoes. Not NFL quarterbacks.
We'll just have to accept the fact things are changing. Especially when Leftwich turns into the "Incredible Teal Hulk" before our eyes.
He was slammed to the ground on the Jaguars' second drive, and wobbled to the sideline with a trainer cradling his left arm. The announcers said Leftwich's return was questionable. Nobody mentioned that to Leftwich.
He was back the next possession, and even tried to flatten a defender when Taylor reversed field on one run. It wasn't the most effective block, but it was the kind of thing that makes teammates want to lift their quarterback on their shoulders.
Come to think of it, that's pretty much what they did back at Marshall one game. Leftwich was so hobbled he couldn't run, so his linemen carried him downfield during a last-minute passing frenzy.
That's the kind of thing legends and bad sports movies are made of. Leftwich said his pain tolerance was honed as kid when he and his brother would play in the streets of Washington, D.C. He swears cars hit them on a regular basis, though he didn't want to go into detail on Sunday.
"No, no, no," he said. "But me and my brother both got hit by a lot of cars."
After seeing him getting blindsided by a number of runaway Chiefs, who's to doubt he could survive a speeding Volkswagen? This is Leftwich's second season, and growing pains aren't over. But the more he plays, the more pleasure he brings.
He completed passes to nine receivers Sunday while completing 24 of 36 passes. But numbers don't tell the story.
"Clearly he has some of the `It' intangibles," Coach Jack Del Rio said.
What is "It"? The cool that can transform a team. Confidence snowballs, which helps explain how the Jags have come from behind to win three games in the final minute. They hadn't done that in six years before this season.
After Kansas City missed a field goal with 2:21 left, the Jaguars expected to drive 67 yards for the winning score. Especially because their leader was barely able to move with a sprained ankle.
"It's inspirational," Brady said.
Whatever "It" is, Leftwich has it and the Jags are getting it.
"We're still a work in progress," Del Rio cautioned.
True, but they're getting there and making a fashion statement along the way.
Teal shoes definitely work.
10-18-04, 07:10 PM #2
well, they beat my Cheifs, ( but then again, so has everyone ELSE) so i can't sayanything bad about em.
10-18-04, 07:28 PM #3
Being a Kansas native, I've always been a Chiefs fan, so when they came to Jacksonville I was a little torn. I like both teams, and what a game it was. Nobody left early, it was that kind of game. We certainly got our money's worth!
10-18-04, 07:31 PM #4
LOl BRUNSWICK GA! that'sright near Kings bay sub base, right?
Nice town. I was a big Jags fan when they came out because of the nearness of the base.
10-18-04, 07:46 PM #5
Ok you Jag fans, enough! Yes, the Chiefs lost but big deal, they have done that before! In fact the Chiefs have lost many times this season. In fact, they are the best at it! So, quit blowing the whistles and waving the banners, it's no big deal!---LOL
Really, I have to say that the Jags did a good job in taking advantage of an opportunity that should never have come.
10-19-04, 06:20 AM #6
Hard Jedi- -yea, Kings Bay is about 30 miles south of me on I-95. Kansas City, great town! Lived there once and go there from time to time to visit. It surprised me how many Chiefs fans were at the game Sunday. I didn't know there were that many of us around down here.
As far as the Chiefs go, there's always next week!
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