By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — The Jaguars were gifted so much bulletin board material from the Steelers prior to last weekend’s playoff game that Tom Coughlin likely had to add a couple of corkboards to the team’s expense report. (There’s absolutely no way that a team run by Coughlin has gone digital in the corkboard department.)
From the head coach to the star running back to an overly confident safety, the Steelers could not have made it any more clear that they were looking past the Jaguars.
Now a week later, the well of smack talk has dried up, as the Patriots are too experienced and too wise to be so foolish as to flap their gums and insult this week’s opponent.
But that’s not stopping the Jaguars from trying to generate a slight or two by really reading between the lines — and I do mean really reading between the lines — on this quote from Tom Brady: “This is the biggest challenge we’ve faced all year.”
Seems pretty straightforward, no? Well, maybe to the untrained eye it looks like Brady was complimenting the Jaguars. But to Jacksonville linebacker Telvin Smith? Ohhhhhh, buddy. This was a Grade A insult.
Even Rodney Harrison, the world’s greatest manufacturer of artificial insults, would agree:
Now, maybe if the Jaguars were actually bad, Smith would have a point. If the Jaguars were some bum team with a bad defense that was coached, say, by Mike Mularkey, then maybe the insincerity of such comments would have been obvious. But in terms of yards allowed, points allowed and interceptions made, the Jaguars are indeed the best team the Patriots will have faced all season. What Brady said was actually factual.
But, as you might understand, the Jaguars are a bit thirsty right now for some of that sweet, sweet trash talk that kept their blood pumping at uncontrollable levels. It helped them head into Pittsburgh with a chip on their shoulder, and they’re looking for a similar advantage as they make the unenviable trek into Foxboro with the season — and a Super Bowl berth — on the line.
But they’re going to have to look somewhere else.