2002 RECORD: 6-10.

WHEN: July 25.

WHERE: Alltel Stadium, Jacksonville.

WHO'S NEW: The only reign the franchise had known was under the all-controlling Tom Coughlin. Enter 40-year-old Jack Del Rio, with six years of coaching experience. Del Rio was a hot item as Carolina's defensive coordinator, but this hire was a gamble.

THE BUZZ: The Jaguars, with three straight losing seasons, just now are clawing out of the miserable salary-cap situation Coughlin dug. They were in good enough position to sign DE Hugh Douglas and LB Michael Peterson to free-agent deals. Those two -- and watch out for rookie DB Rashean Mathis, a second-round pick -- should pay big dividends for a defense that ranked 25th overall last season. The improvements on defense come just in time to coincide with QB Mark Brunell's final season in teal, as the future is in the hands of first-round pick Byron Leftwich.

2003 schedule

Date Opponent Time
Aug. 9 at Minnesota 8 p.m.
Aug. 15 Miami 7:30 p.m.
Aug. 23 at Tampa Bay 8 p.m.
Aug. 28 Washington 8 p.m.
Regular Season
Sept. 7 at Carolina 1 p.m.
Sept. 14 Buffalo 1 p.m.
Sept. 21 at Indianapolis 1 p.m.
Sept. 28 at Houston 1 p.m.
Oct. 5 San Diego 4:05 p.m.