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Inside the Jaguars: A week for evaluation

Posted Oct 29, 2013

Jacksonville Jaguars HC Gus Bradley says bye week will be used to evaluate everything from personnel to scheme.

JACKSONVILLE – On the field, the Jaguars will get a much-needed week off.

That doesn’t mean there’s no work this week.

Winless midway through the regular season, Gus Bradley said the Jaguars’ coaching staff will use the bye to evaluate everything from personnel to scheme and on-field approach.

“We’ll use this week, really, for offense, defense and special teams,” Bradley said Tuesday afternoon, a day after the team returned to Jacksonville following a 42-10 loss to the San Francisco 49ers at Wembley Stadium in London, England Sunday.

The loss to the 49ers dropped the Jaguars to 0-8, and while Bradley said he expected difficult times in his first season as head coach, he added with a laugh, “I didn’t quite anticipate that.”

“It has been challenging, but in some ways hopefully it makes us stronger in the long run,” Bradley said, adding, “I knew it was going to be challenging, especially with all of the things we have going on – the (change in) culture, the personnel, offense, defense, scheme.

“I’m excited about the challenge, because I’m seeing things happen behind the scenes. I’m seeing things take place. I’m seeing our guys stay true. I’m seeing all these things that I know are part of a culture that will help us sustain it when the time is right….

“Now, ultimately what our city and our fans need is to see it on the scoreboard. We understand that. I want it and our team wants it as badly as them, but in order to give them that, we have to stay true to that.”

Also on Tuesday, Bradley said Chad Henne will remain the starting quarterback “right now.”

Henne has started five games this season, including the last three. He has started 11 games for the Jaguars in two seasons, but the loss to the 49ers Sunday marked the first time Henne started with Blaine Gabbert healthy.

“We’ll continue to evaluate that,” Bradley said. “But in the meetings we’ve had and the talk (as of Tuesday), we’ll continue to be with Chad.”

Bradley said the team will hold a big personnel meeting Tuesday, with extensive “self-scout” in terms of game plans scheduled Wednesday.

Bradley said while the coaching staff meets with General Manager David Caldwell and personnel staff throughout the season, Tuesday’s meeting will be more extensive than most weeks. He said he doesn’t anticipate significant personnel changes from the meeting.

“We’re always looking at our roster,” Bradley said. “We’ll look at bringing guys in, working them out, seeing if they are a fit for us. This is more just, ‘How do we help our players get better in our areas.’”

Bradley said he doesn’t expect many depth-chart changes, either.

“I don’t know what’s going to take place, but in our conversations, very few – if any,’’ Bradley said.

Bradley said there have been areas of improvement such as passing yards and rushing yards offensively in recent weeks. The team has produced significantly more total yards the last four games, with efficiency in the red zone hindering point production.

“We’ll continue to evaluate and find out what we’re doing well, but really the self-scout is focusing on our weaknesses,” Bradley said.

One particular such area Bradley discussed was a defense that began the season keeping a struggling offense in games, but that has struggled in recent weeks, allowing touchdowns on the opponents’ first two drives each of the last two games.

San Diego drove 80, 80 and 79 yards on three first-half drives two weeks ago, scoring touchdowns on the first two drives and driving to the one-yard line on the other. The 49ers scored touchdowns on their first four drives, the first time in Jaguars history an opponent has done so.

Bradley said the defensive staff studied video from the game Monday on the flight from London, and again Tuesday.

“We obviously have some things we need to get corrected,” Bradley said, adding that while the defense played well at times during the first six games that hasn’t been the case during losses to San Diego and San Francisco the last two weeks.

“We’re getting away from what we did well,” he said. “That’s why you’re seeing the points and the large amounts of yards rushing.”

Bradley said the bye will benefit the Jaguars physically and mentally.

“I do think it will be beneficial for us,” Bradley said. “On this journey that we’re having, it takes some time to go through it. The reason I use the words celebrate the victories is any time we see action that is a part of our culture, we have to reinforce that.

“We’re doing that with a lot of things. I think the victories will come as soon as we do enough of those things correctly.”


Also around the Jaguars Tuesday:

*As of mid-Tuesday afternoon, the Jaguars reported no trade inquiries and no offers. The league’s trade deadline is 4 p.m. Tuesday.

*Bradley said the team could consider leaving Sunday night on future London trips. The team left Monday afternoon this year. Bradley said there also could consideration given to playing a road game the week before the trip to shorten travel time to the game. “Those are things we can evaluate,” Bradley said.

*The Jaguars will not practice this week, with the league mandating that players be off at least four consecutive days over the bye.

*Bradley said the presence of tight end Marcedes Lewis has helped the running game the last two weeks, and that the team would like to continue to get him more involved in the passing game. Lewis missed five of the first six games with a calf injury.

*Offensive guard Will Rackley and tight end D.J. Williams are in the concussion program entering the bye week after sustaining the injuries against San Francisco Sunday. Second-year veteran Mike Brewster replaced Rackley at left guard Sunday.

*Bradley will leave Wednesday morning for his father’s wake, and will attend the funeral Thursday. He will return to Jacksonville Friday. Bradley’s father, Roy James Bradley, died October 20.

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