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Open Locker Room: Bradley pleased with poise

Posted Dec 1, 2013

Jacksonville Jaguars HC Gus Bradley on team’s poise in victory over Cleveland: “That was one thing that did not waver”

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Gus Bradley kept using the “P-word.”

The Jaguars won for a third time in four weeks Sunday afternoon, coming from behind for a 32-28 victory over the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium for a third consecutive road victory and a second victory in as many weeks.

Bradley, the Jaguars’ first-year head coach, said the Jaguars maybe didn’t play their best game on Sunday. So, how did they win? That’s where the P-Word came in.

Poise.

“We had some missed opportunities; we weren’t maybe as crisp as we needed to be,” Bradley said moments after Jaguars wide receiver Cecil Shorts III’s 20-yard reception capped a dramatic drive that gave Jacksonville the lead with 40 seconds remaining.

“We did some really good things, too. I was really pleased with our poise from start to finish. That was one thing that did not waver.”

The Jaguars didn’t take their first lead in the game until the final minute of the first half. That was when three Browns turnovers – interceptions by safety Johnathan Cyprien and cornerback Dwayne Gratz and a fumble recovery by defensive tackle Sen’Derrick Marks – led directly to 13 points.

Running back Maurice Jones-Drew threw an eight-yard touchdown pass to tight end Marcedes Lewis, and Josh Scobee converted two field goals in a 1:19 span.

Bradley said the team showed poise, too, in the second half.

The Jaguars trailed much of the final two quarters, finally taking the lead on a safety midway through the fourth quarter when Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden kicked the ball out of the back of the end zone after an errant snap. Scobee extended the lead with a 25-yard field goal, but Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon’s 95-yard touchdown pass on the next play gave the Browns the lead again.

Jaguars quarterback Chad Henne, whose 18-yard touchdown pass to tight end Clay Harbor tied the game in the first quarter, and then led a nine-play, 80-yard drive that ended with the pass to Shorts, who beat cornerback Joe Haden to the left corner of the end zone.

“The way we executed down the stretch with our offense, defense and special teams – I was really excited for that part,” Bradley said, adding, “I said to our guys, ‘Some things might happen around you. Some things might happen to you. What’s really important are the things that are happening in you.’ That’s what I think this team is really gravitating around.

“It’s not so much what happens to us. All of those things can take place. It’s more what happens inside. We’re growing that aspect. When you have a victory like this in a tight, close game like this, it helps in that process.”

 

AIR DREW

Jones-Drew had thrown one career pass in the NFL before Sunday. It was intercepted.

His second attempt went a little better.

Jones-Drew, the Jaguars’ three-time Pro Bowl running back, on Sunday threw an 8-yard touchdown pass to tight end Marcedes Lewis, a play that came with 1:19 remaining in the second quarter and tied the game 14-14.

“We worked it in practice a little bit,” Jones-Drew said. “I’m glad Marcedes made me look good, because it was a horrible throw.”

Bradley said the Jaguars put the play in this week, and noted that offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch believed in the play’s possibility against Cleveland.

“I didn’t think they were going to call it,” Jones-Drew said. “I kept telling them all week, ‘Just call it in a pressure time,’ which it was. It was a bold call and it worked out for us.”

 

INJURY REPORT

Jaguars safety Josh Evans sustained a shoulder injury in the first quarter and did not return. Guard Will Rackley sustained a left elbow injury in the fourth quarter and returned.

 

QUOTABLE

1.Bradley: “A lot of emotion went on in the game. The tenacity and attitude of our guys throughout was great. It felt like we missed some opportunities, but then again, we made a lot of plays.”

2.Jones-Drew: “We just kept fighting. It was crazy. Josh Gordon did his deal, then we came back. It was a hard-fought victory and we’re excited about it, but it’s a quick turnaround come Thursday.”

3.MLB Paul Posluszny: “We’re feeling more comfortable with the calls, with the coaches, with each other, where we can step back and say, ‘All right, it didn’t go our way, let’s regroup and move forward.’’’

4.DT Sen’Derrick Marks: “It just means we’re coming together and we’re believing in our coach. We’re actually getting better. We all buy into the message that Gus brings and the praise that he gives us. The message is getting better. We’re going out and playing together. We’re doing out and doing our job and everybody’s being held accountable.”

 

NOTABLE

1.Jones-Drew rushed for 77 yards on 23 carries in a game in which the Jaguars split running back reps significantly less than a week before. Backup running back Jordan Todman carried five times for 31 yards and his 13-yard run in the first quarter was a career-long. The Jaguars’ 112 rushing yards marked the second consecutive game in which they rushed for more than 100 yards after not reaching the mark in 10 games before that.

2.Jaguars rookie wide receiver Ace Sanders caught a team-high eight passes for 67 yards and also ran once for four yards. “We’ve talked about this all year – that as fast as we can we’re trying to learn our players, learn our personnel, learn our strengths,” Bradley said. “Sometimes, it takes time. We keep competing to find out what they do well. We’re incorporating more things to use Ace’s strength. It’s a process for us, but we’re challenging ourselves not to be normal.”…

3.The 38-yard punt return by Browns rookie Jordan Poyer was the longest punt return allowed by the Jaguars this season. The return set up the Browns’ first touchdown….

4.Jaguars guard Uche Nwaneri played in his 100th NFL game Sunday….

 

WHAT’S NEXT: The Jaguars will play host to the Houston Texans at EverBank Field Thursday. Get your tickets now.

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