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Veteran reaction: Too many errors, too many penalties

Posted Sep 16, 2013

Jacksonville Jaguars veterans say errors, penalties must be eliminated in wake of 19-9 loss to the Oakland Raiders in Week 2.

FREMONT, Calif. – Brad Meester won’t say this is acceptable.

Neither will anyone around the Jaguars, and as players gathered at their team hotel in Fremont, Calif., on Monday morning to watch video from their second consecutive loss to start the 2013 regular season, that was part of the prevailing theme.

They didn’t expect to be 0-2 after two weeks. And they sure didn’t expect two losses to have been by double digits.

But to say that there’s nowhere to go, and no way to improve . . .

No, the veterans around the Jaguars won’t say that.

Not even close.

“We just have to keep finding ways to get better,” Meester, a 14-year veteran center, said as the Jaguars (0-2) began early preparations to play the Seattle Seahawks (2-0) Sunday in Seattle, Wash.

“We’re given the opportunity to have another week. We’re going to do what we can to turn this around, and have a good week this coming weekend.”

The Jaguars lost 28-2 to the Kansas City Chiefs in the regular-season opener, and then fell behind 19-3 before a late touchdown made the score a 10-point margin, 19-9, in Oakland on Sunday. The team is staying in the Bay Area this week to prepare for Seattle rather than returning to Jacksonville.

The Raiders outrushed the Jaguars 226-34 Sunday, with three-time Pro Bowl running back Maurice Jones-Drew rushing for 27 yards on 10 carries before sustaining an ankle tendon strain late in the first half. Running back Jordan Todman played in place of Jones-Drew, rushing for seven yards on five carries.

“Obviously, we wish we would have gotten that going this last week,” Meester said of the running game. “We were starting to at the beginning there. We just have to do a better job creating holes for the backs. We have to figure out a way to do it.”

Jaguars Head Coach Bradley following the loss Sunday emphasized mistakes as a reason for the loss, and players on Monday agreed.

The Jaguars committed 10 penalties for 70 yards, with two of the penalties leading to scores. Bradley talked on Sunday about a lack of discipline on run defense, and wide receiver Cecil Shorts III said mental errors also contributed to early struggles on offense.

The Jaguars had just 114 total yards in the first half and six in the third quarter.

“We had too many mental errors and too many penalties,” said Shorts, who finished with eight receptions for 93 yards. “That kills any team. We have to do better on that end. That just kills us.”

Chad Henne started for the Jaguars for Blaine Gabbert at quarterback, completing 25 of 38 passes for 241 yards and a 13-yard touchdown to tight end Clay Harbor with 2:53 remaining to pull the Jaguars to within the final margin.

“It all came down to first- and second down, executing,” Henne said. “When we got in the red zone, we scored points. We just didn’t get down there enough. We need to get down there, convert more on third downs and get some more drives going.”

Gabbert said Monday the hand injury is still day-to-day. He has not ruled out playing on Sunday against the Seahawks and will be evaluated this week.

Whoever plays quarterback, Meester said the team remains focused despite the start, and he said he doesn’t expect that to change.

“We’ve got a great group of guys who are going to continue to stay positive and keep working hard,” Meester said. “That’s the great thing about the group we have .We’re going to keep doing that. If we keep doing that day after day, we’ll get this thing going.”

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