AFC South: 2013 Week 3 NFL Buzz

Observed in the locker room after the Jacksonville Jaguars' 45-17 loss to the Seattle Seahawks.

Shortage: For the second time this season, receiver Cecil Shorts didn’t touch the ball until the game was well in hand. Shorts didn’t make his first catch until inside the two-minute warning of the second quarter with the Seahawks ahead 17-0. In the Jaguars’ season-opening loss to Kansas City, Shorts didn’t catch his first pass until the fourth quarter. “That’s not my position to talk,” Shorts said. “I go out there and run what the play is called. That’s just how it played out, I guess.”

Calmer Jones-Drew: In the days after the Jaguars' 41-0 loss in Seattle in 2009, Maurice Jones-Drew ripped the play calling and lack of offensive identity. He was much calmer after Sunday’s game despite the team having some of the same issues. “I kind of went crazy,” he said. “That can be something that ripples through the team, so we just want to stay positive.”

Muddy waters: Jaguars coach Gus Bradley said he’s not sure if the players completely understand the defensive principles the staff is trying to teach. The blame for that is shared by the coaches, he said.

Locker Room Buzz: Indianapolis Colts

September, 22, 2013
SAN FRANCISCO -- Observed in the locker room after the Indianapolis Colts27-7 win over the San Francisco 49ers:

Lack of respect: Several players, especially on defense, said they knew they were 10-point underdogs heading into the game. The odds were understandable since the Colts were without six starters, including safety LaRon Landry, who led the league in tackles heading into Sunday’s game, and they were playing on the road against the defending NFC champions. “Nobody gave us a chance, but we had the confidence that we could come in here and win,” defensive lineman Cory Redding said.

No Davis reunion: Colts cornerback Vontae Davis didn’t get a chance to play against his older brother, 49ers tight end Vernon Davis, for the first time after all. The elder Davis was inactive because of a hamstring injury. The 49ers could have used him because they had only 139 yards passing.

Crediting the special teams: The offense and the defense were excellent throughout the game, but the special teams unit must not get shortchanged in the credit department. Punter Pat McAfee averaged 48 yards on four punts, three of which landed inside the 20-yard line.

Locker Room Buzz: Tennessee Titans

September, 22, 2013
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Observed in the locker room after the Tennessee Titans' 20-17 win against the San Diego Chargers at LP Field:

And they danced: Jake Locker wasn’t the only one jumping for joy after he connected with Justin Hunter for a game-winning, 34-yard touchdown with 15 seconds left to beat the Chargers. Locker leaped and pumped his fist as he headed toward the sideline. First-round guard Chance Warmack, listed at 323 pounds, was jumping himself as he headed the other way to block for the extra point. “That was probably better than my combine vertical,” Warmack said.

Big breakup: Tight end Delanie Walker nearly lost the game for the Titans when a second-down pass bounced off his hands on Tennessee’s final drive. He saw defensive back Marcus Gilchrist closing on him and took his eye off the ball. But Walker knew once he didn’t catch it that Gilchrist might, so he rammed him and broke up an interception. “That’s a huge play, if he quits on that play, feels sorry for himself because he dropped it, the game is over,” Locker said. Catch video of Walker talking about Locker at my Instagram account.

Hesitant: San Diego went up 17-10 late in the third quarter on a drive keyed by Ladarius Green's 34-yard catch. Titans safety Michael Griffin arrived early and went low to make the tackle when a high hit might have separated the tight end from the ball, or when Griffin might have had a play on the ball himself. He admitted the thought of a fine is in his head in such situations, and said he felt like he was in a lose-lose situation.