RTC: Branch playing well despite stats

October, 18, 2013
10/18/13
8:00
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- If you're evaluating Jaguars defensive end Andre Branch, you have to make a decision on whether to believe the stat sheet or the coaches.

The former doesn't provide much evidence that the team's second-round pick in 2012 is making a positive impact on the field. The coaches, however, say Branch has done some good things, writes Vito Stellino of the Florida Times-Union.

"I think that maybe some of the criticism [of Branch] may have been in the past [because of] his effort, playing consistently every play, his assignments and things like that," Jaguars coach Gus Bradley said. "We’re seeing really, really good effort.

"That stat sheet doesn’t show it. It might say a tackle, but it doesn’t show that he ran 20 yards down the field, which demonstrates that he was in the right place and he’s got good effort. ... He’s heading in the right direction. We’ve got to continue to challenge him."

Branch has three quarterback pressures and one sack this season. The sack came after St. Louis quarterback Sam Bradford tripped over one of his offensive linemen's feet and Branch touched him when he was on the ground.

Here are some additional pieces of Jaguars content from around the web in our daily Reading the Coverage feature:

Recently-acquired receiver Stephen Williams appears to be on track to play a lot of snaps in Sunday's game against San Diego because of injuries to several other receivers, writes the T-U's Hays Carlyon. It has been a whirlwind week-and-a-half for Williams, whom the Jaguars claimed off waivers from Seattle on Oct. 7.

ESPN's John Clayton, in answering a question from a reader, writes that it doesn't make sense to trade receiver Cecil Shorts to Atlanta. The Jaguars have a good trio of young receivers and just need to find a quarterback, he writes.

In the market for a running back in your fantasy football league? Maurice Jones-Drew would be a good pickup (via trade or otherwise), writes CBSSports.com senior fantasy writer Scott White.

Here's a roundup of items from this blog: the Jaguars' stat of the week; the team is stuck between two quarterbacks: one that gives them the best chance to win now and the other needs to play to see if he's the long-term answer; receiver Justin Blackmon is expected to play Sunday; the weekly Jaguars mailbag.

Mike DiRocco | email

ESPN Jacksonville Jaguars reporter

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