Jacksonville Jaguars: Michael Floyd

RTC: Shorts stands by comments

November, 19, 2013
11/19/13
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Jaguars receiver Cecil Shorts on Monday stood by his postgame comments that he needs to be more involved in the offense and said he still wants to meet with coach Gus Bradley and offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch to figure out how to make that happen.

Shorts caught just two passes in the Jaguars' 27-14 loss to Arizona. He was targeted just once in the game's first 56 minutes, writes Ryan O'Halloran of the Florida Times-Union.

"I meant what I said," Shorts said. "I'm not going to back down from it. I just know I want to help the team win. That's my biggest thing. I want to help the team improve and get better and I feel I can do that by getting the ball. However they want to do it, we'll figure out a way to make it happen."

Bradley said they did try to get Shorts involved but coverages, pressure and situations dictated that the ball go elsewhere. Bradley also said he understands Shorts' frustrations but doesn't want players airing complaints like that publicly.

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

T-U columnist Gene Frenette breaks down the Jaguars' chances of holding onto the No. 1 pick in the 2014 draft.

O'Halloran breaks down the Jaguars' third-down offense, compares Chad Henne to Carson Palmer, looks at the 91-yard touchdown and examines other issues from Sunday's game in his weekly post of five observations from the game.

Cornerback Will Blackmon tells the T-U's Vito Stellino that he was trying to strip the ball away from Michael Floyd on the 91-yard touchdown catch.

Middle linebacker Paul Posluszny (concussion) has been cleared to return to practice.

ESPN's Darren Rovell found out who was behind the ad placed in the Times-Union urging Jaguars owner Shad Khan to sign Tim Tebow. Here's my take on why the Tebow-to-the-Jaguars logic is flawed.

Here are some additional items from this blog: a breakdown of the offensive and defensive snaps in Sunday's loss to the Cardinals and the weekly Upon Further Review.

Upon Further Review: Jaguars Week 11

November, 18, 2013
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A review of four hot issues from the Jacksonville Jaguars' 27-14 loss to the Arizona Cardinals:

[+] EnlargeMaurice Jones-Drew
Scott Cunningham/Getty ImagesThe Cardinals limited Maurice Jones-Drew to just 23 yards on 14 carries.
Aggressive approach: Coach Gus Bradley wants his team to take some chances. They won't always work, but being conservative doesn't make much sense for a team that entered the game 1-8, either. That's why he went for it on fourth down from his own 38-yard line less than three minutes into the game and allowed kicker Josh Scobee to attempt a 60-yard field goal just before the half. We will see more of those decisions, Bradley said. "No one wants to [lose]," he said. "We'll work hard to avoid it, but what I think what I liked is we weren't afraid to fail. We were bold in our decisions. The fourth-down call, trying the 60-yard field goal, there was many situations where I felt like we were bold and I told our team that we need to take that personality on and reflect it. We'll continue to build in that direction."

Anger management: Punter Bryan Anger kept the Jaguars in the game in the second half while the offense was sputtering by pinning the Cardinals deep in their own territory. Arizona started four consecutive drives at its 9, 10, 2 and 10 in the third and fourth quarters following Anger punts. In all but one case the Cardinals ended up gaining fewer than 7 yards. The only exception came on Michael Floyd's 91-yard catch-and-run that was helped by three missed tackles. Anger averaged 47.8 yards on eight punts and put six inside the 20.

Ground struggles: Running back Maurice Jones-Drew continues to struggle. He ran for 41 yards on 21 carries in last week's game against Tennessee and had 23 yards on 14 carries against Arizona. Part of the issue is the offensive line, which is starting its Nos. 3 and 4 offensive tackles and hasn't had starting left guard Will Rackley since the San Francisco game on Oct. 27. However, the line hasn't played well when it was completely healthy, either. Jones-Drew, who missed the final 10 games last season with a Lisfranc injury and has battled ankle and knee issues this season, looks a half-step slow and doesn't seem to have the burst he did throughout his career. The Cardinals did come into the game with the NFL's No. 3 rush defense, but the Jaguars need a better showing than 23 yards. "They loaded the box and wanted to make sure that we couldn't run the ball," Jones-Drew said. "Sometimes you have to keep fighting that uphill battle and hopefully things will break."

Pressure: The Jaguars didn't have much luck getting to Carson Palmer with a four-man rush, so they went with some different pressure packages that included linebackers or defensive backs rushing. Bradley had challenged the front four to get more pressure because the defense has been vulnerable when blitzing because the secondary hadn't been able to hold the coverage until the pressure got to the quarterback. That's what happened again Sunday. The Cardinals' two biggest pass plays -- the 91-yard touchdown and a 37-yard pass to Floyd -- came when the Jaguars sent extra rushers and the Cardinals picked it up.

Jags stop the run, but not much else

November, 17, 2013
11/17/13
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Defensive tackle Sen'Derrick Marks has said for a while that it would be pretty simple to fix the Jaguars’ porous rush defense.

Everyone just needed to do their job. Stay in their assigned gap. Quit freelancing. Just do what you’re supposed to do on each play.

Turns out he was correct.

[+] EnlargeGus Bradley
AP Photo/Stephen MortonGus Bradley and the Jaguars held the Cardinals to 14 rushing yards on Sunday, but were burned for several big plays through the air.
The Jaguars held Arizona to just 14 yards on the ground in a 27-14 loss at EverBank Field. That’s the second-lowest single-game total in franchise history, behind only the 10 yards the Jaguars yielded to Kansas City in 2007.

It also is pretty much the only positive thing you can say about the defense on Sunday.

Carson Palmer threw for 419 yards and two touchdowns, including a 91-yarder to Michael Floyd in which three players missed a tackle, and the Cardinals controlled the ball for nearly 36 minutes. But the defensive front -- which was without middle linebacker and leading tackler Paul Posluszny (concussion) -- showed up.

"Just like I’ve been saying the whole year, every time we’ve had runs get out on us, we have a guy out of a gap," Marks said. "Our thing was after the bye we had to hold everybody accountable. We’ve been doing it ever since we came off the bye week. We’ve got guys in the right gaps, and everybody is where they’re supposed to be.

"Everybody’s been accountable, and when you do that you tend to stop the run."

Rashard Mendenhall gained 14 yards on 13 carries. One of which was a 5-yard touchdown run, which means he managed just nine yards on his other 12 carries. Andre Ellington, a speedy breakaway threat, managed just 3 yards on eight carries. The Jaguars entered the game giving up an average of 153.0 yards per game rushing.

"We were aware of the run game, and we did not want that to get going," head coach Gus Bradley said. "We did a good job attacking the run and controlling Ellington."

The defense certainly felt the loss of Posluszny, who is by far the team’s best defensive player. He has two interceptions, eight pass breakups, two forced fumbles, and one fumble recovery. Posluszny didn’t practice all week, and was finally ruled out on Saturday morning. Russell Allen, who normally starts at outside linebacker, filled in and made seven tackles, but failed to deliver a big play.

Actually, he made one but it didn’t count. He stepped in front of Palmer’s pass to Larry Fitzgerald inside the Jacksonville 20-yard line in the third quarter, but officials announced that the Cardinals had called timeout before the snap.

"I think you grow to appreciate Poz and what he’s all about, but for Russell to step in and manage the defense like he did ... then he had the interception that would have helped out," Bradley said. "He did a nice job managing the defense. If he got more reps [during the week] we would see even better."

The Jaguars were certainly better against the run than in stopping Palmer, Fitzgerald, Floyd, and whichever tight end happened to be in the game at the time. Floyd caught six passes for 193 yards, including a 91-yard catch-and-run in which Allen, safety Josh Evans, and cornerback Will Blackmon missed tackles.

Fitzgerald caught a modest six passes for 61 yards and one touchdown, but tight ends Jim Dray, Jake Ballard and Rob Housler combined to catch nine passes for 117 yards -- continuing the trend of tight ends taking advantage of the Jaguars’ rookie safeties (Evans and Johnathan Cyprien).

Things could have been even worse had cornerback Alan Ball not broken up four passes in the first half.

The Tennessee Titans had similar trouble on the ground (83 yards) and success through the air (288 yards, two TDs) last week. The biggest difference is the Jaguars forced the Titans into four turnovers. They didn’t get any against the Cardinals.

"We feel good about how we played against the run, and we felt like it was something we were going to be able to do going in, but unfortunately we gave up too many big plays in the passing game," Allen said. "Any time we can give our offense a short field it’s important, giving them an opportunity to put points on the board. Getting some breaks ... would have helped a lot."

Jaguars fantasy breakdown: Week 11

November, 15, 2013
11/15/13
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Looking for some help with your fantasy football lineup? Every Friday I'll give you my opinions on which Jacksonville Jaguars players to play and sit, as well as which of the opposing players might be a good play against the Jags. For more fantasy football advice, check out ESPN.com's fantasy football page.

Jaguars

Henne
QB Chad Henne: In three games vs. NFC West teams this season, Henne has completed 56.3 percent of his passes for 552 yards and three touchdowns with two interceptions. He’ll be throwing a lot again Sunday, because the Cardinals have the league’s No. 3 rush defense. However, Patrick Peterson will likely shadow top receiver Cecil Shorts. Verdict: Sit him.

RB Maurice Jones-Drew: The Cardinals are allowing only 86.9 yards per game rushing thanks to a stout defensive front. Even if he gets 20-plus touches again, there won’t be a lot of room for Jones-Drew. Verdict: Sit him.

WR Cecil Shorts: He is the Jaguars’ top receiver with Justin Blackmon suspended, but that means he’ll likely draw Peterson all day. That’s not a good matchup for the Jaguars. Verdict: Sit him.

TE Marcedes Lewis: He should be a bigger factor in the passing game, especially if Shorts is shadowed by Peterson. But that’s what everyone thought last week, too, and Lewis caught three passes. Maybe this will be the week he breaks out. Verdict: Might be worth a gamble.

K Josh Scobee: He is the only Jaguar other than linebacker J.T. Thomas to have scored a point this season at EverBank Field. Verdict: Start him.

Defense/special teams: It’s unlikely that middle linebacker Paul Posluszny plays, and if that’s the case, the Jaguars’ defense won’t have its best player and biggest playmaker. Still waiting on Ace Sanders to break out as a punt returner, although kick returner Jordan Todman had a good game last week. Verdict: Sit them.

Cardinals

Palmer
QB Carson Palmer: Palmer has struggled with turnovers (15 interceptions) and is averaging 222.9 yards per game passing. The Jaguars’ pass rush, however, has only managed 12 sacks and 30 pressures, and the secondary includes three rookies. Verdict: If you’re in a league that allows two quarterbacks, he’d be a good option.

RB Rashard Mendenhall: He hasn’t been especially productive (388 yards), but he’ll be facing the NFL’s 31st-ranked rush defense -- likely without Posluszny. Verdict: He’d be a good play for a No. 3 back or a flex in deeper leagues.

RB Andre Ellington: He ranks No. 1 among running backs with a 7.2 per-carry average, which is more than twice what Mendenhall averages (3.1). Verdict: He’s got more of a chance of breaking a long run than Mendenhall, so he’s worth a start as a flex player.

WR Larry Fitzgerald: Fitzgerald has caught just 39 passes, but he’s averaging a touchdown every eight catches. Plus, the Jaguars' secondary has three rookies. Verdict: Start him.

WR Michael Floyd: He said he will play Sunday despite injuring the AC joint in his shoulder last week. He has 36 catches, so he’s just as much of an option for Palmer as Fitzgerald. Verdict: That’s an easy injury to aggravate for a receiver. The safe bet would be to sit him.

TE Rob Housler: He just caught the first touchdown pass of his career last week against Houston, and has just 18 catches. Verdict: If there was ever a week to start him it would be this one, because the Jaguars have struggled against tight ends all season.

K Jay Feely: He has missed just one field goal attempt all season (16-for-17). The Cardinals' offense should be able to move up and down the field, so he’ll get plenty of work. Verdict: Start him.

Defense/special teams: The Cardinals’ defensive front is among the best in the NFL, so the Jaguars won’t have much success on the ground. That means more opportunities for Tyrann Mathieu, the ballhawking rookie from LSU. Verdict: Start them.

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