Cecil Shorts wants to be involved

Updated: November 18, 2013, 3:49 PM ET
By Michael DiRocco | ESPN.com

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Jacksonville Jaguars receiver Cecil Shorts says he isn't trying to make trouble or cause a problem in the locker room, but he's not backing down from his comments questioning why he wasn't involved more in Sunday's 27-14 loss to the Arizona Cardinals.

Shorts was targeted just once in the first 56 minutes but four times in the final four when the game was out of reach. The Jaguars' leading receiver finished with just two catches for 22 yards.

Shorts I just want to help my team get better and improve and I feel like I can do that by getting the ball. I'm not trying to start anything, nothing like that. I'm not that type of guy, like a Brandon Marshall or something. I'm not that person. I just want to help my team. I'm a competitor and that's all I'm trying to do.

-- Cecil Shorts, on wanting to be more involved in Jags' offense

"What I said yesterday is what I said," Shorts said Monday. "I'm not going to go into that. Like I said, I just want to help my team get better and improve and I feel like I can do that by getting the ball. I'm not trying to start anything, nothing like that. I'm not that type of guy, like a Brandon Marshall or something. I'm not that person. I just want to help my team. I'm a competitor and that's all I'm trying to do."

Shorts said he wasn't criticizing quarterback Chad Henne and added that he wanted to speak with coach Gus Bradley and offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch.

"There was stuff in there [for himself]," said Shorts, who has 50 catches for 629 yards. "It just didn't get called or the balls didn't come my way. There were a few things in there.

"There's no problem with Chad at all. He's doing what he's being told. I respect Chad. He's got all my support in this. I love Chad."

Part of the reason for so little action for Shorts was the fact that he was being covered by Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson all game. Arizona also dropped a safety down to help, mainly on third downs. Henne didn't want to force the ball into double coverage, so he went elsewhere.

"We thought we had some good matchups with some other receivers," Henne said. "We knew Patrick Peterson was a good corner. How many times did we want to test him was really the key. I feel Cecil's frustration, but sometimes somebody else's number is called and you've got to be a team player."

There were some instances where Shorts was open, but the pass rush got to Henne too quickly for him to go through his progression and get to Shorts. But for the majority of the day -- until the Cardinals relaxed their coverages with a 13-point lead and 2:22 to play -- Shorts wasn't open.

"At times you might see where it was really tight coverage," Bradley said. "When you play press coverage ... maybe the quarterback only has 1.9 seconds to get the ball out. Sometimes that combination makes it difficult. But it really is about all 11 because at times protection was good and maybe we went the other direction, with the other guys being involved. That's what I'm talking about as far as being quick to judge.

"There was times where we looked at him a couple opportunities. Others that he was the third read; we were looking to the right, we're going to come back to Cecil, didn't get time to get the ball off. So I think as we go through the film and he sees some of those things, it'll become clearer to him."

Bradley said he spoke with Shorts and the rest of the team about keeping those kinds of complaints in-house. Being frustrated is fine and it's OK to make sure the coaches know it, he said, but just make sure nobody outside the locker room knows about it.

"I understand where Cecil's coming from. It doesn't make it all right," Bradley said. "I think the biggest thing that I talked to Cecil and the team about is I think that each individual has to be a little bit leery, a little bit quick to judge because sometimes things like that can portray them in bad light. We talked about making sure you protect the team, protect the environment, but I understand his frustrations.

"Now, with that being said, let's not make this a habit. Let's not make this a habit where everybody has free rein to say those things. We don't want that, so with that I would appreciate if he would be smart about how he handles those things, but I do understand the competitiveness in him and I understand that he had an opportunity and he wants the ball. We want that mentality."

Mike DiRocco | email

ESPN Jacksonville Jaguars reporter

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