Jaguars move on after win, vow to handle success
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP)
There was no ''Victory Monday'' for the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The previously winless Jaguars eagerly went back to work Monday, no longer reveling in a 29-27 victory at Tennessee that ended a 13-game losing streak.
The Jaguars (1-8) were ready to move on, though glad to end talk and speculation about possibly joining the 2008 Detroit Lions (0-16) and the 1976 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-14) as the only winless teams in NFL history.
''It was kind of like (giving the) middle finger to all the people who want talk about the Jaguars not winning the game or being the worst 0-8 team in history,'' guard Uche Nwaneri said. ''It's kind of, `Eat this.' That's kind of how it feels.''
Handling success is the next step for the rebuilding Jaguars.
Coach Gus Bradley reminded players that the three most dangerous words are ''I got it,'' another way for him to keep players focused on getting better every day.
''It is important that we go about this journey with humility,'' Bradley said. ''It's hard. You win, you're excited, you have a great victory and you come into the locker room and everyone's excited. Not to take away from that excitement, but to also have that humility part of it I think is key.
''If you keep that mindset, you have a better chance to improve and to get on course quickly. I thought our guys handled it really well.''
Bradley surely could have given his players Monday off, and no one would have complained. But he felt like that would have sent the message that they've got things figured out after the franchise's first win in nearly a year.
''Coach always talks about eating crumbs, and that's what we're going to do,'' center Brad Meester said. ''Sometimes after you have that big win, you want to go out and eat that big meal, go out to Ruth's Chris. But it's about humility. You've got to continue to stay focused and not get overconfident because you've got one win.
''You've got to continue to do the things that you do, and that's what we need to do in here.''
The Jaguars host Arizona (5-4) on Sunday. The Cardinals have won two in a row.
Jacksonville wants to avoid another letdown. The Jags played well at Denver in mid-October and felt like they had turned a corner after a rough start. But they were flat the following week at home against San Diego and lost 24-6.
They don't want it to happen again.
''We're all excited about the first win, but all know it's not about just getting one win,'' receiver Cecil Shorts III said. ''You want to pile them on.''
Of course, that doesn't mean the Jaguars didn't celebrate No. 1 for Bradley and general manager Dave Caldwell.
Owner Shad Khan gave Bradley a game ball in a raucous locker room, and Bradley responded by giving Khan one and vowed to get everyone else in the room one.
''It was a very excited, about-time feeling,'' Shorts said. ''We're all excited for Gus, really. The way he's been around this building has been great. He's been upbeat. He's been the same person since April. We all wanted to win for him. He's been busting his butt, and we're just happy to get it for him.''
The Jaguars had grown accustomed to seeing games unravel against them. Slow starts, silly mistakes and untimely turnovers were common as they lost their first eight games by an average of 22 points.
They witnessed the other side of it Sunday.
And when the Titans made it a one-possession game in the fourth - they cut the lead to 20-13 and forced a punt - they were called for holding in the end zone. The safety gave Jacksonville a little more breathing room.
''Believe it or now, we expect to win every week,'' defensive end Jeremy Mincey said. ''The outcome hasn't gone our way, but we expect to win. A lot of times, we shoot ourselves in the foot. This game, we didn't do it as much, and that helped us a lot.
''Can't nobody take any credit from the Jaguars. We played a real solid game.''
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