Jaguars punt coverage failures draw Gus Bradley’s ire
A pair of long returns by the Tampa Bay, including one in which a Jacksonville player appeared to forget if he was supposed to tackle or block on the play, highlighted a difficult day for the Jaguars’ punt coverage units in Sunday’s 38-31 loss.
In the second quarter, with the Jaguars leading 7-6, Tampa Bay’s Bobby Rainey fielded a Bryan Anger punt and returned it 58-yards, helping set up a touchdown.
The play was also marked by an odd sequence in which Jacksonville’s Bernard Pierce, who was supposed to be trying to tackle Rainey, instead started blocking for him by engaging with a Tampa Bay player as Rainey ran by.
After the game, Pierce said he wasn’t sure what went wrong.
“I honestly don’t know what happened,’’ Pierce said, per the Florida Times-Union. “I don’t know. I really don’t have an answer for you."
Later, in the fourth quarter, Rainey returned an Anger punt 25 yards to help set up another Tampa Bay touchdown.
"Totally unacceptable," Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley said of his team’s punt coverage.
Rainey finished the day averaging 28.3 yards per return.