JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) Gus Bradley is sticking with his guys – the ones on the sideline and the ones in the booth.
The Jacksonville Jaguars coach said Monday he’s not making any changes following a 38-31 loss at Tampa Bay. It was the team’s third consecutive loss and 12th in a row on the road.
”You look at it and you go, how can we get this fixed?” Bradley said Monday. ”How can we get all these mistakes fixed? … The biggest message to our team is personal responsibility. … Take personal responsibility, take accountability for it and let’s get these things cleaned up.”
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Defense and special teams were particularly brutal in the franchise’s 29th loss in 37 games under Bradley.
Playing without middle linebacker Paul Posluszny, the Jaguars (1-4) gave up 183 yards rushing. Jacksonville also allowed Bobby Rainey to gain 85 yards on three punts returns, including a 58-yarder in which Jaguars running back Bernard Pierce was caught blocking when he should have been tackling.
”It’s not a good play at all,” Bradley said. ”When I saw it, I couldn’t believe it.”
The team has since placed Pierce in the NFL’s concussion protocol, and Bradley hinted that Pierce may have been concussed and confused in the game.
Tackling was a bigger issue. The Jaguars missed 23 tackles, Bradley said, adding that 105 yards rushing came on five plays.
”We had problems tackling in space,” Bradley said. ”I think that’s what became evident this week. … We became exposed in some of our tackling in space. That’s where it showed up.”
Undrafted rookie Thurston Armbrister made his first career start in place of Posluszny, and it showed.
”Guys have to be able to step up, but I won’t diminish the fact that (Posluszny) is pretty important,” Bradley said. ”It’s one thing to take care of your gap responsibilities but it’s another thing to play your gap responsibilities, get off of a block and pursue and make a play. That’s where Poz is really playing well and we missed that.”
Posluszny is expected to return this week against Houston (1-4).
Quarterback Blake Bortles, who sprained his throwing shoulder against Tampa Bay, also is expected to play against the Texans.
The team said Bortles suffered a ”Grade 1 AC joint sprain” early in the game but played through it. Bortles completed 23 of 33 passes for 303 yards, with four touchdowns and an interception, against the Buccaneers. He also was sacked a season-high six times.
”Don’t be surprised if you don’t see him out there (at practice) Wednesday,” Bradley said. ”If he could practice Wednesday, it would be a situation where we don’t want him to be sore and affect his throwing mechanics. But we think he should be OK.”
As for all the miscues, Bradley plans to address them by tweaking his approach in practice.
”I think I can be stronger on the practice field,” he said. ”That’s where I take personal responsibility. I don’t think I’ve been as animated on the field when it comes to those issues. So that part, I think you’ll see that part will change.”
Players welcomed the change, but said more needs to be done.
”I definitely think there needs to be more of a sense of urgency,” guard Zane Beadles said. ”It’s up to everybody on this team to buy into that and realize there has to be a more sense of urgency. That has to come from us. It can’t just come from Gus.”
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