Jaguars find opponents’ comments funny, insulting
Guard Uche Nwaneri has heard all sorts of excuses for opponents
losing to the Jacksonville Jaguars in recent weeks.
They’re amusing – and insulting.
”It’s ridiculous,” Nwaneri said Monday. ”Really, are we a
high school team and you have to apologize to your city because you
lost to us? Come on, man. This is the NFL. Every win is a
”There’s rarely just easy sailing for any team throughout the
season. When you’re able to pull out a win, you celebrate it. When
you lose, you try to be as gracious as you can in defeat. But don’t
trivialize our win because we came in here with a record that
wasn’t as good as yours.”
The Jaguars (3-1) have won three of their last four games, all
since starting the season with eight consecutive losses by double
digits. It’s been a modest turnaround that coincides with coach Gus
Bradley’s team playing better and a considerably easier second-half
schedule. The Jaguars host Houston (2-10) on Thursday night.
Despite Jacksonville’s recent success, opponents have been less
than complimentary afterward.
Tennessee tight end Delanie Walker called losing to the Jaguars
”disgusting.” Bradley’s team was winless at the time.
”I’m embarrassed,” Walker said. ”A team that’s 0-8 comes in
here and beats us? Beats us on our home field, that’s 0-8, the
Jaguars? Come on.”
Houston running back Ben Tate said he felt bad for the city
following a 13-6 loss to Jacksonville on Nov. 23. Receiver Andre
Johnson called it the ”lowest point” in his NFL career.
Cleveland players were less dramatic after Sunday’s 32-28 loss
to Jacksonville, but they made it clear they felt like they blew a
”It’s funny `cause we’re all professional athletes here,”
Nwaneri said. ”I remember when they used to have jokes about the
Bengals, the Browns. The stuff they say after they lose to us, it’s
like, `What’s somebody going to say if they lose to you, you know,
because you lost to us.’ It’s funny. I don’t really care, but it is
amusing to be on the field and to hear them complain.
”It sounds like a child complaining because they can’t have
The Jaguars drove 80 yards in the closing minutes to beat the
Browns. Chad Henne found Cecil Shorts III for a 20-yard touchdown
with 45 seconds remaining to put Jacksonville up four. Shorts beat
cornerback Joe Haden with a double move on a third-and-9 play.
It a happy homecoming for Shorts, who grew up in Cleveland
rooting for the Browns.
He bristled Monday when asked about opponents hitting ”rock
bottom” by losing to Jacksonville.
”I couldn’t care less what they think,” Shorts said. ”It’s
the NFL. You’re going to win or lose each week. You’ve got to bring
your best that week. For us, we’re getting better. We’ve been 3-1
since the bye week, so if they’ve got a problem with it come see
us. That’s how I feel about it.”
The Jaguars scored 15 points off turnovers against Cleveland,
taking advantage of three turnovers late in the first half and a
botched snapped in the fourth that resulted in a safety. Those
points surely helped Jacksonville keep it close, especially since
the Jaguars struggled to cover Josh Gordon (10 catches for 261
yards and two touchdowns).
Gordon’s 95-yard score with 4:09 remaining looked like it would
seal a victory for Cleveland.
But the Jaguars answered – and left another team searching for
”It’s any given Sunday in this league,” Henne said. ”Anybody
can come out and beat anybody. You saw what happened. Look at
Atlanta. You thought they were going to be a Super bowl contender
this year and you see what happened to them. Teams are going to
have struggles, but the best teams are the ones that finish strong
and just keep getting better each and every week like we said and
play their best football in December.”
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org