Del Rio hopes Jags will respond to tongue-lashing Print
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Monday, 27 October 2008 13:07
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 JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) -Jacksonville's running game is almost nonexistent, the pass rush is even worse, and the team's best receiver is about to get suspended. No wonder coach Jack Del Rio is starting to get a little cranky.
Del Rio ripped into his players following their latest loss, a 23-17 setback at home to Cleveland on Sunday.
He chided them in the locker room for giving up too many big plays, getting little going on the ground and barely leaving a grass stain on Derek Anderson's white jersey.
``How we respond is what's most important,'' Del Rio said Monday. ``My reaction to a game isn't what's important. How we respond as a football team to get ready for the next opponent is what's most important. I just want to see a little more grit, a little more resolve, a little more determination and the execution and the accountability for each other for what we're doing, for how important it is.''
ve they are on the right track but need to do the little things better to make the difference.
It didn't happen against the Browns and hasn't really happened all year. Jacksonville might even be 1-6 without a 51-yard field goal at Indianapolis and a fortuitous coin flip in overtime against Houston.
Del Rio thought his team had turned a corner by winning at Denver two weeks ago and getting several starters back during the bye week. But Jacksonville got outplayed on offense, defense and special teams against Cleveland - and Del Rio let his players know it afterward.
``However mad he was, it was expected,'' cornerback Rashean Mathis said. ``We should be even angrier because we're the ones out on the field. You can't expect him to come in smiling after a performance like that.''
Del Rio couldn't find much to smile about Monday, either. He remained baffled by his team's execution, which has been far different from last season when the Jaguars finished 11-5 and reached the postseason for the second time in three years.
Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew were held under 100 yards rushing for the fifth time in seven games. David Garrard was sacked three times and knocked down even more.
``It starts and ends with us,'' offensive lineman Tony Pashos said. ``We need to pick it up and we will.''
and pass-rushers Derrick Harvey and Quentin Groves, gave up three pass plays longer than 40 yards. It finished with one or no sacks for the fifth time this season.
``Jack should be upset,'' defensive end Paul Spicer said. ``We ain't getting the job done. We don't expect him to be cheery or upbeat about this, especially with the way we're losing games. Nobody's just coming in and out-physicaling us. We're creating mistakes for ourselves. It's on us.''
Actually, the Jaguars have been handled on both lines most of the season. The only games in which Jacksonville ran the ball effectively were against Indianapolis and Denver, two of the worst run defenses in the league. And the only time Jacksonville really got after an opposing quarterback was against Pittsburgh's beleaguered line.
The Jaguars had plenty of excuses early in the season. Center Brad Meester was out and both starting guards were placed on injured reserve following the opener. Meester was back against Cleveland, but the interior linemen were pretty much mauled by Shaun Rogers.
Maybe Harvey and Groves should have been taking notes. Although they were expected to make progress, they have a combined 1 1/2 sacks in seven games.
n for violating the league's substance-abuse policy. Jones expects to hear the result of his appeal Tuesday.
Jones had a chance to prevent Del Rio's tongue-lashing against the Browns, but he bobbled a pass in the end zone in the final seconds. A few minutes later, Del Rio let them have it.
He even may have pointed fingers, but he refused to do it Monday.
``If you're looking for names, you won't get them from me,'' he said. ``I don't believe in that. We do our corrections privately, behind closed doors. But they're being made. It's not any one guy. It's almost like putting your finger in a dike and there's a leak somewhere else. Consistency is the key right now.''
 

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