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Open Locker Room: Preparing in London

Posted Oct 23, 2013

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Chad Henne preparing to start against San Francisco Sunday; expects to hear for certain when HC Gus Bradley arrives Wednesday.

BAGSHOT, England – Another day, another country.

But for Chad Henne on Wednesday, it remained the same approach, with the Jaguars putting the logistics of international travel and the accompanying adjusting of body clocks behind them.

The time for travel is in the past; the time for preparation is at hand.

And for Henne, that means doing what he has done the last two weeks and eight other times since joining the Jaguars before the 2012 season – i.e., preparing to start at quarterback. On Wednesday, he prepared that way again.

This time, he just did it five time zones from home.

“Right now, I’m getting reps, so I’m preparing like I’m the starter starting this game,” Henne said as the Jaguars (0-7) prepared to play the San Francisco 49ers (5-2) at Wembley Stadium in London Sunday at 1 p.m.

Henne, who has thrown for more than 300 yards each of the last two games, spoke as the Jaguars prepared to practice on the grounds of Penny Hill Park Hotel in London. The team arrived in London early Tuesday, the players’ normal day off, and coaches spent that day game-planning for the 49ers.

“I don’t know if everybody’s accustomed to the time change yet, but I feel good,” Henne said. “We just thave to bring energy today in practice and go about it like it’s our home field. It’s football, really.

“We just go out there and once we get onto the playing field it’s the same field we’ve been playing on. We just go do our jobs.”

Henne started Weeks 2 and 3, then started again Weeks 6 and 7. Blaine Gabbert started the regular-season opener and started Weeks 4 and 5 before leading a loss to the St. Louis Rams with a hamstring injury.

Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley is scheduled to arrive in London Wednesday, and is expected to speak to the media after practice – around 3:30 p.m. London time. He flew to Minnesota Monday following the death of his father, Roy James Bradley, on Sunday.

Henne said while he hasn’t been told for certain who will start Sunday, he expects to find out more when Bradley returns Wednesday.

Bradley’s pending return was a topic among players Wednesday.

“It will boost our intensity level that much more,” defensive tackle Sen’Derrick Marks said. “We always have great intensity at practice, great effort, but it will give us a little more boost.”

Running back Maurice Jones-Drew agreed, “We’ll be happy to see him. I hope everything’s all right. I know how tough it is. He had to take that time away. He should have taken that time away. It shouldn’t have been a question. We just can’t wait to see him come back today and see that smile. It will be nice to see that again.”

Jones-Drew on Wednesday also addressed his decision on Sunday to not speak to the media following a 24-6 loss to the San Diego Chargers.

Jones-Drew, an eight-year veteran, typically speaks to reporters following victories or losses, and when he didn’t speak Sunday, it prompted speculation that he was upset about carrying just nine times. The nine attempts were a season-low and he finished with 37 yards.

Jones-Drew said his silence was about frustration over losing and not carries.

“You put in some much work throughout the week – to go out there and play like the way we played was frustrating,” he said. “I was trying to figure out a way to say it in the most positive manner, but I couldn’t find it. So, I didn’t want to say anything.

“Nine carries or not wasn’t really the big deal. We didn’t execute at all. We just didn’t score points. We had opportunities. We just didn’t make plays. We took a big step against Denver – to come back and do what we did, we’re kind of on that rollercoaster.”

Bradley on Sunday spoke of being disappointed about a lack of effort against San Diego.

“It was just a lack of focus on our assignments, and the way we executed,” Jones-Drew said. “That was the frustrating part. We had a great week of practice last week. It just didn’t work out. It wasn’t because I was upset about my production or attempts at production. It was more that we as a team we took a step backward.”

Henne on Wednesday was said he and other players opted to not sleep Tuesday with the idea of adjusting to the five-hour time difference.

“The biggest thing was staying up all day Tuesday to try to become accustomed to it,” Henne said. “Then, we just got a regular night’s sleep. Today was just wake up at normal time and get it going.”

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