JACKSONVILLE – Gus Bradley kept his focus lofty Monday.
Bradley, in the wake of the Jaguars’ second victory in three weeks, again on Monday afternoon opted to not frame the weekend’s result in terms of winning or losing, instead focusing on playing as well as possible.
That approach resulted in the team’s first “Victory Monday” of the season Monday.
And that approach isn’t changing any time soon.
“What’s been really cool is to validate it,” Bradley said Monday, a day after the Jaguars’ 13-6 victory over the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas.
“We’ve said, ‘Hey, really keep it about us getting better. It doesn’t matter who we play. It’s another test on every Sunday to rest the preparation we’ve had during the week.’ If everybody on our team plays to the best of their ability, that’s even better than winning.”
The Jaguars, after losing their first eight games of the season by double digits, have won two of their last three games, beating Tennessee 29-27 on November 10, losing to Arizona 27-14 on November 17 and beating the Texans on Sunday.
Bradley said focusing on themselves helped the Jaguars through the first eight games of the season, and it has enabled them to improve since. Bradley called the approach “higher than winning.”
“You hear teams that say maybe they didn’t play well and still won the game,” Bradley said. “Our objective is to really sustain this and play at a high level all the time, regardless of who we play. That’s what we’re striving our team to get to – where they play their best all the time.
“If we do that, the winning will take care of itself.”
Bradley gave players Monday off as a “Victory Monday,” telling the players of the decision on the flight from Houston Sunday night.
“I had to really think about it,” Bradley, who had not given players off following the team’s first victory of the season two weeks before, said with a laugh. “I had to really think about it.”
And the players’ reaction?
“They were excited, and then they showed disappointment because I think that’s what they wanted me to see,” Bradley said, laughing.
Bradley also said that the Thanksgiving holiday this Thursday factored into the decision.
“For the coaches, for prep time, I felt like we could best utilize the prep time today (Monday) rather than have them here Thursday working on red zone,” Bradley said.
Also Monday, Bradley lauded running back
Todman indeed carried 11 times, rushing for 31 yards, and while Jones-Drew rushed just 14 times he had 84 yards for a 6.0-yards-per carry average and also scored his fifth touchdown of the season on a one-yard run in the first quarter.
“It was a challenging week for MoJo,” Bradley said. “He handled it great. I think that may have had something to do with his productivity. He played fresher throughout the game. We’ll continue to look at that.”
Bradley said explosive runs were the key to the team’s best rushing performance of the season. Jones-Drew had his longest run of the season – a 44-yarder that set up a second-quarter field goal – and the Jaguars finished with a season-high 118 yards rushing.
“I didn’t see a chip (on the shoulder),” Bradley said of Jones-Drew. “I saw a guy who really wanted to do what was best for the team and who was willing try anything to help this team get better.”
*Bradley said he spoke with defensive lineman
*Bradley said Jaguars quarterback
*Bradley said while he has spoken to quarterback
*Bradley said he was pleased with the start on offense that resulted in an opening-drive touchdown run by Jones-Drew. “I thought the offensive staff did a nice job,” Bradley said, noting that the team utilized rookie wide receiver
*Second-year defensive end
*Reserve Running back Justin Forsett sustained a non-displaced foot fracture Sunday and is expected to be out 4-to-6 weeks. Bradley said he expects Forsett will be placed on injured reserve….
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