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Inside the Jaguars

Posted Sep 20, 2012

Senior writer John Oehser takes a look inside the Jaguars' day around EverBank Field Thursday

LOOKING AHEAD

One rough game doesn’t erase five months of progress.

Bob Bratkowski, the Jaguars’ offensive coordinator, said that has been the approach offensively this week in the wake of a franchise-record low 117 yards offense in a loss to the Houston Texans Sunday.

The Jaguars, after ranking No. 32 in the NFL in total offense a year ago, showed significant signs of improvement in the preseason, then produced 362 yards offense and 23 points in an overtime loss at Minnesota in Week 1.

“We’ve got to get back to where we were,” Bratkowski said Thursday as the Jaguars (0-2) prepared to play the Indianapolis Colts (1-1) at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Ind., Sunday at 1 p.m.

“Basically we were making forward progress. We were taking strides, making strides every week. We’ve got to go back and reverse what happened last week and make strides this week.”

Bratkowski said the Jaguars had substitution and motion issues that hurt Sunday.

“Those things are correctable, but they have to get fixed this week,” he said. “We preach it, we work at it, we talk about it and they happen. It’s one game. We’ll see where we go this week.”

Overall, Bratkowski said of the loss to Houston, “None of it was real smooth. We had protection issues, we had receivers fall to the ground, we had some misreads. Pretty much everybody had a hand in it. But we’ve moved on to Indianapolis and forgot about it. We have a 24-hour rule where we haven’t thought about it since Monday afternoon.”

GLAD TO BE BACK

Not that Austen Lane needed perspective.

But when he sustained a foot injury early in training camp, the Jaguars’ third-year defensive end said it didn’t take long to realize something.

“I can’t believe I actually missed (defensive end) Joe Cullen yelling at me,” Lane said with a laugh Thursday, “but I did, and it feels good to be back out there. I realized the very next day I missed him. He brings so much passion.”

Lane, who began training camp working with the starting lineup, missed the preseason and the first two regular-season games. His status remains uncertain, but he returned to practice this week on a limited basis.

Lane, who missed 10 games last season with a shoulder injury, said the mental aspect of being out this season was more taxing than recovering from the injury.

“Not to be a part of that every single day, really gets to you,” Lane said. “The tough thing is staying mentally into it, and making sure you come back strong.”

GABBERT WORKS FULL AGAIN

The Jaguars continued to get positive news regarding Blaine Gabbert Thursday.

Gabbert, the Jaguars’ second-year quarterback, practiced full for a second consecutive day, making it more likely he will play against the Colts Sunday.

“He’s been doing good,” Bratkowski said of Gabbert.

Cornerback Derek Cox also practiced full, the first time he has done so since sustaining a hamstring injury in the preseason opener against the New York Giants. Cox worked limited last week, and Jaguars Head Coach Mike Mularkey said earlier in the week he would work more than he had since his injury.

“I don’t think I’m unlucky,” said Cox, who missed 10 games with injuries last season. “I think I’m very lucky, just to be here, in this locker room, with these guys, with this team, with these players. That’s something you cherish and don’t take for granted.”

“I just look at anything as, ‘I can overcome it.’’’

Also Thursday, right tackle Cameron Bradfield (ankle) and Lane practiced limited. Eben Britton (ankle) and running back Rashad Jennings (knee) were listed as not participating for a second consecutive day.

Defensive end George Selvie (knee) and linebacker Daryl Smith (groin) did not participate.

CB RASHEAN MATHIS SAYS

“Kudos to the coaches. When you have a tight coaching staff that gets tight, it’s going to make the players tight. Our coaches have done a great job of staying loose, staying focused and keeping our eyes on the prize, but letting us know we have to lock in this week and that this is a very important game.”

BRATKOWSKI SAYS

“It’s a long season and I think that any team, any team in the NFL, realizes there’s going to be some weeks that are a little rough. You look at any team. There were 16 teams last week that got beat and I’m sure they were looking hard at themselves as well, so we’re no different than them and we’re on to the next one.”

WHAT’S NEXT

The Jaguars will practice Friday before playing the Indianapolis Colts in Indianapolis, Ind., Sunday.

QUICK HITS

* Mathis said while Colts quarterback Andrew Luck has been impressive in two starts as a rookie, “Our job Sunday is to make him look average – that’s every quarterback, not just Luck.” Luck, the No. 1 overall selection in the 2012 NFL Draft, has completed 43 of 76 passes for three touchdowns with three interceptions in two games.

* Bratkowski said he likes what he has seen thus far from rookie wide receiver Justin Blackmon. “He’s been pretty steady,” Bratkowski said of the No. 5 overall selection in the 2012 NFL Draft. “He still again is a rookie. Some things that generally show up with rookies show up. Maybe less than a lot of people, but still they’re there and it’s just a matter of experience.” Blackmon had three receptions for 24 yards in the regular-season opener, and was held without a catch against the Texans. “There is no substitute for experience,” Bratkowski said. “You can’t coach experience. You just have to let them go out there, play and hopefully they learn quickly from what happens to them and go. But yet he’s ahead of where most rookies I’ve had were, that are forced into starting. He’s ahead of most of them.”

* Mathis said Cox, “He’s one of the best players on our team. He’s one of the better players on defense. To have him on the field it means we’ve gained a little more edge. Whenever you have guys with experience who has made plays, it’s always good for your team.”

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