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Inside the Jaguars

Posted Dec 10, 2012

Senior writer John Oehser examines the Jacksonville Jaguars' day at EverBank field, including defensive coordinator Mel Tucker’s discussion with Wisconsin Athletic Director Barry Alvarez

EFFORT NOT AN ISSUE

Mel Tucker said the problems were more than just one thing.

Whatever the issue, the Jaguars’ assistant head coach/defensive coordinator said when it comes to the run defense, it’s clear something needs to get fixed in the final three games of the season.

The Jaguars on Sunday allowed the New York Jets to run for 166 yards on 41 carries, with starter Shonn Greene rushing for 77 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries and backup Balil Powell rushing for 78 yards and a touchdown in 19 carries.

“It’s disappointing when it happens, and obviously it’s a concern during the game,” Tucker said Monday, a day after the Jaguars (2-11) lost to the 6-7 Jets, 17-10, at EverBank Field. “You say, ‘What do we have to do to get it fixed? ‘You make the adjustments and you get it corrected and you move on.’

“It doesn’t do anyone any good to get totally frustrated to the point where you can’t put some perspective on the deal.  Am I disappointed? Yeah. Do I like to see teams run the football? I do not. What are we going to do about it? That’s the most important thing.”

The Jaguars this season rank 31st in the NFL in run defense, and have allowed 408 yards rushing in the last two games.

“It’s absolutely not a matter of effort,” Tucker said. “Guys are playing extremely hard. Guys are physical. Guys are giving it everything they have. There’s no lack of effort with these guys. If there was, I’d be the first one to tell you.”

INJURY REPORT

Tucker said he had no updates on most of the Jaguars’ injuries.

While running back Montell Ownes, cornerback Derek Cox and tight end Marcedes Lewis all left Sunday’s game, all returned, with Owens returning from third-quarter cramps to rush for a 32-yard fourth-quarter touchdown.

Tucker also said reserve running back Jordan Todman left the game with a calf injury.

Six players missed Sunday’s game with injuries: wide receiver Cecil Shorts (concussion), defensive end George Selvie (concussion), running back Rashad Jennings (concussion), cornerback Aaron Ross (calf), offensive guard Mike Brewster (hand) and running back Maurice Jones-Drew (foot).

“It’s hard enough to win in this league when you’re at full strength,” Jaguars guard Uche Nwaneri said. “When it starts to kind of snowball, and there are injuries everywhere, it’s hard for a team to be as productive. You have to be mistake-free, and we haven’t been able to do that.”

TUCKER SAYS

“The guys, first of all, they care about the football team. They’re a team-first outfit. They don’t quit. They’re very resilient. Guys are disappointed when we don’t win. There’s no doubt about that, but the guys have enough maturity to know they have to bounce back and get ready for the next one.”

LB PAUL POSLUSZNY SAYS

“A lot of things have to go our way. At this point, we have to play outstanding football and when we don’t, we’re not going to have success. At this point in the year, guys are banged up. We don’t have all of our guys. But along with that, a lot of teams in the NFL can say the same things we are. The margin for error is small, but other teams are able to do it and we should be able to do it as well.”

NWANERI  SAYS

“You can drive yourself crazy doing that (worrying about offseason changes). I really have not given it any thought. My focus is the next game. We just have to keep rolling.”

INSIDE SLANT

Tucker said while has spoken to Wisconsin Athletic Director Barry Alvarez regarding the school’s vacant head coaching position he has no interest in the position at this time. Tucker, who spoke to Alvarez on Friday, was in Alvarez’s first recruiting class at the school in 1990, and he said the two stay in contact “from time to time.” “There’s nothing there to report,” Tucker said. “There’s really not interest on my part at this time. I have my hands full right here. We’re going to take it one day at a time.” Tucker said Alvarez “absolutely” did not offer him the position.

WHAT’S NEXT

The Jaguars will be off Tuesday and return to practice Wednesday to begin full preparations for Sunday’s game against the Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium.

QUICK HIT

* Tucker said rookie defensive tackle Jeris Pendleton played well in his first regular-season playing time. A seventh-round selection in the 2012 NFL Draft from Ashland, Pendleton did not record a tackle, but Tucker said, “We were happy to get him some reps in the game. He’s worked extremely hard in practice. You feel good about a guy like that who has come in and his approach is all business. We look forward to seeing him in there a little more.”

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