Cecil Shorts won’t say it’s easy.
At 2-12 in mid-December, nothing’s easy, but there’s an opponent Sunday and another after that, and because it’s the NFL, you work and prepare and plan to play another game.
That’s where the Jaguars stand with two games remaining.
So, while Monday – as has been the case with many Mondays this season – was difficult and disappointing, it was also a work day. So, that’s what the Jaguars did. They went to EverBank Field, worked, and tried to put in perspective the first 14 games.
“After a loss, any day is tough,” Shorts said Monday, a day after the Jaguars’ third consecutive loss, this one coming 24-3 to the Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla.
“The biggest thing for us Monday is it’s a day to watch film, learn from mistakes and to keep moving forward. Coach always says we’ve got 24 hours after a loss or a win to do whatever it is you do – cry, be happy . . . whatever you do.
“After that, you come to work Wednesday and be ready to go. That’s the past. You can’t change it now. You can only get better and improve.”
That was the mood of many around the Jaguars Monday.
It was another Monday like many Mondays this season, with many questions and not enough answers, but when Head Coach Mike Mularkey met with the media mid-afternoon, he said the idea now is to continue focusing on the final two games.
He said that’s true despite the disappointing record, and despite outside criticism and the discussions that come with losing records.
“There is a lot of football going on constantly,” Mularkey said. “So, like I said to the players, ‘If you do everything the right way, and you do the best you can, you’ll be successful here and wherever else that will be.’ That’s the only thing I’ll go by, or anybody else who’s going to be in this building is going to go by. We do the best we can.”
Mularkey said while this season hasn’t been successful, “It’s not all based on one year. It’s not all based on one day. It’s not all based on one game. It doesn’t define by any means who any of us are – one year, one game or one day – by any means. I’ve been in the league for a long time. I understand the circumstances. We’re not going to game plan any differently. We’re going to try to put our guys in the best position we can put them in. That’s not going to change.
“One thing we have to do better is just do our jobs – all of us.”
Mularkey said since taking the Jaguars’ head coaching position in January he has tried to focus on things he can control, and that will continue to be the case.
He said to do otherwise “takes away energy this team needs from me.”
“I’m not going to take that away,” he said.
“I find that on this team guys are always hungry to win,” Monroe said. “Guys are always working to win regardless of the situation.”
“We’re in a nightmare situation, but the guys we have will continue to fight through,” Posluszny said. “We’ll conduct ourselves in a professional manner and fight as hard as we can Sunday.”
Posluszny, asked about the status of the coaching staff and where responsibility lies for a difficult season, said, “It’s on us (players). We have to play better football.”
Posluszny also said ideally changes would be avoided in the offseason.
“Since we just went through that last year, I think we’re all hoping that that’s not going to be the case, but when you’re as unsuccessful as we have been this year, if things were to change, it’s our fault,” Posluszny said. “It’s our fault we’re in the same situation, so if that happens, that’s part of the deal. But with just bringing in a new staff, new coaches, I’d think we’d like to build on that.
“Starting over, that’s always tough to do. We just did it. This year did not go the way that anybody wanted, but we would like to build on the coaches and people we have now in the building.
“It’s our fault. We’re in the situation. If change does come, we don’t have anybody to blame but ourselves.”
And while the frustration and disappointment is understandably high, Shorts – the Jaguars’ leading receiver this season – said the current situation is in a sense a test. And if that’s the case, he said he expects the team to keep doing what it takes to pass.
“When you don’t have a winning record, it definitely tests you,” Shorts said. “You don’t want to be in that situation. So, it’s tough. It’s tough. You have to be a pro. It’s your job, so you have to be a pro. You want to play well and do well every week, so it’s not hard to get motivated.
“It gets a little frustrating when you keep losing, but we’ll turn it around.”