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Day After: A challenging time


JACKSONVILLE – Gus Bradley put it simply.

"It's a very challenging time we're going through right now," the Jaguars' head coach said Monday afternoon.

The challenges continued Sunday afternoon, with the Jaguars losing 31-20 to the Houston Texans at EverBank Field in a game they led entering the fourth quarter.

It was the Jaguars' fourth consecutive loss after a 1-1 start.

Not unexpectedly, it also was a fourth consecutive difficult Monday press conference at EverBank, with Bradley – in his third season as the Jaguars' head coach – answering questions about accountability, responsibility and growing fan dissatisfaction with the team's 1-5 record.

Bradley addressed the fans' feelings late in his next-day press conference, saying he understood their concerns, frustration and anger but that his focus remains on what's going on within the team.

"Our whole focus has been on this team – what goes on in that locker room and how we handle the team meetings," Bradley said. "How we talk, there aren't a lot of conversations about, 'OK, here's what they're saying outside.'

"They'll be happy when we get this right, so we put all of our attention into that."

A major theme Monday was accountability and responsibility, with Bradley saying, "Everybody in that (team meeting) room can take responsibility. We can all do more to get this thing right."

He also said he believes players understand they are accountable.

"They sense it," he said. "They understand it. They understand the responsibility. I'll just leave it at that."

The Jaguars this season have played five games decided in the fourth quarter, beating Miami 23-20 in Week 2 but losing the regular-season opener to Carolina (20-9) and the last three games to Indianapolis (16-13 in overtime), Tampa Bay (38-31) and Houston.

Late-game mistakes have hurt, with the Jaguars leading Houston 14-10 after three quarters Sunday before the Texans scored three touchdowns in a four-minute stretch early in the fourth period.

"We're in that stage where we've got to find a way to pull these off," Bradley said. "I believe in the guys in the locker room. I think that's important, that they believe in each other, and they do, and I think we're going to use that to help us. We have to strain even more.

"They have to ask even more of themselves, as we do of coaches – ask more of each other."

Added Bradley, "Going through this, you knew this was going to be challenging, to teach this team what it takes to get through this and do enough right things to earn this victory."

Bradley in this same vein discussed accountability, saying that while the majority of players are competing throughout games, "What we're seeing in some guys is they compete 90 percent of time – I'm talking about just a few – then they have a letup or they lose focus for a period of time, then that comes back to hit you."

"You can't do that in the NFL," Bradley said. "You have to be able to do those things. That's what's part of being in the league, and it's playing that complete game. As a coach, you say, 'We've got to help them through that. We have to get him to understand,' but I think the player must take responsibility. Everybody's involved with that."

Bradley added, "In this game, if you have 11 guys out there and one guy doesn't do his job, it shows up. It does. It shows up. If you get a holding call and it forces you into a third and long, it shows up. When you don't play tight coverage and 10 other guys are doing their job, it shows up.

"That's the part where you want to see guys take responsibility for it, but if this is a repeated action, then what is accountability? If it they repeat it, what takes place? Those are the decisions we have to make this week."

Bradley said that the occasional lapse of focus has shown up more as games have gotten more competitive this season.

"When you get to this stage where it's one possession, it jumps out at you even more," he said.

Also around the Jaguars:

*X-rays Monday on wide receiver Allen Robinson's lower leg were negative. He left the game in the fourth quarter Sunday and will be re-evaluated Wednesday.

*Tight end Julius Thomas sustained a rib contusion Sunday from falling on the ball and will be evaluated later in the week.

*Running back Bernard Pierce remains in the concussion program. He missed Sunday's game after sustaining the injury against Tampa Bay the previous week and will be evaluated later in the week.

*Running back Corey Grant and wide receiver Tony Washington both strained hip flexors Sunday and will not practice Wednesday.

*Wide receiver Bryan Walters sustained a back injury Sunday. X-rays were negative.

*Defensive tackle Sen'Derrick Marks is expected to have an increased workload moving forward after playing limited reps in his first game back from offseason reconstructive knee surgery Sunday.

*Other injured players who will be evaluated update this week: running back T.J. Yeldon (groin), wide receiver Marqise Lee (hamstring), defensive end Chris Clemons (back), safety James Sample (shoulder), and linebacker Dan Skuta (stinger).

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