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Day after: "Defensively, we just struggled"


* *JACKSONVILLE – A day later, Gus Bradley was no more pleased.

The Jaguars' third-year head coach discussed a glaring lack of precision – particularly on defense – after a one-sided loss in New Orleans Sunday, and was no more positive the next day.

Bradley in his next-day press conference at EverBank Field Monday called the defensive performance "unacceptable," and said the performance overall in a 38-27 loss to the Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome just wasn't consistent enough.

"Our whole objective was to be better on third down (defensively) and to come out of the gate starting fast," Bradley said. "We didn't do that. It showed up offensively and defensively."

Bradley on Monday also discussed the inconsistencies that have been an issue throughout the season. The Jaguars lost four consecutive games following a Week 2 victory over Miami, then won three of four games to improve to 4-6 and move into postseason contention in a struggling AFC South.

They have lost four of five games since, beating Indianapolis 51-16 and continuing to produce big plays and big yardage on offense but scoring just one offensive touchdown in the first half of the last three games.

"You're talking about when you say, 'What can we count on from this unit, this team week in and week out?' " Bradley said. "Sometimes that's with experience and making plays. We knew this was going to be a journey; we knew that we were going to go through some struggles like this.

"I think what can't budge is the standard. You say it's not budging now, we have this where we're going and we've got to see these plays being made, and I think everybody understands that part of it."

The Jaguars (5-10), officially eliminated from postseason contention when the Houston Texans (8-7) won at Tennessee earlier in the day, fell behind 24-0 in the first half Sunday. Although they rallied in the second, third and fourth quarters, they got no closer than 11 points.

"Offensively, we do score points in the second half," Bradley said. "That remains a strong point."

But the slow starts that have plagued the Jaguars this season were an issue again, as was a defense that registered just one sack and allowed 537 total yards. The Saints converted 8 of 13 third downs – 62 percent – with the yardage total the most allowed in Bradley's 47 games as head coach.

"Defensively, we just struggled," Bradley said, adding, "We have a standard. With this defense, we're always trying to create a new standard: 'Here's where we're at … now let's raise that standard and raise that standard.' When you see a performance that's not at that standard it's unacceptable.

"I felt like yesterday's performance defensively, we didn't reach that standard. That makes it unacceptable. That's disappointing."

Bradley as he did Sunday discussed defensive precision and the challenge of facing a quarterback as good as Brees. The Jaguars – partly because of a lack of pass rush and partly because of mistakes in the secondary – have struggled against similar players such as Tom Brady of New England and Philip Rivers of San Diego, and they struggled again Sunday.

"We knew what we were getting into," Bradley said. "It's one thing to talk about precision. It's one thing to talk about execution and how you have to be on it, but it's another to experience that, and we experienced it. Hopefully, when you experience something like that, a hard memory like this, you can go back and draw from (it)."

Bradley, now 12-35 as Jaguars head coach, on Monday afternoon was asked during his next-day press conference about his job security.

"My mindset always has been to do what's best for this organization and what's best for the team, so we'll continue with that," he said.

Also, the following Jaguar players sustained injuries against the Saints: right tackle Jermey Parnell (hamstring), left tackle Luke Joeckel (knee/back soreness), defensive end Jared Odrick (quad contusion), defensive end Tyson Alualu (ankle) and defensive tackle Abry Jones (knee soreness).

Parnell and Odrick left the game, with the others playing through their injuries. The status of the injured players is expected to be updated Wednesday, as are the statuses of running back T.J. Yeldon (knee) and linebacker Telvin Smith (shoulder/finger).

Yeldon and Smith were inactive Sunday, and Bradley said he didn't expect Joeckel to miss the Texans game.

Bradley said the team hasn't yet discussed putting players on injured reserve with the playoffs now officially not a possibility. Defensive tackle Sen'Derrick Marks sustained a torn anterior cruciate ligament in the 2014 regular-season finale, forcing him to miss the beginning of this season.

"As we look at our guys, we'll get the injury report and see where they're at," Bradley said. "'Are they 100 percent? Where are they?' It's like that every week. 'Can they do further harm? Is there a chance for re-injury? Can it make it worse?' You gather all that for information and decide from there.

"My mindset is if the guys are healthy and can go … we talk about 'always compete,' so let's compete. It doesn't mean there might not be some personnel changes or guys we look at."

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