JACKSONVILLE – The meeting was good, and the message was clear.
There was honesty in it, too – and Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley said that defined his meeting with the team after a one-sided, nationally-televised loss in Nashville, Tennessee, Thursday.
"When you believe in people, you have to be honest with them," Bradley said Friday, a day after a 36-22 loss to the Tennessee Titans Thursday in a game in which the Jaguars trailed 27-0 at halftime.
Bradley said the meeting was in part focused on relieving anxiety. The Jaguars have lost their last two games after a 2-3 start. The have been outscored 47-6 in the first half of those games.
"It was a very honest meeting and I think if they clearly understand the expectations and what's ahead of them, you relieve some of that," Bradley said, also saying, "There's never an excuse to not playing with great effort. We won't, cannot and will not tolerate lack of discipline, things under our control.
"We have a standard. If you're not meeting that standard, get your butt going.
Bradley during a conference call with local media Friday also discussed continued penalties and issues of discipline, specifically addressing second-year defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. and cornerback Jalen Ramsey.
Fowler was penalized 15 yards for unsportsmanlike conduct for punching a Titans player with 11:24 remaining in the second quarter of Thursday's loss. He did not play the rest of the half.
"We cannot, will not tolerate discipline penalties like that; things that are under their control," Bradley said. "It's selfish, so with those acts there are consequences."
Ramsey was penalized 15 yards for unsportsmanlike for hitting Titans tight end Philip Supernaw out of bounds with 8:59 remaining in the first quarter. He returned after one penalty and one play.
Bradley said he handles such matters on an individual basis.
"Jalen sat out a play and a half," Bradley said. "He came out and I talked to him and when we had conversations with the players, I can see where they're at mentally. If they're going to make the same mistake and go out there, their mindset is not right, I'm not putting them in a situation where they're going to hurt the team.
"Every player is different. If there's a guy that's really riled up I'm not going to put him in the situation where he's going to hurt the team. Knowing the players and knowing where they're at and that's the decision I have to make."
STAYING THE COURSE
Bradley on Friday was asked if he anticipated any changes on the coaching staff, or any change in delegation of coaching duties. He said he did not.
PUSH THROUGH IT
The Jaguars' offense ranks 25th in the NFL in total yards, and the Jaguars have scored just 14 first-quarter points this season and six points in the first half of their last three games. Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles has completed 13 of 30 passes for 121 yards and no touchdowns with an interception in his last two first halves. Bradley was asked how to keep offensive players from having a "here-we-go-again" mentality. "You have to find a way to have success," he said. "If you have gone through that where that creeps in, I think they are just being honest. If you are struggling and it comes back in, it might be in their head, but it doesn't matter. You still have to fight through it. You are a NFL player in this league and you have the responsibility to perform at a high level. If that does enter in, understand it and move on and let's go. It's also good if you can have some success. That helps speed up the process."
Thursday Night Football! View photos from the music city as the Jaguars take on the Tennessee Titans in Nashville.
Cornerback Aaron Colvin sustained a calf injury against the Titans, and defensive end Jared Odrick was not cleared to play Thursday because of a quad injury. The statuses of both players will be updated Monday.
NOWHERE TO RUN
The Jaguars' run game continued to be unproductive Thursday. As was the case in a loss to Oakland the previous week Bradley said part of the reason was circumstance. The Jaguars rushed just 11 times for 48 yards against the Titans with the attempts limited by a deficit that grew quickly and was 27-0 by halftime. The Jaguars rushed just six times in the second half Thursday after rushing five times in the second half against the Raiders. "We didn't have a lot of run opportunities," Bradley said. "There were a couple of runs we liked but we couldn't stay in it because of the game and where it was at as far as the score. That's what's frustrating."
"It wasn't bad. I didn't say it was very good. I thought that we tackled better in other games. We were more consistent, so we didn't have one of our better tackling games."
--Bradley on the tackling versus Tennessee