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First off the Field: No consideration of QB change


JACKSONVILLE – Gus Bradley said it was time for a change.

The change didn't come at quarterback. Instead, the Jaguars in the last two days made significant changes on the offensive line, moving two players into the starting lineup and releasing a player who started the first two games.

Bradley, in his second season as the Jaguars' head coach, said the moves weren't about sending a message – or about getting the attention of the team.

He said that sort of move isn't his way.

"I think it just happens when you make changes, but I'm not just making changes to say, 'Hey, look what we can do,'" Bradley said as the Jaguars (0-2) prepared to play the Indianapolis Colts (0-2) in the 2014 regular-season home opener at EverBank Field Sunday at 1 p.m.

"If a guy's not playing very well and it has been a consistent pattern, we owe it to our team to make changes. But just to make a change and say, 'Hey, we know you're playing well, but we're going to yank you to make a statement,' that doesn't make sense to me."

The Jaguars on Wednesday announced not only that veteran Chad Henne will remain the starting quarterback, but that rookie center Luke Bowanko and veteran right tackle Sam Young will start Sunday. The team also announced that safety Johnathan Cyprien (concussion) has been cleared to play and practice.

Bradley said the team never considered starting rookie Blake Bortles ahead of Henne Sunday.

"We really haven't talked about that," Bradley said. "We just put all of our focus on Chad. We said, 'Hey, we feel good. He's the starter.' We just feel good about what he has done."

Henne has completed 38 of 71 passes for 459 yards and three touchdowns with an interception in two games. Henne threw two touchdown passes in the first half of the regular-season opener against Philadelphia, but the Jaguars have been outscored 75-10 since then.

"I know there have been some tough times," Bradley said. "I know there are some things where it looks like there has been some struggling, but just the whole picture of it. He brings stability to the younger group and I think given time he can make some plays. It's been more of that conversation."

Bradley added that while the Jaguars discuss personnel every week, "We didn't talk about putting Blake in there instead of Chad."

"It was never, 'OK, let's do this now,'" Bradley said.

The announcement that Young and Bowanko will start came a day after the team released four-year veteran right tackle Cameron Bradfield, who started the first two regular-season games.

The Jaguars allowed 10 sacks in a loss to Washington Sunday.

"It's always tough," Bradley said.  "Cam Bradfield has been here, has been a big part of our team and is highly respected. He has played good football. He started quite a few games last year. When you make a decision like this, it's tough. It's tough on us and it's tough on the team.

"But I think our players understand it is the NFL. There are going to be personnel decisions made throughout the year. They come to own that, but it's tough."

Players reacted to Bradfield's release early Wednesday.

"I think that reiterates the fact that this is a high-performance business," middle linebacker Paul Posluszny said. "If you don't perform at your highest level, or if you don't live up to the standards we set, you're not going to be a part of this group. It's unfortunate, because Cam's an outstanding guy, but that goes for any of us: if we don't perform to our abilities, then we're not going to be a part of the Jaguars."

Bradley said the Jaguars are excited about Young and Bowanko, adding that Bowanko's body of work in preseason is solid. He also noted that Bowanko is healthy after dealing with a variety of injuries the last few weeks.

"He's really healthy right now," Bradley said.

The Jaguars begin preparations for their Week 3 matchup against the Indianapolis Colts.

Also around the Jaguars:

*Rookie wide receiver Marqise Lee experienced hamstring tightness for a second consecutive week and was listed as limited on the team's injury report Wednesday. Veteran wide receiver Cecil Shorts III also was listed as limited with a hamstring, but he practiced Wednesday and Bradley said he looked good during the two-hour, 10-minute workout. …

*Wide receiver Allen Hurns (ankle), running back Toby Gerhart (foot), tight Clay Harbor (calf), cornerback Alan Ball (abdomen), Posluszny (knee) and defensive end Chris Clemons (illness) all did not practice Wednesday. Posluszny is expected to play Sunday, and Ball played through the injury last week. Hurns is day-to-day and Gerhart played through the situation last Sunday. …

*Running back Storm Johnson (ankle), offensive tackle Austin Pasztor (hand) and Cyprien (concussion) worked full. Pasztor, the Jaguars' starting right tackle, missed the first two games of the season and practiced with a protective club on his hand Wednesday. …

*Henne spoke to the media shortly after noon, discussing a variety of topics. With the Jaguars having allowed 10 sacks against Washington Sunday, Henne said when he reviewed tape, he found one or two for which he believed himself responsible. "Gus (Bradley) and I and (quarterbacks coach) Frank Scelfo and even (offensive coordinator) Jedd (Fisch) looked at it, and they said none," Henne said. "It's tough; I always take it hard and think maybe I could have escaped here and gotten the ball out, but we just need to all be on the same (page). I need to understand where the rush is coming from and get out of it if possible or just throw the football away to avoid a hit."…

*Bradley on Wednesday said the wide receivers as a group responded well in practice. He had talked Monday of the young group making too many mental mistakes against Washington. "Through this week we challenged them," Bradley said. "It's all about tough love. We were kind of waiting to see how they would come back and respond. What we saw today we were hoping to see. I was really fired up about that. "

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