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Goal remains the same


The goal? The same as it was a month ago, before a 1-3 first quarter of the season.

Win the AFC South.

 "We expect to be division champions," Del Rio said Monday, a day after the Jaguars (1-3) lost a third consecutive game, 23-10, to the New Orleans Saints at EverBank Field.

"I continue to say that: we expect to be division champions – this year."

Jaguars players said later in the afternoon they believed the same.

"Of course we do," tight end Marcedes Lewis said, and center Brad Meester added, "It's always been the mindset. We wouldn't want it any other way. Obviously, it's not the start we wanted, but we're going to continue to fight. We're never going to give up. Whatever's happened in the past here, we're going to put behind us and move on to this week.

"You can only control what's ahead of you, so we're going to get after this week and see what happens."

Del Rio on Monday reiterated that a 1-3 start is "not the first quarter of the season we expected."

"We feel we need to execute better," Del Rio said. "I talk to them (the players) all the time about not trying to convince you with words, but to back it up with actions. The execution is a matter of making the plays you have an opportunity to make. We made some. We didn't make enough.

"But it's what it is," he added. "It's what we've earned to this point."

The Jaguars were outgained by New Orleans 503-274 Sunday, and the Saints produced 30 first downs to 15 for the Jaguars.

"It's like anything; it's not all bad, it's not all good," Del Rio said. "Win or lose that's usually the case. There were some really good plays in the game and there were some that we need to do better."

Del Rio said the good on defense was pressuring quarterback Drew Brees in some big situations, and the Jaguars also held New Orleans nearly 12 points below its season average of 34.7 points. But offensively, the Jaguars failed to score a second-half touchdown and have scored 10 or fewer points in each of the last three games.

"There are a lot of things that are very close," Del Rio said. "I recognize the fact that 10 points a game won't get it done, and we have design on much better, much more, and need it.  Like I said, no amount of bellyaching is going to help that process improve. It's execution, it's taking care of the little details and making the plays that are there to be made. We need production, we need playmaking and that's what we're looking for. We're going to work hard to sharpen it up and make sure that some of the things that are bogging us down, that are causing us to not be able to finish drives or finish conversions, are eliminated as quickly as possible."

Also on Monday:

*QB Blaine Gabbert improved Sunday in terms of decision-making and going through his progressions, Del Rio said. "He made a couple of real nice throws in the ballgame," Del Rio said. "There's still a lot we can work on and improve, but there were definitely some flashes." Del Rio said Gabbert, making his second career NFL start, did not regress in any way Sunday.

*Del Rio said there were no significant injuries Sunday, and that defensive end Aaron Kampman has not been ruled out of Sunday's game. Kampman has missed the first four games while trying to return from an anterior cruciate ligament injury that kept him out the final eight games last season. "I'm as hopeful as ever that it's soon," Kampman said. "I don't know." Kampman practiced on a limited basis last week and said the Jaguars' record won't factor into his return. "I will come back immediately as soon as I get the green light," Kampman said. "As soon as I get the green light, I'll be out there."

*Del Rio said left tackle Eugene Monroe missed Sunday's game because of a shoulder/neck injury that limited him in practice. He said he remained active in case of an emergency and said the thought was even injured he was the best option as a backup. "We were hoping to get through the game and not need to use him and let that thing settle down," Del Rio said.

*Del Rio said the special teams were a little better this week than in the previous two games. "That phase of the game was much more even," Del Rio said. "It wasn't a decided advantage for us, and we expect to have some of those, but I thought it was OK." The Jaguars played the Saints without their two best special teams players, wide receiver Kassim Osgood and running back Montell Owens.

*Del Rio said the passing offense must improve as a whole. Gabbert completed 16 of 42 passes for 196 yards, and was 4 of 18 for 31 yards in the second half. "I would say we expect to throw it and catch it better than we did," Del Rio said. "We did some things pretty well and we left some plays out there where we didn't execute well enough. We'll need to be better with the next opportunity. We can't do much about fixing what's behind us."

*Del Rio said linebacker Daryl Smith should have run toward Brees or the middle of the field instead of running out of bounds on a second-quarter interception return. "We'd like to make the quarterback have to make that tackle," Del Rio said. "It was a big play in the game. It was a big play on his part and could have been even better."

*Del Rio said the Jaguars' struggles on run defense Sunday had less to do with the focus on Brees and more to do with fundamentals. The Jaguars entered the game fifth in the NFL against the run at 83.7 yards per game allowed and yielded to the Saints 177 yards rushing. "We didn't do some of the things fundamentally from stacking blocks and shedding blocks and fitting the run and leveraging and tackling that we had done pretty well to start the year," Del Rio said. "We need that to be something that is a one-time thing. We need to get back to being solid and sound and fundamentally on top of things there because we allowed some basic runs to go for much more than we can afford to have them go for."

*Del Rio said he wasn't unhappy with the mix of plays on offense. After running 108 times and throwing 70 in the first three games, the Jaguars threw 42 times and ran 17 Sunday. "I thought the mix was pretty good," he said. Del Rio said the run-pass mix Sunday was based largely on the Saints' defensive approach. "With the way they play defense there were going to be opportunities out there," he said. "We capitalized on some of those opportunities in the first half, moved the ball well, broke down in the first couple of drives of our own doing more than them, and on the third drive went down there and scored.  I think you saw a glimpse of what we're capable of there when we're doing things the way they need to be done." 

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