JACKSONVILLE – Gus Bradley remains determined to not focus on victories and losses.
But while the Jaguars' first-year head coach said on Monday he will remain true to that approach, and true to his philosophy, he also said that winning and losing obviously do matter.
The best way to move toward winning?
Bradley said the key there may be getting the Jaguars to stop beating themselves.
"What I'm seeing (Sunday) is we're hurting ourselves," Bradley said Monday, a day after the Jaguars lost a fourth consecutive game to start the 2013 regular season, 37-3, to the Indianapolis Colts at EverBank Field in Jacksonville.
"The penalties, not executing assignments correctly – those things, we hurt ourselves. When we get to where we clean all those things up, and we're playing at our highest level, then let's make that evaluation. That's my responsibility to our team, and to our fans and to our city."
Bradley also said he realizes the frustration associated with a winless start.
"I know they're saying, 'Let's get this corrected,'" he said. "The team is saying, 'We need to get this corrected.' I'm saying, 'I know, and I'm responsible for that. I'm the leader and I'm going to give it my heart and soul to get there as fast as I can.' This is the way I believe we have to do it."
The Jaguars were outgained 437-205 by the Colts, with Indianapolis holding a 36:38-23:22 time-of-possession advantage. The Jaguars have lost each of their first four games by at least 10 points.
Bradley has emphasized improving each day and focusing on the positives since his January hiring, and Bradley said it's fine if players get frustrated with losing – so long as the frustrations are channeled correctly.
"It's human nature; it is a result league," Bradley said. "We're trying to stay away from that (emphasizing winning and losing). Not that it's not important — it's very important to us, but we feel the quickest way to get there is through our process. We'll utilize that. If there is some frustration on the part of our players, that's OK – as long as we utilize that to get better.
"I think we have to do a better job maximizing our players, and to challenge them and put them in the right position. Then, they have to accept that responsibility and make a play. That's what we can't get away from."
Bradley, as he did Sunday, emphasized the need for better execution, and better fundamentals. Offensively, he said the offensive and defensive line needs to play with lower pad level, and he said defensively there were times the team was in position to make plays and did not.
"We were there – we just didn't make a play," Bradley said. "So, you say, 'All right. Let's continue to teach them.' Let's tell them more: 'We expect you to make that play.' That's what we're going through right now as far as the teaching."
Bradley said overall he wasn't displeased with the Jaguars' run defense Sunday. While the Jaguars allowed 154 yards on 29 carries, 50 yards came on a trap-play run by Donald Brown that featured two missed tackles and 17 more yards came on a scramble by Colts quarterback Andrew Luck.
Bradley said while he doesn't discount those plays, overall the run defense was acceptable.
"As far as our base-core defenses, and how we're playing them against the run, guys are where they need to be and they're fitting it up," Bradley said.
Also around the Jaguars:
*Wide receiver Justin Blackmon will play Sunday after being suspended for first four games of the season. Bradley said the team has yet to decide if he will start against St. Louis, but he said Blackmon has been "tremendous" during the suspension. "I think before I met with him through this whole thing I said the biggest thing I wanted to see from him was to compete," Bradley said. "I know he'll compete on the field. I want to see him compete off the field. His body fat has dropped and his weight has gained; he's in really, really good shape right now. He's done everything that we've asked of him, he went on the trips with us. I could go with a list on and on some of the things we asked him to do that he's done, so he's a in a great frame of mind right now. If he continues that then that's what we would project."
*Rookie cornerback Dwayne Gratz likely will miss a fourth consecutive game Sunday, Bradley said Monday. Gratz sustained a high-ankle sprain in the regular-season opener and has progressed well since, but Bradley said it's unlikely he will be ready Sunday.
*Tight end Marcedes Lewis irritated a calf strain Sunday on the second play of the game. Bradley said it wasn't a pull as had been the case previously and that he will be evaluated this week. The injury kept Lewis out the first three regular-season games.
*Wide receiver Stephen Burton and safety Dwight Lowery remain in the concussion program after missing Sunday's game, with each to be tested Tuesday, Bradley said.
*Rookie wide receiver Denard Robinson likely will be limited in practice this week with a pulled hamstring sustained against Indianapolis, Bradley said Monday.
*Wide receiver Mike Brown continues to improve and could play against Denver next week, Bradley said.
*Cornerback Alan Ball sustained a rib contusion against the Colts, but Bradley said he should be ready Sunday.
*Bradley said he liked how rookie safety Josh Evans played in place of Lowery. Evans, making his first career start, registered five tackles and a pass defensed. "He continued to play fast," Bradley said. "He did play with intensity and he did communicate on the field. There were a couple of situations where we would expect him to make plays and he knew that too. I think that's just a comfort level of being out there and you would see him not make those same mistakes."