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Inside the Jaguars: Momentum and confidence


JACKSONVILLE – Gus Bradley views momentum as he views many things.

It's great if it's a positive. Otherwise? Not so much.

However the Jaguars' first-year head coach views it, the Jaguars have it – as evidenced on Thursday on a raucous, energetic night when the Jaguars beat the Houston Texans, 27-20, at EverBank Field for their third consecutive victory.

Yes, the Jaguars have some momentum – more than they have had in a while, anyway.

Not that Bradley was emphasizing that Friday morning.

"As long as it doesn't become a distraction it's a good thing," Bradley said Friday, the morning after the Jaguars held off a late Texans rally in front of 60,414 at EverBank Field.

"I think it can elevate practice even more and give us even better practice so we can get better even more. It's good."

The Jaguars not only won at home for the first time this season Thursday, they have won four of five games after an 0-8 start, and have the longest winning streak in the AFC.

The Jaguars beat the Tennessee Titans, 29-27, the week after a Week Nine bye and after a loss at home to Arizona, they have beaten Houston (13-6), Cleveland (32-28) and Houston again on Thursday.

Bradley said if that has built confidence that's fine as long as the confidence is used correctly.

"Anytime you're in critical situations and you have some successes by sticking to what you believe, it helps," he said. "It helps that mindset, and we've been fortunate in the last couple of games to have those things happen. The next game might be different, but there's just so many growing opportunities and challenges that our team is facing and they're all new because at some positions we're so young.

"It's been a cool process. If you ask them they may feel it, but it's good. Build that confidence and that confidence should allow us to practice better."

Bradley throughout the season has talked not of winning and losing, but of focusing on improvement and daily competition. He said he has talked to the team in recent weeks about how to handle winning as he did early in the season during the eight-game losing streak.

He also called adversity and prosperity "imposters," meaning neither is as important as how the team deals with them.

"Going through what we did in the beginning and going through what we're going through now, you can separate it and say we had some adversity and now we're having a little prosperity," Bradley said. "My hope is we treat both the same. I've said it to our team: 'Treat both imposters the same.'

"That's going to be the challenge but I'm sure we'll make some mistakes. We made some mistakes on how we handled adversity and we'll make mistakes on some of these things that will be coming our way, but it will be good teaching for us."

Also around the Jaguars:

*Rookie linebacker LaRoy Reynolds, suspended without pay the last four games for violating the NFL policy on performance enhancing substances, returned to the team Friday. The team will have a one-game roster exemption for Reynolds, but can bring him off the suspended list at any time. To be eligible to play next Sunday against Buffalo, he must be added to the 53-man roster by Saturday, December 14, at 4 p.m. "We'll get him right back in the mix," Bradley said….

*Running back Maurice Jones-Drew (hamstring) will undergo an MRI Friday after sustaining an injury in the fourth quarter Thursday. Cornerback Alan Ball returned to the game after a neck injury and wide receiver Ace Sanders returned after an ankle injury. Safety Chris Prosinski will be in the concussion program following a head injury Thursday….

*The Jaguars' winning streak isn't going unnoticed nationally. Pete Carroll, head coach of the Seattle Seahawks, tweeted the following on Friday: "Congrats to Gus and his guys! Jaguars now have the longest current winning streak in the AFC at 3 games!" Bradley coached under Carroll as the Seahawks' defensive coordinator the past three seasons. "He's been really good to me throughout this," Bradley said of Carroll, saying the two communicate at times through texts during the season. "We'll take any of those types of texts you want to send. I have deep respect for Pete. He has been so good to me. I think it's just more that it's a friendship deal. I think you feel like he's pulling for us, so that's good." …

*Bradley said working backup running back Jordan Todman into the offense has helped the offense and Jones-Drew. Jones-Drew has rushed for 84, 77 and 103 yards the last three games, gaining the 84 yards against Houston two weeks ago and the 103 against Houston Thursday on 14 carries each game. "Whenever you're the lead back, you want more carries, but it's helped him, I think," Bradley said. "The whole objective is to keep MoJo fresh."…

*The Jaguars have used a variety of approaches offensively in recent weeks, not only running wide receiver Ace Sanders out of the backfield, but having Jones-Drew and Sanders throwing touchdown passes the last two games. "Yeah, I think (opposing defenses) will probably look at that and say, 'They have a personality that they will try certain things -- we don't know exactly what we're going to get," Bradley said….

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