Coach Tom Coughlin is demanding his team develop a sense of urgency for this Thursday night's game against the 0-4 Buffalo Bills.
"What we do from this point out will determine what kind of season we have," Coughlin said of his team, which is 2-2 and is taking the approach that "it's a 12-game season."
All of that sounds good, but it will all be just meaningless talk if the Jaguars' trademark offense doesn't improve its performance. Every player except wide receiver Jimmy Smith is on a crash course statistically compared to last year, when the Jaguars boasted a 1,399-yard rusher, a 60-catch tight end, and two wide receivers who combined for 185 pass receptions.
"We've looked at everything. The simple fact of the matter is the execution is not as good as it should be," Coughlin said of his 18th-ranked offense.
During this bye-week period, Coughlin has lectured his offense collectively and has singled out players privately. He is demanding immediate improvement.
"The basic message is that the execution is not there and it needs to change right now," said Coughlin, who is blaming one assignment breakdown per play for the Jaguars' failures on offense.
Quarterback Mark Brunell called out two specific failures. "Our third-down conversion percentage needs to improve; we need to run the ball better," Brunell said. "We've addressed those issues. I think you'll see an offense that's back on track."
The Jaguars are 26th in the league in third-down efficiency, and 22nd in rushing. Of course, the yards-rushing statistic isn't expected to change dramatically until Fred Taylor returns from his groin injury, but the Jaguars should be successful on the ground this Thursday against a Buffalo team that is 27th in the league against the run.
"We're 2-2 with a lot of football to be played. It would be foolish to look beyond the Buffalo Bills. We need to be 3-2 and move on from there," Brunell said.
Vic Ketchman is the Senior Editor of Jaguars Inside Report, the official team newspaper of the Jacksonville Jaguars. One-year subscriptions may be purchased by calling 1-888-846-5247.