JACKSONVILLE – The improvement is obvious.
As Jaguars Head Coach Urban Meyer sees it, the reason for that improvement is just as evident.
"It's one of the best locker rooms – if not the best locker room – I've ever had," he said.
Meyer, in his first season as the Jaguars' head coach, met with the media Wednesday as the team prepared to play the Tennessee Titans at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville Sunday. He discussed multiple topics, but among the most prominent:
How the 0-4 Jaguars have improved in four games, from a team that trailed the 1-3 Houston Texans by 27 points shortly after halftime of a 37-21 Week 1 loss to one that didn't trail the 3-1 Cincinnati Bengals until a final-play field goal in a 24-21 Week 4 loss last Thursday.
"There are a lot of positives," he said. "We just have to win a damned game and finish. I believe in these guys."
Meyer on Wednesday detailed what he has seen from players leading to that improvement: "The halftime, the energy, the pulling for each other, the fact that there has been some guys lose a bunch of games – and the fight."
"The team is very close," he said. "I told the team today. I love the team. This is a good group of dudes. They work hard and I believe in them."
Meyer said kicker Josh Lambo is in a good situation mentally as of Wednesday – and that the veteran will compete this week with practice-squad kicker Matthew Wright for the kicking job against the Titans. Lambo, who made 76 of 80 field goals for the Jaguars from 2017-2020, missed all three of his field-goal attempts in Weeks 1-3 and missed two of three extra points in a Week 3 loss to Arizona. He did not practice on Tuesday or Wednesday leading to the Cincinnati game for personal reasons – and also did not kick against the Bengals. Wright converted all three of his extra-point attempts against Cincinnati and did not attempt a field goal. "There's going to be a little competition to see who kicks, but Josh is in a much better place right now," Meyer said. "I like Josh Lambo. I like his commitment to being a great player. He's in a slump right now. There's also the reality that you have to put it through the uprights. I can tell you this right now: the whole team is pulling for him. He's a great guy who works his you-know-what off."
Meyer on Wednesday praised wide receiver Laviska Shenault Jr., calling the second-year veteran a "legitimate, route-running wide receiver right now." Shenault, a second-round selection in the 2020 NFL Draft, caught six passes for a career-high 99 yards against Cincinnati – a performance that came after starting wide receiver DJ Chark Jr. sustained an ankle injury that now has him on injured reserve. "Laviska has been our most-productive guy," Meyer said. "He was a gadget player a year ago. He came out of college and was kind of that gadget player." Meyer said he would like to see Shenault with 10 touches per game. "There are creative ways to do that," he said. "He's playing at a very high level."
WEEK 5 · Sun 10/10 · 1:00 PM EDT