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Jaguars Wednesday: "The spirit is still there…"

JACKSONVILLE – Shaquill Griffin's confidence remains strong.

The veteran cornerback said that's true not only for him, but for the rest of the Jaguars' captains this week. And Griffin said to make no mistake:

As he sees it, there's no reason to not be confident.

"I can see the spirit is still there," Griffin said Wednesday as the Jaguars (0-1) prepared to play the Denver Broncos (1-0) in a 2021 Week 2 game at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville Sunday at 1 p.m.

"The way we attacked practice today was awesome. We could have sat here and laid down. Guys who have been through this before, knowing how it feels to lose, could have laid down and gave up. I haven't seen one person wavering and that's very important. I love seeing that.

"Now, we can reset, do it all over again and make it work. That's awesome to see."

Griffin, a fourth-year veteran who signed with the Jaguars as an unrestricted free agent in March, is one of seven Jaguars captains – a group that includes rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence, Griffin, safety Rayshawn Jenkins, wide receiver Marvin Jones Jr., linebacker Myles Jack, center Brandon Linder and defensive end/linebacker Josh Allen.

Jenkins, Jones and Griffin – and Lawrence – all joined the team this past offseason, with Linder, Jack and Allen having played for the Jaguars during the 2020 1-15 season that ended with a 15-game losing streak that now stands at a franchise-record 16.

"We can't have the young guys feeling they can get used to losing," he said. "That's not the environment we're trying to create. For captains, we have to do more. We have to keep them up. We have to keep their spirits up. We have to get them believing in something that's bigger than Game 1.

"It's critical for the captains to do a lot more, speak up a lot more. It takes captains continuing to show the way, doing things right."

Griffin said a key moving forward is how the defense played the first series against Houston in a 37-21 loss in Week 1 this past Sunday. Whereas the Jaguars later allowed 27 first-half points, the unit forced a three-and-out on the first series – with Griffin dropping a would-be interception second down.

"You could feel it," Griffin said. "You could see it. That's the part we have to continue the whole game. That's the biggest thing. … Imagine that same defense as on the first series carry over to the first, second, third and fourth quarter. That's the defense we have grab and kind of build off of.""

Griffin said another key defensively is attention to detail, which includes all players playing their assignments rather than trying to make big plays on their own – something he said began occurring Sunday as the loss became more one-sided. They key to that?

"Focusing on completing each task, each play, one play at a time," Griffin said. "We can't figure out what the offense may do each game, but we can figure out what the defense does each play. That's the part we have do to better at.

"We've got to just get back to just doing our job, doing what we need to do, staying poised, staying under control and doing exactly our job description on each play. That's the biggest lesson we learned from this game."

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