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Looking forward


Maurice Jones-Drew said this is no time to look back.

So, while a hot topic in the media this week is the Jaguars' victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers in an AFC Wild-Card game following the 2007 season – and the aftereffects of that game – the two-time Pro Bowl running back said there's little to be gained from looking back on the moment.

"Not in the dark time we're in now," Jones-Drew said Wednesday as the Jaguars (1-4) prepared to play the Steelers (3-2) at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pa., Sunday at 1 p.m.

"We've got to figure out how to turn this team around, not dwell on the past."

Jaguars Head Coach Jack Del Rio said there was as little to be gained from dwelling on the immediate past – i.e., a four-game losing that included a 30-20 loss to Cincinnati this past Sunday.

 "We're looking forward to the next opportunity," Del Rio said. "Obviously, we would have preferred things gone differently, in particularly the last ballgame. It didn't, and we're busy with preparation, getting ready for this challenge. We're looking forward to it."

Much of the Jaguars' struggles thus far this season have been on offense. While the team is eighth in the NFL in total defense – improved from 28th a year ago – the Jaguars rank 32nd in the NFL in total offense and 32nd in passing.

They are tied for last in the NFL in red-zone offense, having scored two touchdowns on six trips inside the 20. They have scored the second-fewest points in the NFL, with 59 in five games.

Jones-Drew said despite the struggles on offense, "At the end of the day, we're in position to make plays."

 "Before we worry about Pittsburgh, we have to fix our wounds and make sure we do everything we can to help our offense and our team be better," he said, adding that the biggest positive around the offense is that the team isn't repeating mistakes. "

"We know that we're right there," he said.

Jones-Drew following the loss to Cincinnati Sunday told the media that offensive players needed to figure out what was wrong, and those who didn't want to work to do that needn't bother showing up. Jones-Drew said players have responded well to the situation.

"Guys are busting their butts in the weight room, getting treatment, watching extra film," he said. "Coach Del Rio asked some questions earlier on Pittsburgh and a lot of guys had great answers for them. We just have to continue to work on our technique and on our game plan.

"As an offense, if you're executing at a high level as an offense, it doesn't matter who you're playing against or what that team's doing, because your rules and your timing is going to take care of everything. We just have to continue to work on that, and I think we'll be all right."

Del Rio said there were positives offensively that could be built upon, and specifically mentioned progress from rookie quarterback Blaine Gabbert.

Gabbert has started the last three games, and has completed 48 of 97 passes for 608 yards and three touchdowns with two interceptions. He has a touchdown pass in each of his three starts, including a 74-yarder to Jason Hill against Cincinnati this past Sunday.

Del Rio said Gabbert also is making progress in other areas, such as recognizing defenses at the line of scrimmage and being able to get the offense in and out of plays under pressure.

"There are those kinds of signs that are spot on," Del Rio said. "It's what you want. He's got the ability to do some of those things. He has shown the ability to handle it and with that, more will come. I think we have a chance to really grow with a guy like that, who's able to take charge and direct things."

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