JACKSONVILLE – Belief remains strong.
Head Coach Urban Meyer said that's true for him and said it's true for the Jaguars following a second consecutive loss to start the season.
Meyer, who became the Jaguars' head coach in January, focused on that belief during his next-day press conference Monday – and said he liked the Jaguars' approach throughout a 23-13 Week 2 loss to the Denver Broncos at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville Sunday.
"The great positive is I saw the energy on the sideline," Meyer said after the Jaguars 17th consecutive loss, a streak that includes 15 consecutive losses to end last season. "The challenge I have for our team is to have as good a locker room as there is in the NFL. That means guys that care about each other, guys fighting for each other, guys pulling for each other.
"A lot of guys were here last year. You start losing games and this year you start losing games … I just want them to stick together. We're going to break this rock. We will break this rock.
"When we do, I want them to enjoy it."
The Jaguars led 7-0 before the Broncos scored 23 consecutive points. Denver outgained the Jaguars 398-189, with the Jaguars gaining 106 yards offense after an opening drive that ended with a 25-yard touchdown pass from rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence to veteran wide receiver Marvin Jones Jr.
The Broncos pulled away from a 10-7 halftime lead to lead 23-7 before Jaguars wide receiver Jamal Agnew returned a kickoff 102 yards for a touchdown with 5:26 remaining. Lawrence's ensuing two-point pass was incomplete, and the Broncos drove from the Jaguars 39 to their four to expire the clock.
"Deep in my heart, I thought we were going to come back and win that game," Meyer said. "We didn't do it. I'm trying to find the positives and they're easy to find. The negatives are we lost two games."
Meyer on Monday also discussed a difficult day for Lawrence, who completed 14 of 33 passes for 118 yards and a touchdown with two interceptions. Lawrence completed five of seven passes for 75 yards and a touchdown on the opening drive but was inaccurate at times thereafter.
"There's not one reason," Meyer said. "That's something we're addressing. [Passing-game coordinator Brian] Schottenheimer's going to work with him on that. It's all fixable."
Meyer also said Lawrence at times on Sunday threw downfield too often when checking down – or throwing to receivers on shorter routes – would have been the better choice.
"Yeah, I think that's something that's consensus," Meyer said. "He threw one in to [wide receiver] Laviska [Shenault Jr.] where he actually threw a heck of a ball, but he should have checked it down. And then sometimes he checks it down when the guys are covered.
"It's just working through. It's young quarterback stuff. He'll improve."
Meyer added of the No. 1 overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft, "You just coach him through it. The one thing about Trevor Lawrence is nothing really phases him that bad so far. We have to make sure it doesn't because that's a learning process for a young quarterback. You see it all over the NFL.
"Every year you see that. He's just got to work through it."
Meyer praised the offensive line's performance Sunday. The Jaguars allowed just one sack while dropping to pass 34 times. "Our offensive line was very much a positive," Meyer said. "They kept a nice, solid pocket for [Lawrence] for the most part – obviously against two elite pass rushers." Broncos All-Pro pass rusher Von Miller had the Broncos' lone sack and edge rusher Bradley Chubb did not register a sack before leaving with an ankle injury late in the first half. "Jawaan Taylor really hung in there," Meyer said of the Jaguars' third-year right tackle who blocked Miller much of the game. "We chipped a little bit to help, but for the most part, he hung in there. He (Miller) had one sack on a twist, but straight pass rush we hung in there really well. I was really proud of the offensive line. They put us in position to win the game. We left two other touchdowns on the field [in the first half]. It's a whole different ballgame if you don't do that." …
- Tight end James O'Shaughnessy sustained a high-ankle sprain against Denver, and Meyer said the seventh-year veteran is expected to miss "a few weeks." Meyer said the team likely will activate tight end Jacob Hollister Sunday against the Cardinals; the team signed Hollister before the regular-season opener and he was inactive in Weeks 1 and 2. "That's a problem," Meyer said. "We'll keep an APB out for what's out here." …
- Meyer said Shenault (shoulder) and guard A.J. Cann (hamstring) should practice and play this week after sustaining mild injuries Sunday, with cornerback CJ Henderson sustaining what Meyer called a mild groin issue. "We're not sure yet on that one," Meyer said of Henderson. Meyer also said cornerback Tre Herndon is expected to practice Wednesday after missing Weeks 1 and 2 with a medial collateral ligament injury. …
Check out these top photos from the Jacksonville Jaguars Week 2 home opener against the Denver Broncos