JACKSONVILLE – Dede Westbrook focused inward.
The Jaguars on Monday relieved offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett of his duties, news that came in the wake of the team's seventh consecutive loss after a 3-1 start.
Westbrook, a second-year wide receiver who was among several Jaguars players who discussed Hackett's dismissal Monday morning, called the move a reflection of the entire offense.
"I have to say it's pretty much on us," Westbrook said.
Hackett, the Jaguars' offensive coordinator since the eighth game of the 2016 season, coordinated an offense that in 2017 ranked sixth in the NFL in total yards, fifth in points and first in rushing. The Jaguars rank 22nd, 28thand 16thin those categories this season.
"I thought he was doing a wonderful job, but it's the nature of the business," defensive tackle Malik Jackson said. "We need to start winning, or we all need to look in the mirror about who can get let go. It sucks."
The offense slipped from ninth in total yards in the NFL following a Week 5 loss to Kansas City, a game after which the Jaguars lost three key players – running back Corey Grant, left tackle Josh Wells and tight end Austin-Seferian Jenkins – to injuries for an extended period.
The offense, after producing 480 or more yards in the first five games of the season, produced more than 400 yards in just one of six games since. The Jaguars had 333 total yards in a 24-21 loss at Buffalo Sunday, rushing for a season-high 226 yards on 39 carries but passing for just 107 net yards.
"He calls the plays, he has great game plans every week and it's up to us as players to execute that," Westbrook said of Hackett. "I feel like we let him down and we let the team down by not executing."
Guard Tyler Shatley said such a move "definitely" can get players' attention.
"It shows, 'Hey, we need to make some changes,''' Shatley said. "But right now we're just focused on one game at a time, one week at a time."
The Jaguars announced Hackett's dismissal in a press release Monday morning, and did not identify a replacement. Head Coach Doug Marrone is expected to meet with the media Monday at 2:45 p.m.
"Whoever they bring in, we have to be able to work with him and find common ground and go out there and make plays whoever it is," Westbrook said.
Jackson said a move such as Monday's involving Hackett forces players to look at themselves.
"You've got to kind of self-evaluate," Jackson said. "What are you trying to do? How am I doing? There are a lot questions that come up when you let people go. … We have five games left. All you can do is focus on putting yourself in the best position and show the front office and the coaches that you're still here and you're still present and you're still working hard."
Also on Monday:
*Jackson discussed running back Leonard Fournette's ejection Sunday. Fournette, who rushed for 95 yards and two touchdowns rushing on 18 carries, was ejected along with Bills defensive end Shaq Lawson for fighting after Fournette left the Jaguars sideline to get involved with a multiplayer incident near the end of the third quarter. "I didn't know he ran off the sidelines until after the game," Jackson said of Fournette, who rushed for 95 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries. "You just have to grow up. It sucks, because he was doing a great job for us. He was really toting that rock and putting us in a good position. He understands what he did and how he messed it up." …
*Jackson on the team's 3-8 record: "I'm definitely dumbfounded. If you had told me in April we'd be 3-8, I would say you're lying. I don't know what's going on. It's interesting. We work hard every day. We execute ourselves into a position. It's just a few plays or a situation like that on Sunday that messes us up. Like I said, it's dumbfounding. I don't know what to say, what to change. Guys are bought in to the scheme. The locker room's still together. Nobody's wavering. Guys are locked in. I don't know what to say."