JACKSONVILLE – Gus Bradley won't say the week was easy.
Paul Posluszny, the Jaguars' veteran middle linebacker, won't say that, either. But Posluszny and the Jaguars' first-year head coach agreed on something that may be equally important as a newsworthy, sometimes-emotional week around the Jaguars drew to a close:
That the week was beneficial.
And overall, the Jaguars could be better for it.
"I think we've really grown; I think we've grown closer during the week," Bradley said Friday as the Jaguars (0-4) prepared to play the St. Louis Rams (1-3) at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, Mo., Sunday at 1 p.m.
The Jaguars, who have struggled throughout the first four games of the season, on Tuesday night traded left offensive tackle Eugene Monroe to the Baltimore Ravens for a fourth- and fifth-round selection in the 2014 NFL Draft.
The trade, coupled with the team's record, prompted media speculation of a "fire sale," in which veteran players would be traded. General Manager David Caldwell assured Posluszny, running back Maurice Jones-Drew and others that wouldn't be the case privately and publicly, and Bradley explained the trade in detail at a Wednesday morning team meeting.
The trade was difficult because it involved a veteran and a friend, Posluszny said.
But Posluszny said how Bradley and Caldwell handled it was as important.
"It was a tough situation – nobody wants it," Posluszny said. "But with the way Coach Bradley handed it right away … We get in here, Wednesday, team meeting – the way he handled things kind of set the tone for how we should handle it and the perspective we should take with it.
"Guys said, 'Oh.' You came out of that meeting saying, 'If we really want to do well, if we want to handle this properly, this is the way do to it.' Guys really bought into that.''
Bradley said Friday the team practiced well throughout the week, and said evidence of coming together could be seen in the team's talk and actions.
"They talked about, 'I know what happened on Wednesday,'" Bradley said, "and then Thursday they said, 'There's some cool stuff that took place on the field.'… The way they talk and they communicate and the openness and how they're communicating with one another is really a telltale sign."
Posluszny also said the impact was evident in practice this week.
"The importance of communication was stressed early in the week," Posluszny said. "We viewed it as an opportunity to come a little closer together, and to rally around each other, and it showed in practice. We were talking. We were communicating and everybody was on the same page. That was a positive to come out of it."
Said Bradley, "To come out on the field and to focus and get locked in and compete the way we did was a telling sign. This team doesn't surprise me though with this group of guys. I know the guys are all looking forward to this opportunity."
Here's a look at this week's coverage of Jaguars-Rams on jaguars.com: