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Shorts: "I just want to help my team"


JACKSONVILLE – Cecil Shorts III says he wants a few things more than anything else.

He wants to help the Jaguars however he can.

Mostly, he wants to win.

Shorts, the Jaguars' third-year wide receiver, said that's what motivated his comments following a loss to the Arizona Cardinals Sunday, when he said – among other comments – that he was "very disappointed" he was targeted just once in the first three and a half quarters.

"I just know I want to help the team win," Shorts said Monday, a day after the Jaguars' 27-14 loss to the Arizona Cardinals at EverBank Field.

"That's my biggest thing, to help the team improve and get better. I feel like I can do that by getting the ball. However they want to do it – we'll figure out a way to make it happen."

Shorts added, "What I said was what I said. I just want to help my team get better and improve. I'm not trying to start anything. I'm not that type of guy. I'm not that person. I just want to help my team.  I'm a competitor. That's all I'm trying to do."

Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley addressed Shorts' comments in his weekly Monday press conference.

"I understand where Cecil's coming from; it doesn't make it all right," Bradley said. "The biggest thing I talked to Cecil and the team about is I think that each individual has to be a little leery because sometimes things like that can portray in a bad light. I understand his frustrations."

Bradley said if Shorts were trying to "drag other guys down" – i.e., if he were trying to talk to other players, saying, 'Don't you agree, don't you agree?" -- he would have a concern. Bradley said he doesn't believe Shorts was doing that.

"Now, with that being said, let's not make this a habit where everybody has free reign to say those things," Bradley said. "We don't want that. With that, I would appreciate if he would be smart about how he handles those things, but I do understand the competitiveness in him and I understand he wants the ball. We want that mentality."

Cornerback Alan Ball said of Shorts, "The kind of guy he is, he's a playmaker. At the end of the day, you want the ball in the hands of your playmakers. If he feels like he needs the ball more, and he can make things better, more credit to him."

Shorts, the Jaguars' leading receiver this season, has 50 receptions for 628 yards and a touchdown this season. He had two receptions for 22 yards Sunday, a game in which he was covered throughout by Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson, one of the NFL's top young players at the position.

"It's always tough when a guy reaches out and says he's not getting the ball," Jaguars quarterback Chad Henne said. "It's kind of whatever the play is called. If his number is called, we get him the ball. If not, we have a progression and we go elsewhere. …

"We felt we had some good matchups with some other receivers. We knew Patrick Peterson was a good corner. How many times we wanted to test him was really the key."

Of Henne, Shorts said, "Chad's my guy," Shorts said. "I love Chad to death. We trust each other. There's no problem with Chad. He has my support."

Bradley said the intent entering the game was to throw to Shorts more, but that the combination of Peterson and safety coverage designed to negate Shorts made it difficult.

"It was tough to force it into him," Bradley said. "You had to look to other options. You saw that occur repeatedly on third down. With that, other guys have to stand up….

"I would say with all honesty we tried to do some things (to Shorts). There were sometimes he was open and we missed it, but we just have to continue to fight those battles."

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