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Time to tighten up


In fact, the Pro Bowl tight end said while the Jaguars were far from happy on Monday afternoon following a third consecutive loss, when reviewing game tape there wasn't as much to dislike as one might have originally believed.

"More good than bad," Lewis said a day after the Jaguars lost to the New Orleans Saints, 23-10, Sunday afternoon at EverBank Field. "We made strides in certain places, and we didn't execute things we normally do well.

"It's a matter of tightening up our execution all across the board. That will be the difference."

Lewis said the Jaguars felt like "garbage" following the loss, an assessment with which his teammates agreed Monday.

"What's the mood?" center Brad Meester asked with a laugh. "What do you think the mood is like? We're disappointed in the loss. We know we have the ability to do it. We just have to start executing better, finishing drives. We just have to continue to improve. That's what we need to work on.

"The mood is not great today. Nobody likes to lose."

Lewis said despite scoring 10 points – the third consecutive game the Jaguars have scored 10 or fewer points – the offense made "big leaps in certain areas," including getting the ball to wide receivers more in a position to make plays.

"When we did that, the things we normally do well, we didn't," Lewis said. "Once we do all that together, we'll really be rolling."

Lewis said the biggest problem offensively was in the base offense.

"In the base plays, we took turns breaking down," he said. "You don't want to do that. The things that you normally do well – normal, training-camp plays that we can basically do in our sleep – we took turns breaking down. We just have to tighten up as a team and work on our execution.

"Everything I just watched on that film is stuff that can be fixed. There's nothing drastic where it's like, 'Oh, my God – now we have to start over.' It was just little things here and there that added up. Football is about grown men going out and taking what they want and that's what it's going to come down to.

"We have to turn this thing around, period."

Also on Monday:

*Wide receiver Mike Thomas said the offense is still searching for chemistry with quarterback Blaine Gabbert, who made his second start Sunday. "You could just tell – the not having timing with Gabbert on certain plays – you could just tell on certain plays the chemistry wasn't really there," Thomas said. "At the same time, it's football. You have to be able to make plays. We have to get after it and execute." Thomas said the offense is "a work in progress, especially with Gabbert, trying to get a feel for how he runs things. Everybody's different. That being said, it's a process and we're going to continue to work. You have to stay with it, stay the course and put in extra work."

*Lewis said the biggest stride Gabbert needs to make is in footwork. "He's making the right read," Lewis said. "Once he tightens his footwork up and continues to work on that, we're going to be rolling. That's just practice. It's reps. It's timing. It's things that can be fixed."

*Defensive tackle Terrance Knighton said the defense got away from basics a bit against the Saints, something that contributed to allowing a season-high 177 yards rushing. "Guys maybe got a little nervous, a little cautious – trying to make plays," he said. "At times like that you have to do your job and execute your technique." Knighton said while it was a positive to hold the Saints to 23 points the defense was particularly bothered by allowing two long first-half touchdown drives. "Holding them to no touchdowns in the second half was a positive, but it's a different game if it's 17-10 going into the last possession of the game," he said. "That's what good teams do. They jump on you early, make you play catch-up and make you do things you don't want to do. That's what happened."

*Meester said the offensive line play was "good and bad" in spots. The Jaguars allowed three sacks on 45 pass plays, and also rushed for 104 yards on 17 carries – a 6.1-yards-per-carry average. "We did a decent job of protecting, but obviously there were spots where we had to be a lot better,'' Meester said. "We got him hit several times, so there's always the good and the bad. You have to strive to overcome those bad plays, because sometimes it's just those few plays that can have a huge impact on the game. You have to strive every week to not let those happen."

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