BAGSHOT, England – Here's this week's Wednesday wrapup.
On Wednesday mornings during the 2013 regular season, jaguars.com senior writer John Oehser sets the stage for the Jaguars' Wednesday media access by previewing major topics facing the team that day. Each Wednesday afternoon/evening, he breaks down what was learned from Jaguars players and coaches that day.
Because the time change from England to Jacksonville meant that jaguars.com would have fresh stories throughout Wednesday morning, there was no Wednesday "primer."
But here's the wrapup of Wednesday's five topics as the Jaguars prepare for the San Francisco 49ers at Wembley Stadium in London . . .
1. Will Henne start?The answer is "yes," Chad Henne will start at quarterback against San Francisco. That leads to the question, "For how long?" The answer appears to be, "Until something changes." Henne, who started the last two games with regular-season-opening starter Blaine Gabbert out with a hamstring injury, will start against San Francisco, Head Coach Gus Bradley said Wednesday. Bradley also said the team likes what Henne has done the last few weeks and, "We want to continue to build on that and see where it takes us." Henne threw for more than 300 yards each of the last two games.
2. Jones-Drew explains . . .With running back Maurice Jones-Drew opting not to speak with the media following a loss to San Diego, this was going to be a topic Wednesday. Jones-Drew typically is cooperative after games, and speculation abounded that the decision to stay silent was about Jones-Drew's season-low nine carries. He said that wasn't the case, that it was more about the team's performance as a whole and about the team taking a step back during a 24-6 loss. Bradley said that he talked to Jones-Drew shortly after the game, and their interaction "was off the charts. We talked Sunday night before I got the phone call (about the passing of his father) and we texted back and forth and I loved it. I thought he was spot-on with his comments. It's so important to him. In Maurice's mind it's not how we do it's he just wants to do it. He wants to be a part of this and all come together."
3. Will Shorts play?Jaguars wide receiver Cecil Shorts III played through the pain of a sprained SC joint Sunday, and said while the area still bothers him, he feels a bit better this Wednesday than last Wednesday. While he did not practice on Wednesday, he said this week's situation likely will be similar to last week, when he practiced sparingly and was listed as questionable on the injury report. He said the bye week being next week will help, and he will be able to rest the area for a long stretch to try to be healthy for the second half of the season.
4. A lack of spirit.Bradley said he may have been a bit too harsh Sunday when he said after the loss to San Diego that the team lacked effort at times. "Sometimes you have to be careful and I know that effort is a dangerous word, to say that we did not play with effort," Bradley said. "I think what I looked and what I felt was not necessarily effort but more spirit, guys running around chasing plays, playing with enthusiasm. That's all part of it. I know our guys played with effort. They were sore and tired at the end of the game. I guess I have to be careful on how I state that." Defensive tackle Sen'Derrick Marks, for one, had no problem with Bradley's post-game comments. "The reaction was exactly what he said," Marks said. "It seemed like we were flat from the beginning of the game. It didn't seem like we had as much intensity as we usually play with. We didn't play well, we didn't get better. Our coaches always want us to get better, no matter what we're going through, no matter what happens, get better. It didn't seem like we made that step last week."
5. Reunited in London.The most memorable moment of Wednesday's preparation came shortly after practice began, when Bradley rejoined the team. Bradley flew to Minnesota Monday to be with his family following the passing Sunday of his father, Roy James Bradley. Players applauded his return, and Bradley said in retrospect he made the correct decision. "When I found out the news my heart was torn," he said. "I know I have an obligation to our organization to be the leader. My heart was torn because I know I have an obligation to be the leader of our family as well. It was torn. We went back and forth. That's where I give credit to (Jaguars General Manager) Dave (Caldwell) and (Owner) Shad (Khan), because they said there is no discussion what we have to do here. Shad made his plane available. My sister and I flew back together and arrived in Rochester about ten to fifteen minutes away from my home, went right to see my mom, went to the funeral home, had long late night conversations and then got on a plane in Minneapolis and flew (to London) last night."