JACKSONVILLE – Senior writer John Oehser's five Wednesday takeaways as the Jaguars prepare to play the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, Sunday
1)Out on the island.We begin Wednesday takeaways on the opponent, with a focus this week on Darrelle Revis. Long one of the NFL's top cover corners, Revis often covers the opponent's top receiver one-on-one throughout the game. While speculation this week is Revis could cover second-year veteran Allen Robinson, Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles said Revis' approach may not be clear until after kickoff. "They do a little bit of both," Bortles said. "Revis is matched at times, he hasn't at other times so I think we'll go out there within the first series and figure out what their plan is." However the Jets use Revis, Bortles said throwing in his direction is a challenge. "He's an aggressive corner," Bortles said. "He loves to play man, he loves to be in press coverage and he's good at it. …The biggest thing is timing and accuracy. It's definitely important every week and it's certainly important this week with two experienced guys on both sides with those two (Revis and veteran Antonio Cromartie). I think it'll have to be good, quick decision-making and getting an accurate ball there on time."
Images from Wednesdays practice as the Jaguars prepare to face the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium in Week 9.
2)Out on the island, part II.Like Bortles, Robinson doesn't yet know Revis' assignment Sunday – and like Bortles, Robinson on Wednesday spoke respectfully of the four-time All-Pro selection. But while Revis' ability to shut down receivers has caused some to refer to his side of the field as "Revis Island," Robinson said he doesn't want to overemphasize Sunday's task. "With him being probably the best corner of my generation – and one of the best to do it – I think it's a pretty cool opportunity," Robinson said. "But I can't think too much of it. I just have to take it like I do every week. I just have to prepare throughout the week and make sure I'm ready Sunday." If Revis covers Robinson, that could mean Cromartie covering Jaguars wide receiver Allen Hurns. Cromartie struggled against Oakland last week, allowing two touchdown passes.
3)Consistency needed.Bortles on Wednesday talked about the offense at midseason, offering the accurate assessment that the unit has shown good signs with room to improve. "It's cool, because you see where we've been good," he said. "We've been good at every area at some point in the season; we just haven't been able to put them all together." Bortles said more red-zone consistency is needed, as well as more third-down consistency. "We've shown glimpses and potential of doing it every week," he said. Bortles, who played through a shoulder injury in the first half of the season, said he had no limitations on the area in the final weeks before the bye, but said the bye was "good for everybody to recover." He also addressed the chemistry between him and tight end Julius Thomas, who missed the first four games of the season with a hand injury and has 10 receptions for 102 yards and a touchdown in three games since. "It will only continue to grow with reps, continue to work with him, continue to talk through things, what he's seeing and what we're trying to do," Bortles said. "That will definitely get better as we go." Bortles said much of the issue between him and Thomas against Buffalo the week before the bye was miscommunication. "It was one reason or another," Bortles said. "There wasn't a whole lot of sight adjustment things where somebody came and he was supposed to snap a route off and didn't. It was really miscommunication of us continuing to try and get on the same page."
4)Staying ready.Credit Jaguars cornerback Davon House for handling his situation professionally. House, signed as an unrestricted free agent from Green Bay in the offseason, started the first six games before being replaced by Dwayne Gratz before Buffalo. While House said the move hasn't made him more motivated – "My thing is, 'How do you motivate someone who is already motivated?''' he said – he respects how Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley handled the situation. "One of the things they said was they know I can do it," House said. "They've seen spurts of me doing those things, being aggressive on the field and making those plays. That's one of the reasons I haven't been down or ready to throw in the towel here: I know where Gus' heart is at and that he wants what's best for me.'' House was demoted after a Week 6 loss to Houston in which he played well for three quarters before allowing two fourth-quarter touchdown passes to wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins. "I look at it as three quarters of playing my best football, then two plays in the fourth quarter not playing my best," he said. "Everyone has a bad game. My bad game happened and I got sat, but I'll be ready when my name is called." Asked if the move hurt his confidence, House said, "Not at all. If I was playing bad, then yeah it would. I know what I'm doing. As long as my film says I'm playing good, then I'm playing good. If I'm not, then I'm not."
5)Big week for a big guy.Consider this an important week for Sen'Derrick Marks. The veteran defensive tackle played the last two games before the bye, and not unexpectedly said Wednesday he still feels the effects of offseason reconstructive knee surgery. "It's sometimes where I don't have the strength, or feel the weakness in my leg, but I'll continue the process and try to keep my leg strong," he said. Marks' repetitions continue to be monitored as he returns. He played 32 plays in his first game back against Houston on Week 6 and 38 against Buffalo in Week 7. While Bradley said it's unlikely Marks will play more than 40 plays Sunday, he said, "This will be a good week for Sen'Derrick; I think it will be a challenging week. They're a heavy double-team offense, so this will be a week where we really find out where he's at."