From his comments in his post-game interview yesterday, it sounded very familiar for Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley. He was adamant about his team’s ability to bounce back and how much learning would come from watching the video of the Patriots 51-17 thumping of his team.
Reading those comments was one thing. Seeing his expression as he spoke was another. Bradley was not happy one bit. While the words were familiar, his expression was not. He was a bit perplexed, admittedly discouraged but short of saying he was mad, let’s just say he wasn’t happy.
At Monday’s press conference after seeing the video of the loss, Bradley wasn’t any less happy but did see some things that surprised him.
“What as disappointing was we didn’t play up to our capabilities. From 23-3 onward, we got out of character,” he explained.
That’s something that has happened in the last three years on a Bradley coached team. No matter how much he stresses “Do you job” when things start going downhill, the players start to try and do too much and things get really out of hand.
Bradley knows his team has to play well to win a game in the NFL and nearly perfect to beat one of the top teams. He admits not only did the Jaguars not play well, they got away from who they are and what they’re capable of doing.
“Our margin of error right now is tight,” is how he explained what happened as things started to unravel. From a less talented team three years ago, Bradley know that even at their best, they were still going to take their lumps. But this year, while their best might not compete in the NFL at the highest level, it should make them competitive every week, even against a team as experienced and as talented as New England.
“Biggest thing for this week is get back to who we are,” Bradley said. Whoever is in there, get back to who we are.” That’s a reference to the injury situation for the Jaguars who might have 22 starters who can compete every week, but with the rash of injuries here in the first quarter of the season, they’ll rely on what limited depth they have. This week they’ll evaluate Luke Joeckel, Andre Branch, Julius Thomas and Dwayne Gratz, all starters who haven’t seen action in a couple of weeks. Thomas hasn’t played since the first preseason game.
It was impressive to see the character of the team on display between week one and week two. They were a “no-show” against Carolina but were able to regroup in week two and beat the Dolphins.
“They are a prideful group. We will come back,” he said of his team’s resiliency. “I know how they will respond. No doubt they will come ready to play.”
They’ll need that kind of attitude this week as they go on the road to Indianapolis and Tampa Bay as part of this three-week road stretch of the schedule.
We’ll have full coverage on News4Jax and 6 and again on Jaguars All-Access with Ryan Davis as our guest.