Sat, 24 Oct 2020

Wednesday Update: "Everybody's on the same page"

Jaguars
15 Oct 2020, 17:06 GMT+10

John Oehser

JACKSONVILLE - As Gardner Minshew II sees it, the approach remains positive.

And if that's not always the case during a four-game losing streak, the Jaguars' second-year quarterback said that's absolutely how it is around the organization this week.

Yes, the Jaguars have struggled in recent weeks.

But Minshew said that hasn't changed preparation - or attitude.

"I feel good with where the team's at," Minshew said Wednesday as the Jaguars (1-4) prepared to play the Detroit Lions (1-3) at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville Sunday at 1 p.m.

"A lot of time when stuff's going like it is you get a lot of finger-pointing and a lot of, 'Oh, I'm doing my job...' We really don't have that. Everybody's on the same page trying to find solutions. It's really all we can ask for. I couldn't be more happy with the guys we have, and I'm excited to keep pushing."

Jaguars wide receiver Chris Conley, among the team's more veteran offensive players, said he has been encouraged in recent weeks by young players' "willingness to stay locked in."

"Obviously, we have a very young team," Conley said. "When you tell guys, 'Hey, guys, we're this close (holds fingers closer together) to being very successful - we just need to be more disciplined, we just need to rise to the occasion in this moment, we just need to rely on each other in this aspect ...' -- it's hard to get someone who hasn't seen it to believe you. It's hard to get someone who hasn't been there to trust you.

"One of the things I've noticed about these young guys is they're tough. They're hanging in there. They're working extremely hard. We don't have to coach effort here. It's really just raising our level of discipline and of execution.

"That's what we're doing. They're handling it just about as well as they can. We just have to make sure everybody's in the right place."

Minshew, speaking on a videoconference Wednesday, discussed his passing attempts per game - an issue that has come into focus this week. Minshew has thrown more than 40 passes in each game of the Jaguars' current four-game losing streak. The Jaguars are 0-6 over the past two seasons when Minshew has thrown 40 or more passes.

Minshew completed 19 of 20 passes for three touchdowns in the Jaguars' Week 1 victory over the Colts, and offensive coordinator Jay Gruden on Wednesday said Minshew ideally would throw between about 25 and 30 passes per game.

"I don't care; whatever I need to do," Minshew said. "I've been on teams where I've thrown it 20 times a game. I've been on teams where I've thrown it 60 times a game. Whatever we need to do, I'm willing to do."

NOTABLE I

Gruden on Wednesday called the offense's red-zone performance against Houston Sunday, "very disappointing" - adding that the unit must "stay balanced down there for sure." The Jaguars are 13th in the NFL at 66.7 red-zone efficiency, scoring two touchdowns on four possessions inside the 20 Sunday - but failing to score a touchdown or a field goal on two others. "Obviously, we'd been very efficient down there," Gruden said. "It gets tough down there a lot of times. Some of these defenses, they've got the edges secure. They've got the safety down there. It's hard to run the ball. There are jam fronts. You want to try to throw it a little bit, but we do have to do a better job down of trying to pound it in there. That will be a focal point. But there are some looks that are very good to throw the ball. We've got to win our one-on-one matchups. We've got to throw the ball out there in tight windows and make some plays. It didn't happen for us on Sunday, obviously."

QUOTABLE I

Minshew on rookie wide receiver Collin Johnson, who has receptions for 47 yards and a touchdown this season - including three receptions for 30 yards and a touchdown Sunday: "Collin's done a great job. He came in here and he has known what to do from Day 1. He was really in the playbook. He's a guy who's just going to get better with reps. The more game action he sees, the more comfortable he will be. I think he's going to be a really, really good player for us. It's just a matter of getting him that experience. We have a lot of faith in Collin."

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