JACKSONVILLE, FL - SEPTEMBER 11: Head coach Jack Del Rio of the Jacksonville Jaguars watches the action during the season opener game against the Tennessee Titans at EverBank Field on September 11, 2011 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
The Jacksonville Jaguars got the football back late in the game and drove down the football field. The team was trailing the Carolina Panthers by 6 points, so they needed a touchdown to win the game. Blaine Gabbert completed a 9-yard pass to tight end Marcedes Lewis in the middle of the field and the play was review. The play wound up being upheld, but what transpired afterwards is absolutely inexcusable.
There was about 20 seconds left on the clock and as soon as the ball was set, it began to wind as it should. Gabbert was barking at center Brad Meester to hike the football, but for some reason it wasn't being hiked. The ball was finally hiked with around 3 seconds left in the game and the final pass of the game fell incomplete. Afterwards, Jack Del Rio was livid with the referees on the sideline, wonder why the clock began to run. Jack Del Rio clearly didn't know the rule.
After the game, Gabbert took the blame for the mix-up. "There was a little bit of confusion out there," Gabbert told reporters. "At the end of the day that falls on my shoulders and Brad (Meester's) shoulders. We have to get that ball snapped. We should have at least two shots in the end zone in that situation." Gabbert's right, they should have had two shots at the endzone, but he clearly knew that the clock would wind and was running, given how he reacted during the final play, barking at Meester to snap the football.
"I said, 'Look when he comes out, give us a chance to get to the line and get set as we were before you stopped the play.' That didn't happen. I communicated that. They put the demand on us to be razor sharp and we weren't," head coach Jack Del Rio explained after the game. It's not the referees job to give you a chance, however. Your team should know the situation and should be prepared to snap the football.
Del Rio ultimately took the blame for the botched ending, "It's my responsibility as a head coach. I've got to make sure that my offensive players [and] my offensive staff can come out of a review and execute in that situation.'' Del Rio continued, "I put that one on me because they didn't handle it right. That's my responsibility to have my team prepared in that situation."
It's absolutely inexcusible for a head coach in his 9th NFL season to not know what's going on in that situation. In the late game between the Atlanta Falcons and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, there was a similar situation where Falcons head coach Mike Smith called a time out. He knew the clock would run after the review was upheld, because it was a live play. The Jaguars didn't have any timeouts, but the coach should relay to his players the clock will run and they need to either have a play ready or spike the football.