The idea of trying of trying to get in a shootout with Tom Brady seems counterintuitive. The conventional wisdom is to try to run the ball, take time off the clock and keep Brady off the field. But the Patriots are vulnerable to the pass. Their defense is ranked 27th overall and 29th against the pass. And it looks like the Jaguars won't have Maurice Jones-Drew back to run the ball because he was riding the bike at practice Thursday. Also, Chad Henne showed last year he can throw against the Patriots' defense. He threw for 416 yards in the season opener for Miami in a 38-24 loss.
In his first public comments since being bypassed for the Wisconsin head coaching job, Jaguars defensive coordinator Mel Tucket said Thursday he interviewed for the position last Friday but isn't disappointed he wasn't hired. "No, I'm not,'' Tucker said when he was asked if he was disappointed. "I feel good about the process and how everything shook out. I talked to Coach (Barry) Alvarez (now the Wisconsin athletic director) this morning. I expressed my support for him and his program, and if there's anything I can ever do for the Badgers, let him know that I am always there for him.''
4. Closing in. We begin this pre-Patriots Fabulous Four with wide receiver Cecil Shorts, who this season has emerged as not only the surprise story on the Jaguars’ roster, but perhaps the team’s best offensive player this season – and perhaps the best player overall. What’s striking about Shorts isn’t so much that he is good – he was, after all, a fourth-round selection in the 2011 NFL Draft – but that he has become consistently explosive a year after struggling enough that some wondered if he would be on the roster this season. Shorts caught two passes last season, and while his one touchdown against San Diego showed athleticism and playmaking ability, there was little to indicate this sort of emergence.
Daryl Smith’s wait may be ending soon. At last. And the veteran outside linebacker said while that would mean playing a maximum of two games at the end of a difficult, disappointing Jaguars season, playing those two games is important for a basic, uncomplicated reason. He’s a football player, which makes playing important whatever the circumstance. "Some guys don’t get to come back – I’ve got a chance," Smith said Thursday as the Jaguars (2-12) prepared to play the AFC East Champion New England Patriots (10-4) at Everbank Field Sunday at 1 p.m. "I’m excited about it, and I’m looking forward to it."
The Jacksonville Jaguars announced on Wednesday that star running back Maurice Jones-Drew returned to the practice field for the first time since suffering a foot injury in a Week 7 loss to the Oakland Raiders. Even though Jones-Drew was running, the Jaguars still consider him a long-shot to play this Sunday against the New England Patriots. However, with the Jaguars at 2-12, they should not even consider putting him back on the field this season.