Jaguars 'Concerned About Protection' Against Colts

Sept. 23, 2012; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert (11) is run out of bounds in the first half by Indianapolis Colts defender Jerell Freeman (50) at at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Thomas J. Russo-US PRESSWIRE

The Jacksonville Jaguars offense was a bit conservative during the most part of their 22-17 win over the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday, which of course drew criticism that the coaching staff didn't trust quarterback Blaine Gabbert. Those criticism stemmed from the Jaguars running the ball three straight times late in the game against the Colts, in an effort to force Indianapolis to burn their timeouts.

"That was important," Jaguars head coach Mike Mularkey said after the game. "We burned the timeout."

Jaguars offensive coordinator Bob Bratkowski insists it had nothing to do with not trusting their quarterback, but concerns with the pass protection.

"That's not it," Bratkowski told reporters when asked about not trusting Gabbert. "He was knocked to the ground a number of times. We were trying to prevent him getting back there and him not seeing somebody and getting blindsided and having the ball on the ground, so we thought we would play it conservative. Is it going to be that way every week? No. We're not playing Robert Mathis every week. That could be the difference.''

The Jaguars offensive line allowed a sack against the Colts on Sunday, but Gabbert was hit at least three more times in the game, quite a few times from the right side of the line.

"We were a little concerned about the protection,'" Bratkowski told reporters after the game. "We were having protection issues. We didn't want to have a sack-fumble, those types of things. We played it a little conservative. It was nothing more than we wanted to make sure we didn't get a turnover. We wanted to play good field position football."

The Jaguars offense hasn't looked quite the same since the first half of Week 1 against the Minnesota Vikings, when the Jaguars lost both left guard Eben Britton and right tackle Cameron Bradfield to leg injuries. The team hopes to have at least one of the two back for their Week 4 matchup with the Cincinnati Bengals, but until then the offense is stuck with some struggling players on the line.

On a positive note, Jaguars undrafted rookie center Mike Brewster had a solid game at the left guard position and while he made some mistakes, didn't seem like he was overwhelmed.

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