Cecil Shorts voices frustration in Jaguars offense

Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports

After Sunday's loss to the Arizona Cardinals, Jaguars wide receiver Cecil Shorts voiced his frustration with the offense.

The Jacksonville Jaguars looked like they were going to compete in a shootout with the Arizona Cardinals early on, picking up 14 points in the first quarter, but shortly after that the offense came to a screeching halt. Drives and first downs became laborious despite having good field position and the closest the team came to scoring again was a 60-yard field goal try before the half.

This naturally left some of the Jaguars players frustrated.

"I'm not holding my tongue any longer," Jaguars wide receiver Cecil Shorts told Ryan O'Halloran of The Florida Times-Union.

"I'm very disappointed; very disappointed in that ... very, very, very, very disappointed in that," Shorts continued. "To have one target until seven minutes left in the fourth quarter? One target. That's [bleeping] dumb. That's dumb, period."

According to ESPN's box score, Shorts was  targeted just five times all game, catching two passes for 22 yards. By ESPN's box score, four other receivers had just as many or more targets, including rookie Ace Sanders, tight ends Clay Harbor and Marcedes Lewis, and recently signed receiver Kerry Taylor.

Shorts continued on to say he's going to speak with head coach Gus Bradley and offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch about his issue, but while some would view this as a player being whiny, Shorts definitely has a point.

Shorts has 50 receptions for 629 yards on the season, being targeted 95 times, which is by far the most on the team. The past two weeks however, Shorts has been targeted just nine times combined. Outside of the game he missed against the Denver Broncos and the past two weeks, Shorts has been targeted at least 10 times per game, and being the team's best receiver he should be.

While Shorts can voice his frustration with the coaching staff, there isn't much they can do because ultimately it's Chad Henne who's deciding who's targeted when the ball is snapped. That's where the bigger issue lies, because Henne is so apt to check the ball down, despite the misnomer that he likes to throw the ball down the field.

In Sunday's game against the Cardinals, Henne threw the ball 42 times with only 15 passes traveling more than five yards in the air. For a receiver like Shorts, if the quarterback is too quick to check the ball down, it's going to severely limit his usefulness.

Realistically there isn't much that can change, outside of limiting Henne's options on a play to just Cecil Shorts.

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