Inexcusable, that was one of the keywords Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer used to describe his team’s play on Sunday’s 37-20 loss to the Houston Texans, and working back from such a performance will be the key to success moving forward.
Throughout the day on Sunday, Meyer’s Jaguars looked unprepared, lost, outmatched and got outplayed thoroughly in his NFL debut. Rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence didn’t inspire much confidence, either.
Even while throwing three touchdown passes on the day, Lawrence threw three ill-advised interceptions and was inaccurate on far too many others. Simply put, as Meyer stated, the team got their “ass kicked.”
Asked following the game whether or not the postgame feelings was that of being “shell shocked,” Meyer said he didn’t know that word, but he does believe in the team.
“I don’t really know that word other than we’ve all got our ass kicked before,” Meyer said in postgame.
“Let’s tighten up and go. I believe in that team, I believe in our staff, and come back to work. The good thing is you’re going to earn your captain stripes, and leadership stripes as a coach and leaders on the team. I believe in that. I believe in those guys.”
The Jaguars will have to work through a lot of noise this week in order to tighten up their football team. For the players, staff and coaches, yesterday’s performance featured far too many self-inflicted wounds. On the day, Jacksonville was penalized 10 times for 82 yards, seven of the penalties occurred during the first half of the contest.
Perhaps most damning, however, were the errors in simply lining up correctly, having the correct number of people in the huddle and on the field. Those mistakes cannot happen again, Meyer said.
“It’s all the above,” Meyer said when asked if it was a lack of preparation and mental errors on the players. “It’s inexcusable, the things that need to be fixed. You know, three preseason games, you’d think we’d have that fixed. So that’s something that we’re going to — I would ‘guesstimate’ you would not see that again. That’s inexcusable.”
As for the team’s rookie quarterback in Lawrence, he would complete just 28 out of 51 of his passes for three touchdowns and three interceptions. His final touchdown would go to Marvin Jones Jr. with just five seconds remaining on the clock.
Though his performance left much to be desired, Meyer isn’t worried about his young signal-caller and believes he will be just fine.
“I love Trevor. We all do. Trevor is just going to get better and better and better. (He) had a great week of work,” Meyer said. “Offensive football is about 11 guys doing their job, and the great offenses we’ve all witnessed and we’ve all been a part of are when 11 guys are doing their job and executing, and that didn’t happen. So Trevor is going to be great.”
The Jaguars have a long season yet to be played. The first game cannot be overlooked, but moving on from such a performance sooner rather than later will have to be its mindset moving forward. Meyer believes this, and has been warned for a while that an NFL season is a marathon, not a sprint.
“So calm down, relax, and — not relax, but onward, soldier. Move on, and let’s go Monday. Get back to work,” he said. “We’re still a work in progress, as you see. I did not anticipate that today. I thought our guys worked really hard. I believe deeply in this team, and we worked our tails off. Line up and go again.”
Jacksonville will get its opportunity to line up and go again on Sunday against the Denver Broncos for its home opener.