Jaguars Offensive Coordinator Press Taylor met with the media Thursday morning during his weekly Thursday media availability as the team prepares for its week three, one p.m. matchup versus the Houston Texans on Sunday in Jacksonville. With the team looking to turn the page from its week two defeat to the Kansas City Chiefs, much of today's conversation surrounded last weeks' play of the offensive line, including rookie Anton Harrison. Taylor took a moment to address his (lack of) concern on the state of the Jaguars rookie tackle.
Yeah, and [Anton’s] not the first player to ever have a tough time with Chris Jones. So you know, certainly it’s early in his career and you know at times we put him in a tough situation and that’s on us as coaches. We got to do a great job making sure we’re protecting matchups and doing everything.
And you know, that kind of gets you a little bit, they’re a big pressure team and you’re trying to protect against the pressures. And then all of a sudden, you realize, you have the personnel match up at times. So you, you’re picking and choosing how you want to deal with it at certain times. But, you know, I think our offensive line is continuing to come together. You know, it’s week two, or we just finished week, two getting in the week, three weeks, expecting growth. And you see as you can mix and match pieces through camp. You get Ben Bartch back in here. There’s, there’s some gelling that I think comes together, that’s to be expected. But I think everyone on our unit in general - offensive line, the offensive unit is, you know, we all think we need better in week three than we did week two. For sure.
If there’s a way to provide help in some way, shape, or form. If there’s things you can do schematically to take advantage or to protect certain matchups and that’s because you got to do. But playing right, tackle in the NFL is tough. There’s a lot of really, really good pass rushers that happen to be on that side nowadays. One of the things we knew about Anton coming up that we vetted from, you know, people in Oklahoma and just background and growing up, was we felt like this was a kid that mentally would be tough. It’s going to be hard as a rookie often attack on the NFL as rookie offensive tackle in the NFL. You know, you could name the position, you’re going to see tough guys every other week or so. But we felt like this was something that Anton would be able to handle as you went through the bumps and bruises being a rookie offensive lineman.
While the coaching staff, Taylor primarily, has kind-of taken a beating from fans as of late as to why more help wasn't given to Anton Harrison versus Chris Jones, the second portion of this statement has not been widely discussed by many. When evaluating Sunday's dominance by Chris Jones, few fans and media have mentioned their original opinions of subpar interior line play from week one. With the additional injuries added to Brandon Scherff and Luke Fortner heading into week two, the coaching staff’s initial game plan was likely to provide the interior line help, while hoping the tackles could win more than they lose.
Texans Stingley Injured:
Taylor also commented on today's report that Texans corner Derek Stingley Jr. injuring his hamstring in practice this morning and how that may change Houston's game plan schematically. Per reports, former Jaguar Shaq Griffin will likely be the replacement on Sunday for Stingley.
Veteran corner Shaq Griffin expected to be primary replacement for injured #Texans corner Derek Stingley Jr. @KPRC2— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) September 21, 2023
A former Pro Bowl selection with #Seahawks cut by #Jaguars in March , Griffin has been targeted twice this season, allowing one catch for 29 yards. Griffin has 329…
I mean, they’re still gonna play the same thing. In fact, Shaq came up in Seattle, came up in this coverage scheme. So, it’s something he’s familiar with, he played in the Indy game, you see out there in that game as well? So a lot of these guys have played whether it’s in this system in Houston, getting implemented for the first time. A lot of these guys have come up in the system, that’s really where Shaq kind of cut his teeth playing this style of coverage. So it’s something he is very familiar with obviously and he’s done it for a long time.
Zay Jones still day to day:
As Coach Pederson mentioned on Wednesday, the team will continue to monitor Zay Jones’ injury rehab, as he is day by day with a knee injury. When asked how this could impact Sunday's game plan Taylor provided this update.
There’s a possibility [that Zay could miss Sunday]. You know, we’re fortunate and that we have versatile pieces. We have guys like Tim (Jones) guys, like Ag (Jamal Agnew) that provide different elements. And then with our tight-end room, being able to mix and match 12 personnel and 13 to give us some of the elements we get. From a coaching perspective, it’s certainly a lot easier to know early on if you guys playing or not. If it’s a guy that ends up being a game-time decision or something happens on game day, that’s where it gets tough to mix and match and change your game plan as you go. So, we’re doing everything we can to communicate with the training staff to get a feel for where Zay is and what we expect of him. But we’ll continue to be able to massage our planning either way.
#Jaguars WR Zay Jones (knee) was not seen outside at the media availability portion of practice.Neither was S Antonio Johnson (hamstring)— Demetrius Harvey (@Demetrius82) September 21, 2023
OLB Josh Allen (shoulder) - orange non-contact
S Andrew Wingard (shoulder) - orange non-contact
DL Foley Fatukasi (shoulder) - Back at prax
Losing Jones on Sunday would be a moderate loss, but to Taylor's point the wide receiver position may simply be the best position for this team to be down a player, should an injury occur. This may also be a potential Elijah Cooks week, perhaps? Cooks provides a larger frame for endzone targets, at a minimum.
Jaguars-Texans Thursday injury report. RG Brandon Scherff back full. pic.twitter.com/4mMRdJ6PXl— Michael DiRocco (@ESPNdirocco) September 21, 2023
Offense failed to carry their weight:
When asked if there was any frustration on how the offense played versus Kansas City, Taylor touched on their lack of red zone efficiency, and how that may have altered the perception of the overall gameplay outside of the building.
I think if you're able to punch a couple of red zone opportunities the day feels very differently. I think the biggest thing we talked about as a unit together on Monday, the biggest thing was we felt like, we let down the two other units on our team. You know, we feel like special teams and defense gave us opportunities to win the game and it's on offense. We didn't carry our weight and do our part. So that's that's pretty much the worst feeling. So you feel like you let down the rest of the team.
The team will get an opportunity to right this wrong, versus a division opponent on Sunday.