JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Two weeks into the season, Jay Gruden and the Jaguars offense had fans excited.
Maybe this was going to be the season that Jacksonville would establish an offensive identity and be able to win its share of high-scoring games as the defense found its way.
Now, all of the excitement has gone.
Six games into the season, the offense has hit the skids. The teams ranks 28th in the NFL in points per game and lugs a 1-5 record and five-game losing streak into Sunday’s game at the Los Angeles Chargers. There have been few signs of hope over the past month
“There is a level of uh that you have to guard against,” said Jaguars coach Doug Marrone.
That "uh' that Marrone is talking about seems to be creeping in for some of the offensive players.
Can you blame them?
The Jaguars have failed to score 20 points in half of their games this season. The offense hasn’t been able to get the job done.
“You know we have quite a few games left and for us to get out of this rut, we have to stay together and we have to continue to push ourselves in practice, in meetings, and to try to get better and be relentless in our preparation,” said Gruden, the Jaguars' first-year offensive coordinator.
“And our work ethic, that can never change as a professional football player or as a coach. No matter what your record is, you have to go out and prepare, be relentless in it and that’s what we have to do, and we have to stay together. There can’t be any finger-pointing.”
For the offense to really get humming Gardner Minshew will have to take his play to the next level. In each of the Jaguars five losses this season, Minshew has had at least one turnover. Despite the early season struggles Minshew still believes he can get things turned around.
“No doubt. It’s these trials that produce perseverance and that produces endurance and there’s no shortcut to getting there,” Minshew said.
“You don’t have all easy times and then everything just all of a sudden is just going to work out for you. Sometimes you have to go through these tough spots and I think we’re growing a lot as a team right now. And I really do believe that we’re going to come out better at the other side of this.”
Marrone said earlier this week that he wouldn’t be afraid to make tough decisions if he needed to if he felt it was warranted. But he said that there were no immediate changes planned in terms of personnel or coaching spots.