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Jaguars hope to catch a little magic against Titans

Posted: December 20, 2013 - 11:32pm  |  Updated: December 20, 2013 - 11:53pm
Jaguars receiver Mike Brown makes a catch at the sidelines after a 12-yard pass from Chad Henne on Oct. 20 at EverBank Field.  Bob.Mack@jacksonville.com
Bob.Mack@jacksonville.com
Jaguars receiver Mike Brown makes a catch at the sidelines after a 12-yard pass from Chad Henne on Oct. 20 at EverBank Field.

Jaguars offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch wasn’t buying quarterback Chad Henne’s spin job when it comes to the team’s ravaged receiving corps.

Henne stated that without a No. 1 receiver, the Jaguars (4-10) would be harder for Tennessee’s defense to figure out on Sunday when the Titans (5-9) visit EverBank Field. He did describe the position as a “revolving door” this season and said it’s a tough situation before offering the optimistic outlook.

“The best thing about it is they can’t really pick on who our No. 1 receiver is,” Henne said. “We’re just designing plays that are progression reading. Whoever gets open is going to get the football.”

The Jaguars are without Cecil Shorts (hernia surgery), Justin Blackmon (suspension), Stephen Burton (concussion), Jeremy Ebert (ankle) and Stephen Williams (Achilles). All five are finished for the season.

“I think that we don’t necessarily have a No. 1 wide receiver in terms of targets,” Fisch said. “Right now, we’re spreading the ball around to whomever is open rather than sitting there like in Detroit and saying how do we get [Lions receiver] Calvin [Johnson] the ball or in Houston, how do we get [Texans receiver] Andre [Johnson] the ball?”

The Jaguars will have to make due with a receiving corps led by Mike Brown, Ace Sanders and Kerry Taylor against Tennessee’s 10th-ranked pass defense. That trio has 75 career receptions for 855 yards combined with two touchdown grabs.

Shorts caught 66 passes for 777 yards and three touchdowns this season in 13 games.

“This is an opportunity,” Brown said. “It’s unfortunate it has happened the way that it has, but it’s an opportunity for us. We have to stay within ourselves. Nobody has to go out and be Cecil Shorts or any of those guys. We have a job to do and have to focus being at our personal best.”

Fisch was encouraged by how the receivers performed without Shorts in Sunday’s 27-20 loss to Buffalo. The Bills led 20-10, but the Jaguars were able to tie the game at 20 and get in position to score a tying touchdown in the final minute.

“I think it’s pretty neat what our guys did,” Fisch said. “I think it was probably our best game in terms of responding in a situation. It was 20-10 and we didn’t flinch.”

Taylor, who joined the team on Nov. 4, flinched early.

He dropped an easy catch on third-and-4 that would’ve given the Jaguars a first down around the Buffalo 8-yard line early in the first quarter. The Jaguars settled for a field goal.

However, Taylor responded.

He finished with four catches, including two that converted long third-down situations.

“I had one of the easiest drops that I’ve had in my career in the first quarter,” Taylor said. “That’s going to happen from time to time. I had to shake it off and come back and make plays down the stretch. I think I played pretty well after that first one.”

Jaguars coach Gus Bradley has been pleased with how the receivers have performed in practice this week. His fear is that the position undergoes another injury in the final two games.

“I think when they’re playing their positions it looks pretty good,” Bradley said. “What we’ve also had to do this week is move some guys around just in case something happens. Where we have a guy that can move around. That’s Mike Brown for us. It was Jeremy Ebert, but now that we’re going to miss him we have to do that with Mike Brown and then look at some other options on having to move guys.”

 

Hays Carlyon: (904) 359-4377

TITANS AT JAGUARS

When: 1 p.m. Sunday.

Where: EverBank Field.

TV/Radio: CBS/WOKV (690 AM, 104.5 FM).

Records: Titans 5-9, Jaguars 4-10.

Comments (1)

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Davethecaveman
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Davethecaveman 12/21/13 - 09:50 am
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Our D can step it up and make

Our D can step it up and make the difference. Go Jaguars !

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