Jaguars News | Jacksonville Jaguars - jaguars.com John Oehser
Senior writer John Oehser examines Head Coach Urban Meyer's press conference following the Jaguars' 37-7 loss to the Los Angeles Rams in a 2021 Week 13 game at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif., Sunday
1. Confidence a focus. Meyer has been strikingly candid throughout much of his first season as the Jaguars' head coach, and he remained so in the wake of a fourth consecutive loss Sunday. The loss marked the 10th time in 12 games this season they have trailed by 10 more points - and with the offense averaging 10 points per game since a Week 7 bye, Meyer was asked about confidence offensively and overall. "I wish I had all the answers, and I'd give them to you," Meyer said. "I don't know the answers other than I know this, that you're going to keep swinging and keep working together. Is there a confidence issue? Any time you're not successful, that's something we've got to fight through. Confidence is a result of success, and right now we're struggling with that." Meyer discussed confidence and mindset throughout his post-game availability, adding: "I told the players just after the game, when you lose it plays with your mind. You start searching for what's the answers, what can you do better, what can we do better, and I think that's where my mindset is right now. What can we do better? We've got five more opportunities, and some opportunities I think to win some games. There's no simple answer or everybody would do it."
2. An injury issue. A major Jaguars topic following Sunday's game remained running back James Robinson - and specifically, his lack of participation following a first-quarter lost fumble that led to the Rams' first touchdown. Robinson, who didn't play for 16 plays following a lost fumble against the Atlanta Falcons last week, didn't play for 20 plays following Sunday's fumble against the Rams. Meyer said Robinson's reduced playing time Sunday and last week was because he remains hampered by heel/knee issues that have reduced his practice time since sustaining a heel injury in a Week 8 loss at Seattle. "He's still not 100 percent," Meyer said. "He's not practicing during the week. James is as good a guy, a tough a guy, team player as you've got, that I've ever been around. Your heart bleeds for the guy just because he's not able to do what he does well. He hasn't been that way since Seattle. He's not able to practice, but he wants to play, and he's still a very good player. You've just got to take care of the ball." Meyer said the coaching staff discussed not playing Robinson Sunday but that "everybody felt that he was the best option right now, even not 100 percent." Meyer also was asked Sunday if Robinson would have returned immediately following Sunday's fumble had he been 100 percent healthy. "Oh, sure," Meyer said, adding - as he did last week following the loss to the Falcons - that details of playing time is determined by the position coach. "I don't get too involved," Meyer said. "I don't micromanage that. I know he's been dinged up. ... James is unique because he is fighting injury. If someone is not producing and you sit him down, that's a whole different conversation, but this is really injury based."
3. A down-and-distance issue. The Jaguars' offensive issues in recent weeks have been well-documented, with Sunday's 197 yards the third time in six games the unit has produced fewer than 220 yards. Meyer said the issue Sunday could be traced specifically to slow starts to drives, with the offense producing 72 yards on 23 first-down plays. Thirteen of the Jaguars' first-down players produced one yard or less. "First down was the biggest problem today, first down and second and 10, second and 11," Meyer said.
4. "Searching for answers." Meyer on Sunday was very much aware that some of his answers sounded similar to past answers following previous losses. That's the reality when you're 2-10 with issues that may not be solvable until the offseason. "We're searching for answers right now," he said. "How do you find answers? You go to work, and we're going to go back to work. I don't mean to be redundant, but there's nothing else I can tell you. Is it frustrating for everybody involved? Absolutely. Are we better than that? Absolutely are better than that. Do we have better players than that? Yes. Do we have better coaches than that? Yes. Now it's time to go produce."