Del Rio Preaches Hard Work Will Pay Off


Posted Oct 31, 2011


The Jaguars are having problems at nearly every position on the offensive side of the ball. The line is blocking well enough, the quarterback isn't trusting the line, the receivers are dropping the ball and the running back is fumbling. Still, they haven't quit and their coach is preaching more hard work.

The Jaguars go into their bye week with the motto of "keep fighting."

That is what coach Jack Del Rio told the players they have to do after a 24-14 loss to the Houston Texans left them with a 2-6 record going into the bye week. The travel to Indianapolis in two weeks.

The Jaguars trail the Texans by three games in the AFC South race and have lost control of their destiny at the halfway mark.

Sunday was a particularly frustrating day for quarterback Blaine Gabbert.

"It's not just one person," Del Rio said of Gabbert, who didn't get much help from his receivers, who dropped three passes. "Obviously that position gets the most attention. That goes with the responsibility, just like my job does. The head coach and the quarterback are two guys that you put the wins and losses (on). The bottom line is, you've got to find a way to be good enough. It wasn't good enough today."

Offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter said that Gabbert took a step back the previous week, and he took a longer step back in Sunday. Gabbert refused to blame the rib injury he suffered in the first quarter, but he completed only 10 of 30 passes for 97 yards and threw two interceptions while recording a 26.7 passer rating.

Gabbert, who suffered bruised ribs, returned after missing a series.

And for Del Rio, who faces a mandate from owner Wayne Weaver to make the playoffs, the loss to Houston could be the beginning of the end of his nine-year tenure as the Jaguars' head coach.

"We are battling hard," Del Rio said. "We are working our butts off. We'd sure like to have a little more validation for the type of effort that's being put forth. We are where we are. That's what we've earned through the halfway mark."

Unless the Texans start losing, the Jaguars will only have pride to fight for in the second half of the season.

The Jaguars did have one play Sunday that made all the highlight reels.

Linebacker Clint Session hit Houston quarterback Matt Schaub to cause a fumble, and Matt Roth picked it up and tossed a lateral to Terrence Knighton, who pitched a lateral to Session. In all, Jaguars advanced the ball from Houston's 30-yard line to the 8. The play set up Gabbert's 5-yard touchdown pass to Jason Hill for a touchdown that tie the game, 7-7, with 5:41 left in the first half.

But the Texans outscored the Jaguars 17-7 in the second half as Jacksonville ended a string of six consecutive wins going into the bye week.


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