There is plenty to talk about lately here in Jacksonville. The team’s about face - winning two of its last three games and two in a row on the road. The 20-year anniversary of the franchise was celebrated on Saturday. The rebirth of the running game seems to be alive and well. The defense is finally working together as a unit, limiting turnovers and applying more pressure to the opposing quarterback. For a guy who smiles a lot and speaks the gospel of positive reinforcement, Gus Bradley’s cheeks must be getting tired right about now.
Now, the Jaguars go to Cleveland and take a shot at knocking off the Browns, a team that is improving and will be a force in the NFL sooner than later. Like Bradley, the franchise has a rookie head coach in Rob Chudzinski who is making the Dawg Pound and diehard followers believers in the rebuild that is taking place.
And to add a little fuel to the fire, Chudzinski was interviewed by the Jaguars as one of the candidates to replace Jack Del Rio. Yes, the coaching carousel is a small, small world.
While Jacksonville is 2-9 and Cleveland is 4-7, there is a lot to like about this game.
The weather may play a huge factor in this game. According to weather reports, The forecast for Sunday calls for a high of 37 with a 30 percent chance of rain. That means more than ever - the ground game must be in full effect. According to Hays Carlyon and Jacksonville.com, “The Jaguars players aren’t likely to get any sympathy from coach Gus Bradley when it comes to playing in the cold. Bradley, a North Dakota State graduate, reflected on his college days to relay the message to his team that it could be much worse.
“We played one time, it was against Augustana, and we had about 600 people in the stands,” Bradley said. “I was a redshirt freshman. I got so close to the heater that my shoestrings split open. I had to punt, so I had to tape my shoe to keep my shoe on tight. That day was really cold. It was probably like 35 below.”
In other Jaguars news…
Mincey still inactive
Defensive end Jeremy Mincey missed last week’s win against the Houston Texans and looks like the Florida grad will miss this week’s road trip as well. As stated in the Jaguars Notebook on Jacksonville.com, “Bradley said after Friday’s practice that Mincey will likely be inactive for Sunday’s game at Cleveland. The two will meet again on Saturday, but Bradley seems to have made his decision.
“I would be leaning towards he’s inactive, I will say that,” Bradley said.
Last week, Bradley punished Mincey for violating team rules and didn’t allow him to travel with the team. Mincey was listed as inactive for the 13-6 win over Houston after being late for team meetings.
Brown’s playing time will be a game time decision
Mike Brown’s ability to play in Cleveland could be decided as late as right before the start of Sunday’s game. Brown is listed as questionable with a shoulder injury for Sunday’s game. The injury kept him out of Sunday’s win over Houston. Brown was listed as a limited participant in practice for the third consecutive day on Friday.