Cecil Shorts III wants the ball more
Updated On: Nov 18 2013 06:29:38 PM EST
Even after cooling off for 24 hours, Cecil Shorts was still hot.
The Jacksonville wide receiver was upset about how often he had the ball thrown his way - five - in the Jaguars 27-14 loss Sunday night to the Arizona Cardinals. Shorts had just one catch (for 11 yards) in the first 57 minutes of the game. He didn't have another pass thrown his way until there were only four minutes left in the game, something he called "dumb, that's dumb period."
On Monday, Shorts said he was sticking by his comments from the day before.
"I'm not going to back down on what I said," Shorts said. "It is what it is."
Shorts, however, there are no problems between him and quarterback Chad Henne.
"No, no, Chad's my guy, I love Chad to death," Shorts said. "We trust each other. There's no problem with Chad. He's doing what he's being told. I respect Chad and got all my support from him."
Shorts tried to clarify his comments, saying he didn't want to create any controversy around the 1-9 Jaguars.
"I just want to help my team get better and improve. I can do that by getting the ball," he said. "I'm not trying to start anything, nothing like that. I'm not that type of guy. I'm a competitor."
Henne also said there was no problem between him and Shorts. He said he was following directives from the coaching staff and was going through his progressions on the pass plays that were called.
"It's always tough when a guy reaches out and says he's not getting the ball and plays aren't being called" for him to get the ball, Henne said. "Would I like to get him the ball in some more cases? Sure, but you can't blame it on the play-calling. If it's his chance to get the ball, he'll get the ball.
"We thought we had some good match-ups with some other receivers. We knew Patrick Peterson was a good corner. How many times were we willing to test him was really the key. I feel Cecil's frustrations. Sometimes somebody else's number is called; you got to be a team player."
Jacksonville plays at Houston on Sunday.
Shorts comments were the first public criticism by a Jaguars player of anyone connected with the organization this season. Taking a cue from the positive approach exhibited by coach Gus Bradley from the start of training camp through the team's 1-9 start, there has been little dissension within the locker room up to this point.
Bradley said he's since talked to Shorts and the team about the situation.
"I think that each individual has to be a little bit leery, a little bit quick to judge, because sometimes things like that can portray him in a bad light," Bradley said. "And I think we talked about making sure you protect the team, protect the environment. But I understand his frustrations. I think my concern would be this; if he were trying to drag other guys down with him, now I have a concern."
Bradley also emphasized the importance of not making situations like the Shorts' comments, common-place in the locker room.
"Let's not make this a habit where everybody has free rein to say those things, we don't want that," Bradley said. "With that, I would appreciate if he would be smart about how he handles those things."
Notes: Bradley said that linebacker Paul Posluszny had been cleared to return to practice. Posluszny missed Sunday's game with Arizona due to a concussion. It was the first game in three years he's missed after making 41 consecutive starts.