Jaguars prep Chargers in San Diego
by Sam Kouvaris
Posted September 27, 2014
Perhaps a change in their routine will change the results on the West Coast for the Jaguars. A Friday arrival in San Diego to get "acclimated" according Head Coach Gus Bradley instead of their usual day before game departure.. They've never won in Southern California in their first 19 years as a franchise. Their only two wins in the Pacific Time Zone have come in Northern California against the Raiders in '97 and 2004.
Toby Gerhart grew up in Southern California and played college football at Stanford. He says it doesn't matter where you travel, it's hard to win on the road.
"It's a hostile environment, strange stadium, we had a five hour flight. You have to put all of that out of your mind and go out and play. It's us against everybody else.
There can be a "circle the wagons" mentality for a team on the road, especially a young team like the Jaguars. They'll start so many rookies and first year players on offense, maybe they can ignore all of the road "noise" and just go play football.
"You hope that's what happens," Bradley said this week. "You hope they grow together and establish themselves."
It's been 10 years since the Jaguars traveled across the country and came home with a win. When they last won out west, Blake Bortles was in the 7th grade. Tomorrow he'll get his first start in the NFL after a productive half last week at home.
"I'm just trying to be as prepared as I can be and go play," the rookie quarterback said on Wednesday. "We're going to play Sunday one way or another so I might as well be as prepared as I can be."
Bortles "has been the same" according to his coaches and teammates as he prepared for his first start. He's been getting the reps in practice, running the offensive meetings - Can he be the difference?
"We all have to play better," veteran Defensive Tackle Roy Miller said in the locker room as the Jaguars were preparing for the Chargers. "It's hard to work this hard, to be in the league this long and to get these kinds of results. You have to own it, you're a part of it, and you have to fix it.