Coach Jack Del Rio took the blame and he should.
But veteran center Brad Meester had to be more aware of the clock situation at the end of the Jaguars’ loss Sunday when the team only got one play off with 16 seconds remaining in the game.
Blaine Gabbert knew precious seconds were ticking away, but was unable to get Meester to snap the ball and didn’t get it in his hands until only 5 seconds were left, meaning they only had one play. It was an incomplete pass.
Del Rio argued with officials, but knew he was hard-pressed to get anything changed. The clock restarted once the ball was spotted following an announcement that a completion to Marcedes Lewis was upheld. They could have gotten a couple of seconds back after a few ticked away as the ball was snapped but whistled dead when the booth official called for a review.
It doesn’t speak well of Meester or Del Rio that Gabbert was the only one of the three who appeared to know what was happening when play restarted.
We haven’t heard from Meester, which is unfortunate. He’s an unshakable, stand-up guy who I am sure will take the blame if the story is still alive Wednesday.
In the meantime, Monday we got a second round of Del Rio talking about the end-of-game scenario when the Jaguars were out of timeouts.
From his session with the Jacksonville press Monday:
“I accept the responsibility for that not being done better. And I would take it beyond the 16 seconds and tell you that with 38 seconds before the ball that was ruled a catch on the field and then challenged and then that whole deal. There were 38 seconds and we only got two snaps off. That’s not good.”
“We need to be able to run several plays in that situation, and execute that situation much better. Like I said, that’s my responsibility. … I must make sure that our staff and our 11 offensive players that are involved in that situation handle that much better. It was not acceptable. It didn’t give us enough opportunities there at the end to steal that win. We could have done that and so again, you put that in that whole pile of missed opportunities that we had [Sunday]. And would you blame it all on that? Absolutely not. But is that a part of it? Yes, because it’s another opportunity that we did not seize.”
Before officials stopped the game for the review, Gabbert was trying to snap the ball with 18 seconds on the clock, got it at 17, but saw the play whistled dead with 16 for the review.
Del Rio said it was a quick review. He was still talking to back judge Keith Ferguson when referee Bill Leavy came out from looking at the play to make his announcement that the play was upheld. Leavy did seem in a hurry -- he was moving toward the line of scrimmage even as he revealed his review decision.
“When [Leavy] came out from the hood it was very early and I had actually talked to [an official] and said, ‘Please go get to Bill and let him know that you guys just stopped us and the ball was being snapped, we should get some extra time back on the clock and when you don’t do that, because I’m betting you won’t, at least have him allow us to get to the line and be ready to snap the ball before he blows ready for play.’ The message must not have either gotten there or it wasn’t acted on. He came out of there, went awfully quick. Like I said, from my standpoint what I must do is make sure that we’re better prepared to handle that and execute crisply and efficiently and effectively and get more plays off. There’s just no way we come out of that 38 seconds and only get two plays off. It’s got to be better.”
Del Rio was asked if the ref should come out and announce the ruling and the time that should be on the clock.
“Typically that’s what occurs,” he said. “As I said I’m more focused on the things that I need to be sure that we’re on top of from our end.”