Jaguars LB Telvin Smith: Players have to hold each other accountable

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- After having a night to reflect on the Jacksonville Jaguars' 27-17 loss to the Los Angeles Rams, linebacker Telvin Smith was pretty honest about why the Jaguars lost the game.

Special teams mistakes -- a kickoff return for a TD, a blocked punt for a TD, a 16-yard punt that led to a field goal -- led to 17 points.

But he also put some of the blame on the defense, because the unit allowed Todd Gurley to rush for 116 yards and wasn’t able to stop the Rams late in the fourth quarter on a drive that ended with a field goal and 10-point cushion.

It’s all part of being accountable to each other, Smith said.

"It's just being honest in statistics,” Smith said Monday. “The chance of you winning, overcoming [those special teams issues] are harder, are greater and then more challenging. Then the defense, as a unit, we've got to do more. That's the inconsistency that we're talking about. You can't go out and expect five turnovers every game. We've got to play solid defense and keep going.”

The Jaguars held the Rams to 249 total yards (124 passing by Jared Goff), allowed them to convert only 4-of-13 third downs and held them to just 4.4 yards per offensive play. The Jaguars also sacked Goff three times and forced a fumble.

The Rams put together one sustained touchdown drive late in the first quarter that ended with Goff’s shovel pass to tight end Gerald Everett for a 4-yard touchdown.

However, the special teams mistakes, particularly the blocked punt that was returned eight yards for a touchdown with 2:25 to play in the first half, were just too much to overcome. In addition, kicker Jason Myers missed a pair of 54-yard field goal attempts.

“Special teams [has] got to make plays,” Smith said. “Not going to act like that wasn't a factor in the game. Obviously, there was the one drive they scored seven [points] on. Maybe we can hold them down on that one, hold them to three, if anything. But, if anything, you can't go out and open up the game like that on special teams, give up a punt [block]. That's 14 points.

“Field goals, missed goals. Not putting it one any particular point, but in every game, we've got to go out and perform and be ready."

Smith wanted to be clear that he wasn’t pointing fingers at anyone -- whether it was punter Brad Nortman or safety Jarrod Wilson (who missed a tackle on the kickoff return), for example -- but said it’s part of the team’s improved culture to hold everyone accountable.

“Every man on this team is being held accountable,” Smith said. “People will say, 'Oh, you go out and have a good game and that's the norm.' No, no, that's me being held accountable to be on my [assignments]. I'm on what I need to be on.

“And that's what each man in this locker room got to be held accountable to."

Coach Doug Marrone said he likes that about this team.

“Everyone’s trying hold each other accountable, and it works at different levels,” Marrone said. “I look for [Tom] Coughlin and [GM] Dave [Caldwell] and [owner] Shad [Khan] to make sure that I’m accountable. I make sure my assistant coaches make sure I’m accountable. I make sure the coaches are accountable. The players check me to make sure I’m accountable. We’re checking the players. I think that’s the type of culture, that’s the type of team that we want, and we’re working extremely hard to do that, because I want to see when we get everybody operation at 100 percent and we go on that football field I feel really good about this team.”