The Jacksonville Jaguars are trying to turn around their defense and their campaign is being marked by a five word phrase: “It’s all about the ball.” Signs bearing the phrase are everywhere. In the team meeting room, in the defensive backs room, on walls in sharpie.
“The main focus,” defensive tackle Sen’Derrick Marks said.
“Punching, ripping — whatever they can do to get that ball out,” coach Gus Bradley explained, via the Florida Times-Union.
“The forced fumble is just a mentality,” linebacker Paul Posluszny said. “They showed us the highlights of [Bears cornerback Charles] Tillman and it’s just him punching at the ball. That’s how we have to do it. You may try it 10 times in a game, but if you get one of them out and recover it, it’s huge.”
It’s everywhere visually, but the players are hearing it an estimated 20-30 times per meeting as well.
“It’s not annoying because it’s just like hearing from your position coach about your footwork and hand placement being on point,” Marks said. “We hear that every single day, too, even if you had great [fundamentals] in the last practice because when you break it down and think about it, it really is all about getting the ball.”
“It’s not all about the ball in the sense that you just go crazy, lose your mind and do [careless] stuff to get to the ball,” safety Dwight Lowery said. “You do your job with an emphasis of getting the ball.”