Jaguars WR Cecil Shorts livid over lack of targets
Wide receiver Cecil Shorts, however, is not just mad about the abundance of losses - he is mad about how the losses are happening. Shorts was targeted just four times for the second straight week during the Jaguars' Week 11 loss to the Arizona Cardinals. Only one of those targets came before the 4:02 mark of the fourth quarter, and the third-year pass catcher was not shy about his disappointment.
"I have to say something and sit down with (head coach Gus Bradley and quarterback Chad Henne)," Shorts said after Sunday's game. "To have one target until seven minutes left in the game, that's f***ing dumb. That's dumb, period." I'm not sure where he got "seven minutes" from, as my research shows just one target before 4:02, but it is an eyebrow-raising lack of looks nonetheless.
Through the first eight games of the season, Shorts racked up double-digit targets in all but one game, a contest in which he was forced from action during the Jaguars' first drive. When fellow receiver Justin Blackmon was suspended indefinitely, it seemed like Shorts' targets would only rise, but he has compiled just eight targets in the two games since Blackmon's ban. It's worth noting that Shorts had no complaints when he had four targets in a win against the Tennessee Titans in Week 10, but to have such few targets in a losing effort was too much for the 25-year-old.
Shorts is clearly the Jaguars' best option in the passing game right now, especially with new No. 2 Mike Brown now ailing. As a team that is constantly trailing, Shorts' lack of targets are unlikely to continue, particularly now that Shorts has publicly complained. Receivers tend to get an uptick in looks when they voice their displeasure over their targets, and the case is unlikely to be any different with Shorts. Unfortunately, I'm not too sure about Shorts regaining steam next week against the Houston Texans' No. 1 ranked pass defense.
Shorts now has 50 catches for 629 yards and a touchdown on the season. He leads the team in all three of those categories.