Marcedes Lewis gives Jaguars offense a stern lecture after practice

Gabbert's poor play prompts stern lecture from TE Marcedes Lewis

8/13/13 in NFL   |   Matthew_Shovlin   |   735 respect

I've been following every NFL team's training camp pretty closely, and I have to say, it's tough for me to think of any news more discouraging than what I have constantly been hearing out of Jacksonville regarding the Jaguars' quarterback competition. Third-year quarterback Blaine Gabbert has failed to emerge as a viable starting option, while journeyman Chad Henne has not pushed Gabbert the way the coaching staff hoped he would. Every report seems to be overwhelmingly negative, as I've been reading things like "prone to head-scratching one-hoppers or throws into traffic," "stinking up the joint," and that the two quarterbacks have been "equally unimpressive."

Tuesday's practice was no different for the two struggling quarterbacks, as Gabbert completed 4-of-10 passes while Henne completed 5-of-8, with neither quarterback getting the offense into a rhythm suitable for a team that is less than a month away from their season opener.

Blog Photo - Marcedes Lewis gives Jaguars offense a stern lecture after practiceThe struggles on offense were so bad that they prompted a lecture from veteran tight end Marcedes Lewis. "We've been building and getting better since April and we came out today and didn't get better, plain and simple," Lewis said. "That wasn't good enough. That's not acceptable. In year's past, it may have been acceptable and we may have come into the locker room without even mentioning what happened. But mediocrity can't be accepted."

Lewis has played his entire career for the Jaguars ever since being drafted 28th overall by them back in 2006, so the tight end has seen some good teams as well as some very bad teams over the course of his career. He knows what a playoff team looks like, but also knows what a two-win team looks like, and it seems that he thinks his current squad is looking like the latter.

What's great to see for the Jaguars is someone stepping up as a leader and holding certain sluggish players accountable for their missteps. What makes it even better is that the guy stepping up is a tight end who has not been playing up to his $35 million contract and is facing minimal competition at his position. Lewis could easily sit back, coast his way to another year as the starting tight end, and collect his cash, but he is making an effort to improve his team any way he can.

One Jaguars assistant responded to the news of Lewis' lecture by saying, "I love it. That's a great sign."

Although it is certainly nice to see something like this happening with a struggling franchise, I still wouldn't expect the Jaguars to come out and surprise the NFL community with a halfway decent season this year. I mean, Blaine Gabbert still looks like he'll be their starting quarterback, and no lecture can fix that.
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