Jacksonville Jaguars star wide receiver Cecil Shorts received just four targets last week, and his target total barely went up yesterday, as he saw just five passes come his way. Easily the best receiver on the Jaguars, it’s not surprising to hear that Shorts hasn’t taken this well, but it’s extremely interesting to see just how upset Shorts is with his lack of targets. Conventional wisdom states that it is best to throw it to your best player, but the Jaguars haven’t gotten Shorts involved in the gameplan much over the past two weeks. Justin Blackmon’s year-long suspension was supposed to bring back Shorts’s target numbers, but that hasn’t exactly materialized.
Shorts was so upset after the loss that he gave this strong statement, “I have to say something and sit down with (coach Gus Bradley and Chad Henne) because it’s getting ridiculous in my opinion. To have one target until seven minutes left in the game, that’s (expletive) dumb. That’s dumb, period.”
“One target until seven minutes left” is a statement that about sums it up, and even an injury to Mike Brown couldn’t help Shorts receive more looks from Chad Henne. Gus Bradley definitely has to take the complaint from one of his best players seriously, because Shorts isn’t just complaining for the sake of complaining. No, everything about Shorts is professional, and it takes something serious in order for Shorts to voice his opinion strongly. His gripe is legitimate, and it’s perplexing to see that Shorts hasn’t been as involved in the offense. I mean, he caught eight passes for 80 yards while playing through an SC sprain that severely hobbled him, so he’s definitely tough. And oh by the way, he has 50 receptions this season.
Give more credit to Shorts’s competitive spirit (refer to SC sprain comment), because he isn’t backing down. He said, per the Florida Times-Union’s Ryan O’Halloran, “I meant what I said (Sunday).”
Let’s see what Bradley and Jedd Fisch (two people who are good at their jobs and usually deal with stuff like this reasonably) do to handle this situation, but, from this perspective, it looks like giving Shorts more than four or five targets per game is a good idea.