Jags coach Mularkey admitted to hospital
Published: Monday, December 10, 2012 at 11:51 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, December 10, 2012 at 11:51 p.m.
JACKSONVILLE — Jacksonville Jaguars coach Mike Mularkey is out of the hospital and feeling fine.
The Jaguars said Mularkey was released Monday afternoon after a brief stay that included tests. Mularkey showed up at the facility a day after his team's 17-10 loss to the New York Jets and started feeling ill. He went to a team trainer, who took him to a nearby hospital.
The team offered few other details about his illness.
But the Jaguars (2-11) said Mularkey is expected back at work today.
“He seemed to be doing pretty good,” said defensive coordinator Mel Tucker, who informed players about Mularkey's absence at a team meeting Monday afternoon. “I look forward to having him back in here.”
Jacksonville, which has lost nine of its last 10, plays at Miami (5-8) on Sunday. The Jaguars will be looking to avoid a third consecutive meltdown in the second half.
The Jags led the New York Jets 3-0 on Sunday before 17 unanswered points. The same thing happened the previous week at Buffalo, where the Bills scored 17 straight in the second half to turn a close game into a rout.
“Players are frustrated, guys are frustrated with the way the season has gone,” guard Uche Nwaneri said. “We've had numerous opportunities to close teams out. If you look at our season game by game, there's five or six games in there easily that if we would have been able to execute just a little bit better those are wins instead of losses.”
The biggest problem the last two weeks has been Jacksonville's run defense.
The Jets ran for 116 yards in the second half, including a seven-play, touchdown drive that included seven consecutive runs by Bilal Powell.
“It's absolutely not a matter of effort,” Tucker said. “These guys are playing extremely hard. Guys are physical, guys are giving it everything they have. As you can see, we were able to get the ball back there in the fourth quarter a couple times stopping the run and getting off the field and giving us a chance there at the end. There's no lack of effort with these guys, and if there was, I'd be the first one to tell you.”
The Jaguars moved the ball into Jets territory in the final minute — they completed a 28-yard pass on a fourth-and-15 play — but Chad Henne's second interception ended any chance for a comeback.
Players felt like they let one slip away, especially since nothing went their way early.
Henne had a pass tipped and intercepted near the goal line. Rookie receiver Kevin Elliott, starting in place of Cecil Shorts III, dropped two balls and was flagged for illegal touching on a key play late. Guard Eben Britton, playing in place of Mike Brewster, was manhandled inside, giving up three sacks.
Josh Scobee missed a 55-yard field goal attempt to close out the first half. And the Jaguars just missed blocking two punts. Especially gut-wrenching for Jacksonville was Dwight Lowery's touchdown return that was overturned in the second quarter.
“When you have all your cards in the deck, you assume you will be able to put a game away or close out a ball game,” said cornerback Rashean Mathis, pointing out a number of key injuries. “When you don't have all your cards in a deck, you have to have a perfect hand.”
Despite another loss, the Jaguars believe they will be able to close out the season on a high note.
“Even though it's late in the season, horrible record, we are trying to build something special and carry some positive momentum into the offseason,” linebacker Paul Posluszny said. “We are at the most difficult point of the year: losing, bad record, no playoffs. But we still have to do things right because eventually, someday soon, this organization will be a playoff team and we've got to start putting those building blocks together sooner rather than later.
“We don't want to put anything out there that doesn't represent our best.”