A.J. Bouye: Lack of accountability hurt Jaguars in 2018

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Jacksonville's 2018 was one to forget.

The darling AFC contender fell quickly back to earth, going from a 3-1 start to a 5-11 finish. The Jaguars' lauded defense failed to suffocate opponents as it did in 2017, and their offense was even worse, devolving into a unit that ended up cycling between Blake Bortles and Cody Kessler at quarterback.

Jaguars cornerback A.J. Bouye -- a big addition in 2017 -- saw his numbers drop from 56 tackles, 18 passes defensed and six interceptions to 54 tackles, eight passes defensed and just one interception.

Bouye said Friday a lot of the Jaguars' issues had to do with a lack of accountability among themselves.

"I believe the first thing, it starts with leadership," Bouye said during an appearance on NFL Network's Super Bowl Live on Friday. "Especially, I'm only speaking for myself, I've already been in the film room and seeing what I can get better at. But, how can I be that much better of a leader and take that next step to hold teammates accountable? ... That's really the main thing. It shouldn't be a locker room where it's players versus coaches and vice versa. I believe that's one thing that happened last year, as far as the coaches really held us accountable, but us as leaders, we didn't do what we did to help the coaches."

It seemed as if there was a growing divide within the franchise as the season grew worse. At one point, fellow corner Jalen Ramsey told reporters he wasn't worried about anyone's job but his own. Bouye's claims of a lack of accountability seem to hold up when presented alongside such occurences.

"Honestly, in my opinion, I think it was just the expectations," Bouye said. "We just really didn't meet them. There was pressure situations that we just didn't capitalize on."

Doug Marrone's job was considered in danger, but he'll be back in 2019. Whether the players returning to the Jaguars raise their own standard could go a long way toward determining whether they'll rebound or continue in mediocrity.

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