Jaguars not sweating West Coast trip despite recent lack of success

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Traveling from the East Coast to the West Coast in the NFL seems to make gamblers pretty uneasy when comes to picking the road team.

The added travel tends to be seen as a disadvantage for teams hoping to pickup a win on the opposite coast. Not only are the squads on the road, but they are also changing time zones. 

Jet lag can be a real hassle if you're on vacation, so just imagine the inconvenience one has as a football player.

Despite the added side effects of the travel, the Jaguars seem to be feeling fine about their trip to San Diego to face the Chargers. 

A large chunk of the squad has taken the trip to London - some have even gone multiple times - so long trips aren't foreign. Instead, the travel is just more of an adjustment.

“I think Gus’s rule is if we go two time zones over – so west coast, I don’t know about mountain time – we leave Friday instead of Saturday,” long snapper Carson Tinker said.

“We’re going to get there Friday afternoon and then we’ll go to performance stations to kind of get into rhythm, get a workout in. Some teams, they stay in the same time zone, [but] we switch to west coast time and our whole schedule will be off that.”

Tinker has been around the team long enough to know what it's like to travel to San Diego from Jacksonville. He has been gone on the trip before and he appreciates the way his coaching staff handles the added pressure of the extended travel.

“It is a difference, but I think Gus and [the strength and conditioning staff] do a really good job of getting us acclimated to the different time zones,” Tinker said. “I think it could be, but with the system we have in place, I don’t think it’s a big deal.”

Tinker and Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles were rookies when they last traveled to San Diego in 2014. In fact, the game against the Chargers was Bortles' first start in the NFL.

“The first throw of the game I threw about 15 feet over A-Rob’s head," Bortles said.

"I think it’s good to go back and obviously watch the game from last year and take a peek from the game two years ago just to see how guys play and stuff like that. But it seems like forever ago.” 

Bortles doesn't feel that the itinerary change is a massive deal. In fact, his explanation of the trip is pretty cut and dry.

“Everything’s the same, it just happens that when you get done on Friday, instead of going home we get on a flight and go to San Diego," Bortles said.

"But for the most part, it’s pretty much the same. You wake up on Saturday and you practice somewhere rather than here. But they do a good job of keeping us on our same routine and same schedule and doing a good job of that.”

San Diego native and Jaguars kicker Jason Myers says he is used to traveling across the country. He has easily adapted to the constant time zone changes.

“I think going Friday will obviously help,” Myers said.

“I’ve been used to it my entire [career], going to college in New York and then just switching back-and-forth. I think if you do everything right – and management does a good job doing that – so we’ll be ready to go.”

While the Jaguars seem pretty comfortable with the planning for the trip, the group hasn't had many positive trips to the West Coast in recent history.

The Jaguars haven't won a game in California since January 2005, when they defeated the Oakland Raiders to close out the 2004 campaign.

Follow Mike Kaye on Twitter at @Mike_E_Kaye.


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