Marcedes Lewis has the best institutional knowledge of any Jacksonville Jaguars player and sees the team’s current culture shift as a clear departure from the past.
In terms of valuable insight, perhaps no Jacksonville Jaguars player has a better perspective than tight end Marcedes Lewis. Lewis, the longest-tenured player, has lived through success back in the mid-to-late 2000s and the lean years under former head coach Gus Bradley.
Surviving through an owner change, four head coaches (not counting interim head coach Mel Tucker in 2011), and three general managers, Lewis has seen it all. Few players are stable enough in the NFL to see that kind of instability around them.
But Lewis has. In an era of turmoil for the Jaguars, Lewis has been the team’s one constant. He has been the team’s rock.
When he opened up to the media through a Facebook Live chat this past week, fans of the Jaguars listened. And what Lewis had to say is already becoming a common theme around the team. “The culture has definitely shifted,” Lewis said in reference to Executive vice president Tom Coughlin and head coach Doug Marrone, “This year might be the best mixture of, ‘Praise you when you do well, but you’re going to work hard.’”
"It’s definitely all about business. We want to go out and play and have fun while we’re doing it, but right now it’s about making sure we know what’s expected and how to play as a team and together."
The culture shift has been arguably the most important highlight this offseason for a team that endured the worst four-year stretch of head coaching in modern NFL history. Nobody, literally nobody, has been as disastrous as former head coach Gus Bradley in terms of winning. And that helped ferment a poisonous culture of losing.
Coughlin and Marrone have taken that past and ushered in a new era of accountability and discipline. After years of not being good enough, the era of fun and games is out the window. The Jags need to learn to play together as a team and then win.
As Lewis said, “Once we get that down, then the fun will come.”