Jaguars Coach Doug Marrone: “I will get this team right”
By David Levin
After the Jacksonville Jaguars embarrassing 40-7 loss to the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday at AT&T Stadium, head coach Doug Marrone said the questions surrounding this football team begins with him.
Coaches have to held accountable. So when Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone told the media following the team’s loss to the Dallas Cowboys the questions about the team’s performance start with him, you knew immediately he saw things he did not like on Sunday.
"“I will get this team right,” he said via Jaguars.com. “There’s a lot of work ahead of us and we’re going to have to grind this thing out.”"
There were few positives if any about Sunday afternoon’s debacle. The loss comes on the heels of a 30-14 defeat to the Kansas City Chiefs. The Jaguars looked lost at times in coverage on defense and the interior of the offensive line was continually pushed around as quarterback Blake Bortles had to rush his throws many times over.
One thing is certain – this is not the same team that won the AFC South title last season. The blueprint for beating this team may have been written by both the Chiefs and the Cowboys in consecutive weeks.
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While the defense is still good, it does not look elite. While the offensive line was supposed to be better this season with the addition of Andrew Norwell at left guard, injuries and inconsistent play have left Bortles scrambling too often, too early.
With the Houston Texans coming to Jacksonville on Sunday, finding a way to slow the pace of the opposing defense should be one of the priorities of the coaching staff this week during practice.
After the game, as Bortles explained to the media, he and his teammates expected a better outcome in Dallas.
"“It’s not by any means what we expected to do or were planning on doing. Give them credit: they played well. We played, once again, pretty bad,” he said."
The Jaguars could not get out of their own way in the first half of the game, punting on their first four possessions before their fifth possession ended the second quarter. While the offense showed life with a Bortles to Dede Westbrook touchdown on the first series of the second half, there wasn’t much left in the offensive gameplan. On defense, the rushing attack of both Ezekiel Elliott and Dak Prescott proved to be too much.
"“We’ve got to look in the mirror and figure out how to win a ballgame,” defensive end Calais Campbell said. “This was ugly. It wasn’t pretty at all. When you lose like this, everybody’s got to look themselves in the mirror and see what we can do better: each one of us. This is as ugly as it gets.”"
And now the mobility and arm strength of Deshaun Watson comes to town with a team that is riding a three-game winning streak.
The difference in numbers from Sunday were staggering in Dallas’s favor. The Cowboys compiled 378 total yards to Jacksonville’s 204. In 11 drives, they had 23 first downs. Dallas ran for 206 yards on the ground.
Campbell said he and his teammates know what kind of game they played, but they need to focus on what’s ahead and the 10 remaining home games on the schedule.
"“This is the NFL. You’ve got to put it behind you, learn from it and use it as motivation,” he added. “But we’ve got to figure out what we can do this week to win the next game.”"
For this coaching staff, it is also a “look in the mirror” type performance. Following the game, Marrone told the media there was miscommunication on his staff. It is something that must be corrected before Sunday.
"“There are no excuses,” Marrone said. “We’ve just got to do a better job. We’ve got to take a good look at ourselves. We’ve got to put the responsibility on all of us, starting with me, and pull your bootstraps up and let’s go.”"