When Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone met with the media on Monday, he told those in attendance he and his staff made changes to help this franchise improve from its 3-5 record.
It was the same message with a different tone for Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone on Monday. Coming back from the bye week, he told the media on Monday he and the coaching staff did to change things up. The second-year frontman said he and the organization continue to be committed to winning football games and getting the team back on track toward the playoffs.
“[We made changes] starting with the practice schedule and things that I have control of and just working hard to get that done and making sure the players understand why we are doing it and hopefully that stuff will be able to carry over on to the field because we are not obviously playing very well right now,” Marrone explained.
The Jaguars come back from a week off hoping to end a four-game losing streak on Sunday at Indianapolis. The team opens as a 3.5-point underdog against the Colts who also own a 3-5 record. No coaching changes were made during while the players were away. Now, the team must refocus on winning the eight games that remain on the schedule. Houston holds a 6-3 record and has won six straight. Catching the Texans will be a daunting task.
Marrone and this team must start with one win at a time. The changes in how the team prepares for the week were done as he said, “Because we are not really playing well from a technique standpoint across the board.”
The Jaguars opened practice on Monday with running back Leonard Fournette back as a full participant. Cornerback D.J. Hayden and tight end James O’Shaughnessy also returned from injury. Quarterback Blake Bortles took the snaps with first-team reps, which means he should be fine for Sunday after suffering an injury to his non-throwing shoulder in the 24-18 loss to Philadelphia in London.
Marrone’s approach to the season has been dividing the games into quarters. After a 3-1 start, the bottom fell out as the team only scored 46 points in the last four contests while surrendering 114 points. The focus may be to play this season as this is the third quarter, but getting through the contest against an AFC South rival in Indianapolis is the truly the first step.
“I told the team today, ‘Hey, listen. Before we can talk about the quarter and winning the quarter, you have to win the first one,'” Marrone said. “I do think there is something to it. I just don’t think it’s right coming from me to say that. How do you get on a run? Well, you have to win. Don’t worry about the run. Just get the win. You know what I’m saying?’ I try to make sure I’m clear with the players on that, so they don’t start looking ahead. You have to get the one first.”
Being 3-5 is not where this team wanted to be, but there is still plenty of opportunities for players to make an impact on the remainder of the season. A healthy Fournette could improve the run game. Better effort from the offensive line could mean a revitalized effort from Bortles. The defense still has work to do as well and not surrender as many points as it has.
And then there is the coaching staff, which Marrone still states it starts with him. He used the time last week to reflect on the season and the job he has done so far.
“Being honest with myself was the most important thing [on his primary focus during the bye week]. The team is 3-5. What I want to do is I want to make sure that I get everything right, build it right, get the coaches right, go out there and I don’t have to f’ing stand up here and say, ‘Hey, it’s my fault.’ I’m responsible for it,” he said. “I have to do a good job, and I want to make sure that I am doing everything I can to give everyone else an opportunity to do well. If I don’t do that, we will all fail and that’s it.”