Four straight preseason losses and roster cuts come before the Jaguars start the regular season next Sunday.
With an 0-4 record in the preseason and the team about to trim its roster to 53 players, it seems like the Jacksonville Jaguars are limping into the regular season next week with more questions about this team than answers.
I keep telling myself it is only the preseason and many of the players head coach Doug Marrone and his staff watched play over the course of the last month won’t be on this roster by Monday. But the thought of the Jaguars losing all of their games, having the weakest offense in the NFL over the last month and the need for quality depth at several positions is enough to think this might not go how many analysts believe it should.
The Jaguars lost to the Atlanta Falcons, 31-12, in what could be deemed a lackluster performance. Marrone was visibly and audibly displeased with the way his team played and discussed his thoughts with the media after the game.
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"“It’s disappointing when you go out there on a night like tonight and you’re trying to pull for guys to really go out there and play well. It’s a tough situation. Some guys rely on other people around them to play well, too, so that’s always a tough thing to try and look at and evaluate, but from not keeping the quarterback in the pocket to giving up runs to giving up big plays on third down to not creating plays on offense (dropping the football), it’s not good enough,” he said.“When I look back at this preseason, it’s been a tough preseason. It’s been tough to go through this preseason. The whole situation with trying to keep the players healthy and getting them extra reps, and at the same, having guys go out there, but you know, obviously, we want to compete and do a better job of that. That’s what you want, and we didn’t get that done, so now there’s a lot of work ahead of this football team.”"
This is such a critical season for Marrone, having taken this team to the brink of the Super Bowl in 2017 and then to follow it up with a collapse everyone wants to forget. If change is supposed to do this team some good, it will only come from the first team as the second and third-team players have had issues keeping up with their opponents the past month.
Marrone has taken a different approach to training camp this year. As John Oehser of Jaguars.com wrote, this is a team that is fairly healthy and walks into the contest on Sunday against Kansas City with a lot to prove.
"“I think you make good decisions and [you try to] be smart about it and you’re going to see what happens. I’ve never done it in the NFL, but I made a living out of it as we all have in college,” Marrone explained. “A lot of times, when people are asking me questions about playing guys and not playing guys, I just didn’t want to mitigate it or fight it, but there’s a lot of things that go on.”"
Defensive lineman Datone Jones and offensive tackle Josh Wells were released on Friday. Reports of Terrelle Pryor and C.J. Reavis being cut also circulated. Per the Jaguars public relations department, the team also released running back Thomas Rawls and linebacker Ramik Wilson.
The team also announced that linebacker Davis Tull was released via injury settlement. More cuts will be made and NFL teams must trim their roster by Saturday at 4 p.m.