Jags bring back training camp practices amid losing streak
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — The Jacksonville Jaguars are back in training camp mode after consecutive lopsided losses.
Coach Doug Marrone said Wednesday they will spend the week trying "to correct a lot of bad football that we have been playing."
The Jaguars (3-3) have been outscored 70-21 in road losses to Kansas City and Dallas , failing to score in the first half of both games and allowing a combined 802 yards and 49 first downs.
Marrone deflected questions about AFC South rival Houston (3-3), which plays in Jacksonville on Sunday, and said he's more focused on football fundamentals.
"It doesn't matter who the hell you are playing," Marrone said. "You have to get your ship right. You have to get your stuff in house right."
Jacksonville looked lost on both sides of the ball against the Chiefs and Cowboys.
The usually stout defense got gouged on the ground and picked apart by big plays. The offense was even worse, with Blake Bortles turning the ball over six times and getting sacked eight times. The injury-riddled offensive line was the main issue again. Receivers also failed to create separation and get open, and running back Leonard Fournette missed his fourth game with a strained right hamstring.
The Jaguars are now down their top two left tackles, their top two tight ends, two of their top three running backs and their No. 1 receiver. Those injuries have forced the team to sign three guys off practice squads and five off the street.
"We can't use that as an excuse," Marrone said. "We have to go out there and find things that they can do well and we have to do that in a short period of time to be able to go out there and perform well enough or execute well enough to do it."
Marrone shouldered much of the blame for his team's most recent performances and insisted things would change against the Texans, who won six in a row in the series until getting swept in 2017.
The message that flashed on television screens around the facility read "humility is not thinking less of yourself. It's thinking of yourself less." A more rare sight: at least six assistant coaches roamed the locker room during lunchtime to mingle with player.
The biggest difference came on the practice field.
"There was no other choice but to work hard today," linebacker Myles Jack said. "They got the most out of us. It was like a camp practice. Camp is basically about fundamentals, Day 1 teaching, so I think that was the common mindset: let's reset, let's go back to square one."
Not everyone thought significant changes were needed.
Linebacker Telvin Smith stood firm on his belief that everything is fine on the field and inside the locker room.
"This whole week is tough because a lot of people see us right now and they see you lose two games and then they go crazy," he said. "And that's understandable. It's what y'all are supposed to do, but don't place that on me. We good.
"We're 3-3. To me, that's still good in the league. It's not like we're 0-6 or 1-5 or something. We battled. We came out the second quarter (of the season) and didn't start off right, didn't get the job done. But I think we're going to be fine."
Nothing about Jacksonville's direction will truly be known until Sunday afternoon, after three camp-like practices in sweltering, 90-degree heat.
Marrone's team meeting Wednesday highlighted all the possible directions and included anecdotes from his past at the college level and in the three previous NFL stops.
"Is it something that we need to hear?" safety Tashaun Gipson said. "I think that was already understood. I would hope that we have the guys in here to understand that coach didn't need to come in there and say that because we should have enough mature guys in this locker room to understand that we've got to get this thing right. ...
"You can do whatever you need to do on Wednesday and Thursday and Friday, but if you come out on Sunday and play like we did the last two weeks, specifically defensively, it doesn't matter what we do on Wednesday and Thursday and Friday, it doesn't matter what Coach Marrone says, we've got to go out there and play the game."
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