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Notes and observations: “They’re due and so are we”

Posted Sep 13, 2017

Senior writer John Oehser’s notes and observations from Wednesday around EverBank Field as the Jaguars prepared to play the Tennessee Titans Sunday at 1 p.m.

JACKSONVILLE – This one could have a buzz.

Not only will the Jaguars be playing at home Sunday in the wake of Hurricane Irma, they’ll be doing so on the heels of a 29-7 season-opening victory over the Houston Texans.

That means they will be above .500 at EverBank Field.

That will be the first time that has happened since 2010, and Jaguars tight end Marcedes Lewis – the team’s most-tenured player – was asked what that might mean for the fans attending Sunday.

“They’re due, and so are we,” Lewis said as the Jaguars (1-0) prepared to play the Tennessee Titans (0-1) at EverBank Field Sunday at 1 p.m.

The Jaguars’ last home game with an above-.500 record was a December 26 overtime loss to the Washington Redskins in 2010, a game the Jaguars entered with an 8-6 record. They beat Tennessee in the 2011 regular-season opener to move to 1-0, but lost their next two games on the road and haven’t been over .500 since.

Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles said the team saw a presentation recently that showed the history of the Jaguars, including the teams that made four postseason appearances in the 1990s and two more in 2005 and 2007.

“I thought that was cool and important to kind of get a little bit of history of the town and the city and how they relate to the team,” Bortles said. “Even though everything that has happened in the last couple of years and the lack of success, I think it’s pretty evident to see that the city is passionate about the team and dying for them to be successful and have a good season, so that’s definitely what we’re trying to do.”

Lewis, a first-round selection by the Jaguars in 2006, played on the Jaguars’ last playoff team in 2007. He said the energy and home-field advantage in EverBank has been real before and should be again.

“That’s what we need,” Lewis said. “We’re going to need it all season. As long as we do our job, we’re sure they’re going to do theirs. We want to build on what we’ve done so far.

“Often, our fans get a bad rap. But it’s directly related to how we’re doing on the field. It goes hand in hand. We understand that. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves to do well. Last Sunday was a good start.”

Notes and observations from Wednesday around the Jaguars:

*Jaguars rookie running back Leonard Fournette rushed for 100 yards on 26 carries in his NFL regular-season debut, and his powerful, persistent running style gives the Jaguars a dimension they have lacked in recent season. Fournette has the speed and vision to break long runs, but it’s his consistency squeezing one and two additional yards out of each carry that stood out to teammates. “His bad runs go for one, go for two, go for three yards,” Bortles said Wednesday. “He rarely ever gets stopped at the line of scrimmage or behind it. Him showing that power and that ability, I think helps out keeping us ahead of the chains and out of negative plays.’’ …

*Jaguars defensive end Calais Campbell on being named AFC Defensive Player of the Week following a four-sack, five-quarterback hurry performance against Houston in Week 1. “It feels good, but I’m already on to figuring out how we can beat the Titans,” Campbell said.

*Lewis on Campbell: “He’s a monster, first of all. It was good to see him go out and have some success. I block him every day in practice. I know there’s no other tight ends who are blocking like me. I told him that before the game, ‘We go at it and get each other better.’ He damned sure isn’t going to see anybody who’s blocking like me: ‘So, run through them.’ That’s exactly what he did. He didn’t show me anything that I didn’t already know he had in him.”

*Jaguars linebacker Telvin Smith on how he fared during Hurricane Irma: “The storm was fine. I’m a Florida State guy, so [Miami] Hurricanes don’t affect me too much.”

*Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey missed practice with an ankle injury Wednesday. He and cornerback A.J. Bouye (illness) were the lone Jaguars players not practicing. Running back T.J. Yeldon (hamstring) and Bortles (right wrist) were listed on the injury report and practiced, and center Brandon Linder (knee) worked limited .

 

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