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Game that was: Marrone speaks

Posted Oct 8, 2017

Jaguars HC Doug Marrone on a 30-9 victory over the Steelers at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pa., Sunday: 'We weren’t going to miss opportunities. I think we took advantage of them'

PITTSBURGH, Pa. – Doug Marrone liked a lot about Sunday.

There were five takeaways, including two for touchdowns. There were 181 yards rushing on 28 carries by rookie running back Leonard Fournette. And there was the obvious big-picture thing to like: a 30-9 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field.

Marrone mentioned all of the above after the Jaguars moved to 3-2 Sunday, and the Jaguars’ head coach also focused on a second-half drive he said shouldn’t be overlooked.

The Jaguars ran 12 offensive plays on a 67-yard drive that ended with a 47-yard field goal by kicker Jason Myers. All 12 plays were runs.

“I thought that was a big key to the game,” Marrone said after the Jaguars rushed for 231 yards on 37 carries, a 6.2-yards-per-carry average that included a 90-yard touchdown run by Fournette with 1:47 remaining.

Fournette and running back Chris Ivory shared carries on the aforementioned 12-play drive, with Fournette rushing eight times for 43 yards and Ivory rushing four times for 24 yards.

The drive consumed 8:07 and left 6:43 remaining in the game.

“That’s difficult to do against the No. 2 defense in the league,” Marrone said. “To be able to keep the ball on the ground, run the clock and get points out of it … that’s the key.”

Marrone, too, lauded a defense that forced five takeaways while holding the Steelers to 70 yards rushing – and to three field goals on three red-zone possessions.

Jaguars safety Tashaun Gipson had two interceptions, with linebacker Telvin Smith, safety Barry Church and cornerback Jalen Ramsey registering one each. Smith and Church returned their interceptions 28 and 42 yards, respectively, for touchdowns on back-to-back plays in the third quarter.

“It was like, ‘Holy Cow …’’’ Marrone said. “I don’t know when I’ve been a part of that.”

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s five interceptions were the most he has thrown in a single game in his career.

“The theme all week that we told the players was about opportunities,” Marrone said. “We haven’t really taken advantage of them when they’ve come our way. We talked to the team about, ‘Hey, if you get opportunities … we’re not telling you not to do your job or go outside of what we want done … just do your job and when the opportunity presents itself, go make a play.’

“We were able to do what today. The theme was, ‘Not Today. Not Today.’ We weren’t going to miss these opportunities. I think we took advantage of them.”

 

NOTABLE I

Marrone said Fournette could have done at least one thing differently Sunday. When Fournette scored on the 90-yard run, Marrone said he wished Fournette had gone down at the Steelers 1. That would have allowed the Jaguars to run out the clock without the Steelers regaining possession. “He showed some speed,” Marrone said. “I was hoping it would be 89 yards and it would be game over. But I understand the excitement in that.” Fournette said he heard a coach yelling, “Fall down, fall down.” He laughed and said, “I just kept running. … Nobody was there. It was just common sense. At the same time, I do have to understand the situation we’re in.”

 

NOTABLE II

Marrone joked afterward that he had Fournette’s workload on his mind late in the game. The subject of Fournette’s opportunities/carries were a topic this past week despite Fournette entering the game second in the AFC with 81 carries and despite him having 28 touches – 24 carries and four receptions – in a loss to the Jets last week. He had 29 touches Sunday. “At one point during the game I was thinking, ‘&**, I’m going to get this question after the game,’ ” he said, laughing. “Honestly … here I am in the middle of the game and I’m thinking, ‘Somebody’s going to ask me about this workload thing. Is this going to be OK?’ The workload is going to be OK when we win and it’s not going to be good enough when we don’t win. We’re constantly going to be working through that.’’

 

NOTABLE III

The Jaguars held two-time Pro Bowl running back Le’Veon Bell rushing 15 times for 47 yards and no touchdowns. The Jaguars entered the game ranked No. 32 in the NFL in rushing defense after allowing the New York Jets 256 yards last week. “It’s obviously very difficult to do what they did today,” Marrone said of the defense. “Defensively, that was a heck of a game against a very, very explosive Pittsburgh offense.”

 

QUOTABLE I

“If we play the way that we played in these three wins, it’s hard for any team in the National Football League to beat us.”

--Jaguars safety Tashaun Gipson

 

QUOTABLE II

“To see the stadium begin to empty with nine minutes left in the fourth quarter, that’s unheard of here at Heinz Field. It just doesn’t happen too often. To see that, it was crazy. To be part of an organization that’s getting ready to turn the tide, that’s a blessing.”

--Gipson

 

QUOTABLE III

“They [the Steelers] feel like they have the best defense. I’m telling you we have the best defense. They think they have the best No. 50 [linebacker Ryan Shazier]. I’m telling you I’m the best No. 50 in the league. I take it personal. They talk about their linebacker duo. I feel like we have the best linebacker duo. This team brought a lot out of a lot of these guys. We left it all out there on Heinz Field.”

--Jaguars linebacker Telvin Smith

 

QUOTABLE IV

“We’re going to be a team that’s a force to be reckoned with.”

---Jaguars CB Jalen Ramsey

 

QUOTABLE V

“They [the Steelers] use home-field advantage like nobody else. For us to be able to come in here and dominate like that, especially on the defensive side of the ball, it’s just a great feeling. We know we have to be more consistent, but a win like this is momentum starting in the right direction.”

--Jaguars S Barry Church

 

QUOTABLE VII

“The way our offense was able to pound it down their throat in the second half was unbelievable. It shows we have the ability to be what we want to be.”

--Church

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