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Marrone: “We’ve got to do a better job”

Posted Jan 8, 2018

HC Doug Marrone on the Jaguars’ offense entering an AFC Divisional Playoff against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh Sunday: “We’ve got to do a better job collectively…”


JACKSONVILLE – Doug Marrone sees the situation simply.

“We’ve got to do a better job collectively, offensively,” the Jaguars’ head coach said Monday.

Marrone, speaking a day after the Jaguars’ 10-3 victory over the Buffalo Bills in an AFC Wild Card Playoff, said the issues hurting the offense Sunday were many.

“Everything’s a concern when you want to play better, when you don’t play well,” Marrone said as the AFC South Champion Jaguars (11-6) began preparing to play the AFC North Champion Pittsburgh Steelers (13-3) in an AFC Divisional Playoff at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh Sunday at 1:05 p.m.

The Jaguars rushed for 155 yards on 34 carries against the Bills, including 88 on 10 carries by quarterback Blake Bortles. Bortles completed 12 of 23 passes for 87 yards and a touchdown.

The Jaguars, after finishing the regular season ranked sixth in the NFL in total yards, produced just 230 yards and a touchdown Sunday. The touchdown came on a 15-play, 86-yard drive that ended with Bortles’ one-yard pass to tight end Ben Koyack on fourth-and-goal from the 1.

Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette, who rushed for 1,040 yards and nine touchdowns in 13 regular-season games, rushed for 57 yards on 21 carries Sunday.

“The running back a lot of times depends on what happens up front,” Marrone said. “It’s really hand-in-hand. If they’re not doing the job up front, it’s going to be very difficult for a running back. I think we all have to do a better job. I really do. We have to figure it out and get it done in quick fashion.”

The passing offense, which operated with efficiency early in December, averaged just 7.3 yards per completion Sunday. Rookie Dede Westbrook was the only Jaguars wide receiver catch a pass, finishing the game with five receptions for 48 yards.

“To me, collectively, it’s everyone,” Marrone said. “It starts with me, [offensive coordinator Nathaniel] Hackett, the assistant coaches, the players. We’ve got to do a better job and we’ve got to do a better job starting today.

“We’ve got to pick it up in all the areas and do a better job offensively.”

Also on Monday:

*Marrone on Bortles’ confidence after an 87-yard game passing Sunday: “I always see him coming in and working the same way. If his confidence isn’t rattled by what has gone on in the past, then I don’t think something like that is going to rattle him. His one characteristic is his toughness. He shows up every day. He’s in here today. He just wants to know what he has to do, what he has to improve on, what he has to do to help the offense and just go to work. That is the way he’s been all year. He hasn’t changed.” …

*Marrone discussed his decision to award fans a game ball Sunday following the game, saying “I just have a sense of responsibility for the team to do well so our fans can be proud of the football team. I’ve always felt that as a coach. I think the responsibility is greater than just winning games and trying to get something for myself. … When I see people wearing Jaguars gear, I like that. I feel like I’m doing a good job.” …

*Marrone reiterated something he said Sunday – that the wind was an issue in the passing game. “We were careful going in one direction because of the swirling wind, which is the first time we’ve really encountered that since I’ve been here,” Marrone said.

*Marrone said he expects wide receiver Marqise Lee to benefit from playing Sunday. Lee had one carry for five yards on a reverse Sunday and did not catch a pass on one target in his first game back after missing the last two regular-season games with a high-ankle sprain. “When someone is off for a while, I think it’s hard to just go out there and play,” Marrone said. “The more you can practice and the more you can get in the groove, the better you’re going to be.” …

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