"WE GET A CHANCE TO WORK …"
Doug Marrone's bye week plans are clear.
"The players get a chance to leave; we get a chance to work," the Jaguars' head coach said Sunday.
And because the loss to the Philadelphia Eagles at Wembley Stadium was the team's fourth loss in succession, Marrone said the work will start with self-examination.
"We've just got to focus on ourselves first, and that's what we'll do this week – trying to see what's going on," he said.
A major area of focus: The team's suddenly stagnant – and little-used – running game. After leading the NFL in rushing last season, the Jaguars entered Sunday's game 23rdin the NFL in the category.
They also entered it after speaking throughout the week of returning to a physical, downhill running style following a Week 7 trade with the Cleveland Browns for running back Carlos Hyde.
The Jaguars instead rushed for 70 yards on 17 carries, with Hyde and running back T.J. Yeldon combining for 18 yards on eight carries. Hyde rushed six times for 11 yards and Yeldon rushed twice for seven yards.
"Play comes in my helmet, and I call it," Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles said. "I thought the guys did good up front. Obviously, we got down, so you're going to throw it a little more there – just situationally based. But I thought what we were doing was fine. We just got to make plays."
Jaguars offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett called passes on the Jaguars' final 31 plays Sunday, and the Jaguars passed seven times on 3rd- or 4th-and-two or less. Hyde lost a yard on 3rd-and-1 from the Eagles 32 on the Jaguars' first 3rd-and-short situation – midway through the first quarter.
"Again, a lot of it's the confidence," Marrone said. "You have to have the confidence with the guys up front being able to do it. We just felt at times that we thought it [throwing] was our best chance to make a play, and we thought we had single coverage on the outside — a lot of man coverage, not as much zone. We just made a decision to try to make those plays."
The Jaguars converted a first down by passing on three of their next 3rd- or 4th-and-two-or-less situations, then Bortles threw incomplete four of the last times the Jaguars faced the scenario.
"That starts a lot with what we do in practice, what we do and getting some continuity there, which we'll have some time to work on," Marrone said. "We'll have some time to really take a look at what we're doing well and what we're not. Right now, we're not doing anything well.
Marrone following the game addressed a Friday night/Saturday morning incident in which four Jaguars players – safety Barry Church, safety Ronnie Harrison, safety Jarrod Wilson and cornerback D.J. Hayden – reportedly were detained in a London nightclub following a dispute over a bill: "The club [the Jaguars] came out with a statement. I've got to do a better job with the players. It starts with me. Whatever happens and whatever goes on, I'm responsible for it. We're working on it, just like the statement said. I'm not really going to go into all the specific details. We're still gathering information from it. … Obviously, before we start going on the field and performing better, we've got to take a good look at what we're doing all the other times: when we're in the building, out of building and all those things." Marrone was later asked if the team's four-game losing streak along with the off-field incident this weekend concerned him. "Yes," he said.
Marrone was asked if he believed the Jaguars could turn the season around after a four-game losing streak heading into the bye. "Yes, uh-huh," he said. "But it takes two, though. You know what I'm saying? Really it takes everybody. You can point everyone in the right direction, get everyone together. If everyone is pulling in that direction and doing what they're supposed to do, doing their job, then, yeah … you turn it around. But if you don't, then you sit back and make excuses or point fingers or get out of your role or things of that nature, then you can't. That's my job, to pull everyone on the same thing. Obviously, I haven't been doing that well for the last four games.
Marrone: "We're not making enough plays on either side."
Strong safety Barry Church: "We have a lot of things to improve on. We have to make it work somehow, some way. We have too much on this team. We have to get back to the lab, get back to the film and see what's going on."
Marrone: "We're not playing as physical as we played before."
Marrone: "[The bye] comes at a good time where I'll be able to see what I'm doing wrong because, obviously, I'm doing something wrong."
Defensive end Calais Campbell: "Each individual one of us needs to figure out what our motivations are. The bye week is time to collect your thoughts, figure out where you're at and reset your goals. We have a bye at a really good time."
Bortles: "We've got to continue to find a way to just be ourselves and make the plays that everybody on our offense can make. I don't think anybody needs to be superman or do anything special. We've just got to do whatever we're all capable of.
Bortles: "We expect to win every time we step on the field, and it hasn't happened. That's on us as players to continue to try and go out there and make plays. We've got to execute. We've got to score more points. We've got to win ball games.