JACKSONVILLE – Sen'Derrick Marks knows one thing for certain:
He doesn't want to go through another season like the one that just ended. No way.
Marks, the Jaguars' sacks leader in 2014, missed all but four games in 2015 with knee and triceps injuries. Missing games was frustrating, but it wasn't the only difficult part of the season.
In fact, it may not even have been the most difficult part.
"I wasn't able to be around the guys as much as I wanted last year ," Marks told Jaguars.com LIVE Wednesday afternoon. "I see them in the locker room and see them around the building in meetings, but I wasn't able to be on the field with them. I couldn't be out there going through drills and running around and be in that atmosphere.
"I got to the point where I was like, 'If this is what it feels like, retirement is going to suck.' I don't see how people just go off and retire. How are you going to retire?"
Marks, a starting three-technique defensive tackle and perhaps the Jaguars' best defensive player, isn't remotely thinking retirement. His concern is returning to full strength after sustaining serious injuries each of the past two seasons.
He said on Wednesday he feels good about his ability to do that, and that rehabilitation from a triceps injury that forced him to miss the final seven games of 2015 "is coming along pretty good."
He also said he expects to be full participation when the team's offseason program begins in mid-April.
Marks, who missed the first five games of the 2015 season while recovering from a torn anterior cruciate ligament, played four games before sustaining the triceps injury at Baltimore November 15. He underwent surgery shortly thereafter.
Marks said a brace was removed from the area last week and that he began "activating" the triceps on Wednesday. Marks joked that the positive is he can play golf this offseason while he could not do so while rehabilitating the ACL last offseason.
"That was the biggest thing I was worried about," he said, laughing. "It's not 'easier,' because it's a significant muscle that I need and I have to use, and I have to rehab, but it should get back a lot faster than the knee."
Marks led the Jaguars in sacks in 2014 with 8.5. While he did not record a sack this past season, his penetration and quickness helped the pass rush during the four games he played. His ability to make plays behind the line of scrimmage also played a factor against the run.
The Jaguars' defense as a whole struggled this past season, particularly rushing the passer. After finishing with 35 sacks in 2014, the unit recorded 36 sacks in 2015. The front particularly struggled to get pressure, with linemen accounting for just 25 sacks.
"It was hard to watch on the sidelines seeing times the quarterback did hold the ball and we didn't get there," Marks said. "Being in meetings, I knew what our rush plan was, and it seemed like sometimes we weren't able to get there. One guy has to win every single play and we weren't doing that."
While Marks' presence was noticeable when he played, he said the reality was he never felt quite right.
"I wasn't back to where I wanted to be," Marks said. "The thing with the ACL is it can be healed and they can tell you there's nothing wrong with the knee – that your knee is fine, great and in order – but there's the psychological part of, 'Can I plant and turn the way I used to?' Something's going to feel different. The psychological part is the biggest hurdle to get over after you get over toning the muscles.
"You know it's good, but it's hard to tell yourself, 'My knee is 100 percent.'''
Marks said if there's a positive to his situation it may be timing. When the offseason program begins in April, he will be 15 months removed from ACL surgery. When the regular season begins, he will be 20 months removed and will have played only four games in that span.
That's significant recovery time, and the Marks said the benefits will be "huge."
"I didn't take as much banging on my body," Marks said. "I have another offseason to rehab the knee and rehab the triceps, which shouldn't take that long. I won't have any excuses as far as, 'I'm not 100 percent.' In my mind, that's what I'm working toward."