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Kicking off Week 17: "I understand what my job is…"

Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone works during the second half of an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons, Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Amis)
Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone works during the second half of an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons, Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Amis)

JACKSONVILLE – His point was about opportunity, and he made the point clear.

Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone knows the 2019 season can't be saved, and he told players that on Tuesday as they gathered to prepare for the regular-season finale.

But the week can be approached the right way, and that's the task.

"That was my message to the team," Marrone said Tuesday as the Jaguars (5-10) prepared to play the Indianapolis Colts (7-8) at TIAA Bank Field Sunday at 4:25 p.m.

The Jaguars have lost six of seven games, with all six losses by double digits. That meant Marrone spent part of his weekly availability Tuesday discussing job security, and the possibility of organizational changes after Sunday's game.

"For me, I look at it as, 'I understand this business,''' Marrone said. "I understand what my job is – is to win games. When you don't do that, you have to be able to accept whatever the consequences are. I've always been a realist. I've never ducked things or anything.

"It doesn't go to an inner feeling of, 'I didn't have this, or I didn't have that.' It goes more to, 'I let a lot of people down.' That's how I always looked at it."

Marrone added of the volatility of a career in coaching, "If you're in this business and you don't understand that, you probably shouldn't be in this profession."

Marrone said while he appreciated recent comments from players regarding his future, "they don't need to worry about my situation."

"Everyone needs to be worried about themselves and being sure they're doing a good enough job to stay in this league," Marrone said. "Is it appreciated? Of course. Who doesn't like it when someone says something nice? At the end of the day, I'm not really looking for anything like that because at the end of the day, we've had a disappointing year.

"We have to own up to that and we have the opportunity to go out in a better way."

Marrone said he spoke to players Tuesday morning about "appreciating this time together in a disappointing season." That's because whatever occurs following the season involving the coaching change, the Jaguars' roster will change.

That's the case with every NFL roster every season, and the Jaguars' roster figures to undergo extensive changes involving familiar names.

Marrone called Sunday's game "an opportunity to play together one more time, to be together one more time, to be at home and to end this thing in what I think is the right way – trying to do the best job we can, focus, and give ourselves the best opportunity to win a game at home."

Marrone also discussed extensively players and coaches dealing with families during the holiday season, particularly during losing seasons. Marrone moved the Jaguars' normal Wednesday practice to Tuesday, allowing players to have Wednesday – Christmas – off.

"It's always tough around the holidays," Marrone said. "What I try to do for the players and the coaches is try to explain to them some of the mistakes I look back on and I could have done a better job of. The job is with you 24-7.

"The job is part of my family also, whether they like it or not. It's unfortunate because no one wants that extra pressure or harassment on family or friends when you're having a poor season. So, you feel a sense of responsibility to your family and what you've put on them in that sense. …

"I probably haven't done the best job as a husband or a dad. I try to tell the players that it's easy to say, 'Don't bring it home,' or, 'Try to enjoy it,' but I don't want my family, my children – or anyone – looking back at their youth and not enjoying the holidays because their dad didn't do a good job coaching that year. I try to do a better job of that, not for me, but the people around me."

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