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Kicking Off Week 7: Striving for consistency

Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone watches game action from the sideline while wearing a facemask during an NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Brett Carlsen)

JACKSONVILLE – Frustration is normal under these circumstances.

Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone gets that. The task now is to deal with the difficulties losing brings.

"It's my responsibility to keep them going in the right direction," Marrone said Wednesday as the Jaguars (1-5) began preparing to play the Los Angeles Chargers (1-4) at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif., Sunday at 4:25 p.m. "That's what I'm striving to do."

Marrone, speaking on a videoconference with media Wednesday touched on multiple topics – most notably, how to deal with player emotions during a five-game losing streak.

Wide receiver DJ Chark Jr. spoke following Sunday's loss to the Detroit Lions about feeling as if he and receivers were open Sunday, and also spoke of the frustration of losing.

Marrone called such emotions "normal."

"I would acknowledge that that's something we're always trying to guard against," Marrone said. "Those things are natural, that they'll happen. If one person feels like they're doing their job, or doing a good job, frustration can creep in. It's an emotion that you have to show, I guess, at times.

"Those things come up, but they're moments of emotion and you can't have that be inside you the whole time because if you do that it's going to cause problems. It's going to spread, that frustration. If we can just get everyone together collectively and pull in the same direction and be able to make plays at times we need to, then that emotion kind of bleeds out. It's not there anymore.

"There's a level of, "Ugh.' That's what you have to guard against."

The Jaguars, after a Week 1 home victory over Indianapolis, lost to the unbeaten Tennessee Titans 33-30 in Nashville the following week. They have lost their last four games to Detroit, Houston, Cincinnati and Miami by an average of 15 points a game.

Marrone said his approach with the league's youngest roster has been to emphasize what the team can do when it plays well.

"I try to pick the plays individually or collectively that when we're doing all the things we need to do that we're successful," Marrone said. "You take those plays and you try to show them, 'Hey, listen, when we do it like this, we can do it well.' Now, can we do it play-in and play-out? That's always been the case in this league: Can you do it all the time?

"Can you make the plays that can literally keep you on the field offensively or get you off the field defensively? Can you make the plays on special teams that can help us with field position or change the game and momentum?

"Those are the things we keep striving for and talking about."

The Jaguars on Wednesday continued preparing for the Chargers amid what the NFL calls "intensive protocols" after a practice-squad player tested positive for COVID-19 Friday. The team thereafter placed 12 practice-squad players on COVID-19/Reserve and will continue with "intensive protocols" through Friday.

Player meetings will be held virtually. Practice-squad players added to COVID-19/Reserve because of contact tracing can return to the team's facility Thursday if they continue testing negative but will be unavailable for practice Wednesday.

"I told our players, 'Hey, we need to embrace that,''' Marrone said. "We need to obviously be changing things up. It's nothing you can change from our perspective. It's put in place for the best for the league and the team. …

"I told the team, 'We don't need to look at it as a distraction or anything like that. We needed to make a change. We're not playing well. We needed to change things up. It's been done for us where we have no choice. Let's go ahead and embrace this.'''

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