Marrone on Fournette usage: “That’s on me as a head coach…”

Jacksonville Jaguars' Leonard Fournette (27) in action during the second half of an NFL football game against the Indianapolis Colts, Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Jacksonville Jaguars' Leonard Fournette (27) in action during the second half of an NFL football game against the Indianapolis Colts, Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

JACKSONVILLE – Four takeaways from Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone’s Monday conference call a day after a 33-13 loss to the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis

1.Marrone takes responsibility for Fournette’s usage. Running back Leonard Fournette rushed for 23 yards on a season-low eight carries Sunday, with the Jaguars setting a franchise record for fewest rushing attempts in a game with nine. “That probably comes back to my influence,” Marrone said. Fournette, who rushed five times for 24 yards in the first half, carried three times for minus-one yard on the Jaguars’ first possession of the third quarter. The Colts had extended a three-point lead to 17-7 with a touchdown on the first drive of the second half, then extended the lead to 24-7 with a touchdown on their next possession. Fournette did not carry after that. “That’s where I wish I would have been like, ‘Hey, let’s stick with the plan; it’s still two scores,’’’ Marrone said. “That was my mistake. That was a big mistake by me. … I thought we needed to score points in a quicker fashion. That’s what led to the increased pass attempts. That’s on me as a head coach. We need to be more balanced moving forward. Believe me, I know more than anyone that a strong rushing attack will open things up in the pass game. I know it works hand in hand. I know we’re frustrated. I know Leonard’s frustrated … the line. He wants to make plays and help us win the game. That was the mindset. I was wrong and I made a mistake.’’

2.“Don’t press.” The Jaguars allowed the Colts 264 yards rushing Sunday, the second consecutive game they have allowed more than 200 yards rushing and the third such game this season. Missed tackles and getting blocked up front have contributed to the issue, and Marrone said Monday the tendency of players to try to do more than their assignment within the scheme also has been a factor. “When they start pressing, everyone’s trying to guess, or trying to make plays,” Marrone said. “That’s where things sort of pile up. We’ve just got to understand that we have to get back to the basics and back to the fundamentals and make sure we don’t press – that it is what it is, and it’s not going to be over. We just need to get back on track and get a stop.”

3.Allen could become more involved. Marrone said the coaching staff is discussing ways to get rookie edge defenders Josh Allen more snaps. Allen typically has played mostly in pass-rushing situations this season and leads the Jaguars with eight sacks. With the Colts leading the final three quarters and running effectively Sunday, Allen played just 35 of 68 snaps. “We want to get things in waves and get our guys in the best situations down-and-distance-wise,” Marrone said. “But that’s one of the things we’re looking at – that maybe we’ve got to look at what we’re doing early on and get him some increased snaps. Where those snaps are increased, we haven’t gotten to yet. Those are things we’re discussing. We’re addressing it today.”

4.Oliver “was really doing a good job.” The Jaguars on Monday placed rookie tight end Josh Oliver on injured reserve, ending the third-round selection’s season after just four games played. He caught three passes for 15 yards after missing the first six games of the season with a hamstring injury. “He was really doing a good job,” Marrone said. “We feel real good about him going forward. Really, he was getting a lot better. It’s a shame that that’s going to take a backseat.” Oliver’s struggles as a rookie were part of a difficult season for the team’s tight ends, who have caught 11 passes as a group for 97 yards since veteran James O’Shaughnessy sustained a season-ending anterior cruciate ligament in a Week 5 loss at Carolina. The Jaguars signed rookie Charles Jones from the practice squad Monday and also signed former Florida State University tight end Nick O’Leary as a free agent Monday. The other tight ends on the roster currently are Seth DeValve (six receptions, 68 yards this season) and Ben Koyack (one reception, nine yards). “When you’re going through that position, with guys coming up and coming off the street, it’s challenging offensively,” Marrone said. “Early on in the year we felt like we liked the guys that we had, the versatility they had. I thought James was really playing well - the best he has played since he’s been here—before the injury. Now, it’s a challenge for us as coaches. These are the guys we have and we’ve got to put them in the best positions. It might not be a comfort level for us, or it might be some out-of-the-box thinking, but we have to find a way to put these guys in good position.”

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