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Marrone speaks: Henne, Bortles work with first team


JACKSONVILLE – Doug Marrone doesn't yet know the end game.

But the Jaguars' head coach does know how he plans to handle what is now a very definite and very public quarterback competition, and he shared those plans Saturday:

Blake Bortles will get first-team reps.

So will Chad Henne.

"When you have competition, you take the reps with the ones and put both guys in there," Marrone said Saturday after the Jaguars practiced for an hour and 15 minutes at the Daily's Place Flex Field adjacent to EverBank Field.

"That's what we're planning to do this week and see where it goes from there."

Quarterback talk dominated Marrone's post-practice media availability Saturday, two days after he met with Henne and Bortles following a preseason loss to Tampa Bay Thursday and informed them the quarterback position was now "up for grabs."

Marrone said Saturday he has no timeframe for a decision. The Jaguars open the 2017 regular season at Houston September 10. They play Carolina Thursday in a Preseason Week 3 game at EverBank Field.

"You have to be able to make a decision and you don't want to get yourself into a point where you make too quick of a decision," Marrone said. "At the end of the day, you just have to evaluate it and make a decision on what's best for the team moving forward.

"I think it's very simple: I'm looking to see who can lead from that position."

Marrone said he has had no conversations regarding signing a quarterback from outside the team, and said he hasn't considered whether the Jaguars should have signed or drafted a quarterback this past offseason.

"I kind of never look back," Marrone said. "I'm just not wired that way. … If your focus gets outside the players on your roster -- I can't speak for any other coach, but for me personally -- that can get someone like myself in trouble, because then I might start missing some things because my mind is not within the team. So I try to keep my focus on what my responsibility is with the players that are here, getting them ready to go. I really don't look at the outside stuff at all."

Marrone also was asked about the possibility of Bortles being released if he is not the starter.

"I haven't had any discussions about that at all," he said.

Bortles started the past 45 regular-season games for the Jaguars beginning with his first NFL start in Week 4 of his 2014 rookie season. Henne started the first three games of the '14 season and has been Bortles' backup since. Bortles entered 2017 Training Camp as the starter, but Henne worked two series with the starters Thursday.

Marrone was asked Saturday if he had spoken to the team about the quarterback competition.

"I think everyone understands the situation," he said. "I just talked to the two quarterbacks. … I don't think you really have to say much."

Also Saturday:

*Marrone said Paul Posluszny will stay at middle linebacker in the team's base defense, and that Myles Jack will stay on the strong side. That was where the duo played last season before the team moved Jack to the middle and Posluszny to the strong side early in the offseason. "I've already talked to both of those players about that so they are very comfortable with it," Marrone said. Jack and weak-side linebacker Telvin Smith are expected to be the linebackers in the team's nickel defense. …

*Marrone said the team will be "rolling some people through" at left guard after Patrick Omameh struggled there against Tampa Bay Thursday. He also said the team will work veteran free-agent signee Lerentee McCray at the strong-side linebacker position. He also said he still wants to "play it out" at the left-tackle position, where rookie Cam Robinson and veteran Josh Wells have shared repetitions. Robinson, the Jaguars' second-round selection in the 2017 NFL Draft, is expected to eventually earn the position. "I want to see better from him," Marrone said of Robinson. "I know he's young and I know all that stuff; I want to see that development speed up. That's why I'm trying to get him extra reps and we did that in the first two games." …

*The following players did not appear to be practicing during the portion of practice open to the media: wide receiver Marqise Lee, running back Leonard Fournette, defensive tackle Michael Bennett, cornerback Charles Gaines, tight end Mychal Rivera, cornerback A.J. Bouye, guard Earl Watford and running back T.J. Yeldon. …

*Marrone said the team worked out two kickers Saturday, though Jason Myers remains the only kicker on the roster. Myers, after missing field goals of 50 and 53 yards in the preseason opener against New England, missed a 40-yard field goal wide left and an extra point wide right against Tampa Bay. Long snapper Matt Overton had a short snap on the extra point, though Marrone said punter/holder Brad Nortman had "a really good hold" on the point-after attempt. Marrone said he didn't yet know if Myers will be the Jaguars' only kicker against Carolina. "I think he's well aware of the situation and he has to go out there and perform well, earn the trust of the coaches, as well as his teammates," Marrone said of Myers. …

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