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Marrone speaks: Protection important


JACKSONVILLE – Minimizing turnovers matters. Very much.

Head Coach Doug Marrone said that's always true for the Jaguars' offense, but he said on Wednesday it seems particularly true this week. The statistics make that obvious.

Their opponent this week, the Baltimore Ravens, force takeaways at an eye-catching, game-altering pace.

"It's hard to say you don't go into every game with an awareness of protecting the football, or protection – or making sure things that are challenging are not brought to the table," Marrone said on Wednesday as the Jaguars (1-1) prepared to play the Baltimore Ravens (2-0) at Wembley Stadium in London Sunday at 9:30 a.m.

The Jaguars' offense faced too many challenging situations in a one-sided loss to Tennessee Sunday, committing penalties on five of six drives in the second and third quarters. Each penalty forced a down-and-distance situation of 19 or more yards.

The Jaguars committed a turnover on two of those drives, and did not convert any of the long-yardage situations into first downs, and finished the game with three turnovers.

The Ravens through two games have forced a league-high 10 takeaways with eight interceptions. The last team to force at least four takeaways in each of its first two games was the 1992 Pittsburgh Steelers.

"I think every week you do that, you bring that in there," Marrone said of a focus on reducing turnovers. "This team [the Ravens] just seems to be better at it than a lot of the other teams that maybe we face, and I'm talking about getting their hands on the football, strip sacks, things of that nature."


*A topic among observers this week has been whether the Jaguars will throw downfield with wide receiver Allen Robinson out for the season because of a torn anterior cruciate ligament. The Jaguars completed one pass to a wide receiver of more than 10- yards in the first half against Tennessee – a 14-yard pass to wide receiver Marqise Lee. Quarterback Blake Bortles also threw incomplete deep to wide receiver Allen Hurns in the first half. "A lot of times if you don't see the ball going vertically it's not like everything is called horizontally with the pass game," Marrone said. "Sometimes, those things are covered and you have to check the ball or bring it back down. Each game you go in with a different plan of how you want to attack. We go into every game with shots down the field." Of Robinson's absence, Marrone added, "I don't know that it restricts creativity as much as it restricts what we felt going into the season is a good matchup for us." …

*Marrone on Wednesday discussed middle linebacker Paul Posluszny, whose playing time increased dramatically from Week 1 to Week 2. With the Jaguars leading throughout much of Week 1 and the Houston Texans playing three receivers, Posluszny – who is playing middle in base situations and coming off the field in nickel – played just eight plays. With the Titans running much of the game Sunday, Posluszny played 44 snaps. "It's a personnel thing," Marrone said. "It's not a secret. … He's just a good pro. … His preparation has never changed since I've been here." …

*The Jaguars released their pre-practice injury report late Wednesday morning, with linebacker Lerentee McCray (knee) and center Brandon Linder (knee) not expected to practice. Five players were listed as expected to practice: Bortles (right wrist), cornerback Jalen Ramsey (ankle), safety Tashaun Gipson (ankle), Hurns (shoulder) and defensive tackle Malik Jackson (groin). Marrone said Linder's injury did not affect him Sunday. …

*Marrone was asked Wednesday about Ramsey, who allowed no completions on one target against Tennessee Sunday after not practicing Wednesday, Thursday or Friday because of the ankle. "Good football player," Marrone said with a shrug. "He played well." He added with a smile, "So now you don't have to ask me in the future if he doesn't practice will he still play." …

*This will be the Jaguars' fifth time playing a designated home game at Wembley in as many seasons. It's the Ravens' first such game. "We talked to the players that haven't been there before to talk to our older players, about a routine," Marrone said. "It's just knowing how to get your body prepared and ready to play.  We've encouraged our younger players who haven't been there to make sure they talk to the players that have been with our team on how to hydrate or whatever it may be that we do." …

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