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Marrone: "This is the right thing"


JACKSONVILLE – Doug Marrone said his reasoning was simple.

"I think this is the right thing to do for this team," the Jaguars' head coach said Wednesday.

Marrone was addressing a topic that seems destined to remain a topic throughout the week – the idea that the Jaguars (10-5) will play starters and front-line players as normal when they play the Tennessee Titans (8-7) in the 2017 regular-season finale.

The Jaguars and Titans will play at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee, at 4:25 Sunday.

The Jaguars have secured the AFC's No. 3 seed, and that seeding will not change whatever the outcome Sunday.

Marrone when first addressing the issue on Tuesday had said the Jaguars planned to do whatever it took to win the game. He reiterated that Tuesday, specifying that the team will play starters – health permitting – until the outcome no longer is in question.

"I want to see us play well in all three phases," Marrone said. "That's the same mentality I had going in. The last time we played this team they kicked our butt."

The Titans beat the Jaguars in Week 2 in Jacksonville, 37-16. The Jaguars clinched the division this past Sunday despite a 44-33 loss to the San Francisco 49ers in Santa Clara, California.

"I want to see a lot of things," Marrone said. "I want to see how we respond to last week. I want to see how we respond from the second week of the season. I want to see where we're going.

"Some people may say, 'Hey, this late in the season how much better can you get?' I believe we can get better. We'll work hard this week to do that. We're going to work hard to play a complete game in all three phases. That's what you want to do.

"That's the challenge every week."

Marrone said the team's focus will remain on what it has been all season – winning each quarter of the season and winning division games. The Jaguars are 2-1 in the final quarter of the season and they have a 4-1 record in the AFC South.

"Both are important," Marrone said. "It's the thing we've talked about all year long. That's why we continue to stress it. We're not going to change now."

Also on Wednesday:

*Marrone addressed the idea that the Jaguars needed a "wakeup call," a sentiment expressed by several Jaguars players following the loss to San Francisco Sunday. The Jaguars entered that game with three consecutive victories and victories in seven of eight games. "I thought we had a good week of practice," Marrone said. "I thought we were ready to go. Obviously, we went out there and we didn't perform well. That's it at the end of the day. To say, 'Did we need this or not?' … I don't know. I don't think you can talk about all players. I can say, 'We've got to play better in all three phases.'''

*Wide receiver Marqise Lee (ankle) was not expected to practice after missing this past Sunday's loss at San Francisco; tight end Marcedes Lewis (ankle) and defensive tackle Abry Jones (ankle) also were not expected to practice. The following Jaguars players were expected to practice with injuries: quarterback Blake Bortles (right wrist), linebacker Blair Brown (concussion protocol), left tackle Cam Robinson (abdomen), linebacker Lerentee McCray (knee), wide receiver Keelan Cole (quadriceps) and wide receiver Allen Hurns (ankle).  …

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