JACKSONVILLE – Doug Marrone's bye-week message was clear.
"From an offense and defensive standpoint, we've got a lot of work to do," the Jaguars' head coach said Monday.
Marrone was just as clear that having a difficult task doesn't mean having an impossible one, something he said he emphasized to Jaguars players one day after a 24-18 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles at Wembley Stadium.
"I'll tell you what I told the players today," Marrone said during his next-day media availability at TIAA Bank Field Monday. "There's a story out there right now about this team. It's an ugly story, OK? But the story hasn't ended. We can still control how this story reads."
The Jaguars, after a 3-1 start amid high expectations for a deep playoff run, have lost four consecutive games. They did not score a first-half offensive touchdown during an 0-4 October, nor did they hold a second-half lead.
The Jaguars have their annual bye week this week, and Marrone said the circumstances make it an important time.
"We've got to think long and hard about it," Marrone said. "When we get away, we've got to think long and hard about it. We've got to come back and we've got to figure out what the story is going to be on the 2018 team."
Marrone, as he did following Sunday's loss, on Monday emphasized that he took the responsibility for the recent struggles – and he also reiterated that the bye week will be spent examining with a "large scope" ways to improve in the second half of the season.
"There's a lot of things that are high on the list, unfortunately," Marrone said.
Marrone said the Jaguars must establish an identity on offense and defense.
"Right now, we haven't done that in either phase," Marrone said.
Marrone said he believed he was the main reason for the struggles, adding that "I think I've done a poor job communicating my message."
"If anyone's going to look at why the team is doing poorly, I think the first person they have to look at is me," he said. "I'm not trying to be a martyr. I'm trying to be a shield or anything like that. I just really believe I haven't done a good enough job for whatever reason to get everyone's mind in the right place."
When asked about possible staff changes this week, Marrone replied, "Right now, I've done a poor job, so for me I'm still evaluating myself first: where is this team that we've had that everyone believes in? In the first quarter we were 3-1 and now it's four straight losses.
"So, for me right now my thought process is, 'I'm not getting the job done and it starts with me,' so I'm looking at myself first before I start looking at down the line the coaches, the players and everything else that's going around,'' Marrone added. "I'm not even to that point, so that's why I'm fortunate that we have the bye week to take a little break to get the emotion of what's been going on these last four weeks and try to make the best decisions I can starting with myself."
Marrone also discussed the team's offensive approach against the Eagles Sunday, a game in which the Jaguars called just nine running plays. The Jaguars called passes on the final 31 plays of the game. Of the Jaguars' commitment to a run-oriented offense, Marrone said: "We have to obviously get back to that."
Marrone, as he did Sunday, said much of the offensive approach was about trying to take advantage of what they believed were matchup edges in the passing game.
"The matchups were better on the outside throwing the football than it was [running] against the front seven," Marrone said, adding of a series on which the Jaguars threw three consecutive passes in a red-zone situation: "We need to take a good look at what we wanted to do running the football there."
"Those are things you look back on and you say, 'Can we do a better job of that?' Absolutely," Marrone said. "I'm not here trying to make excuses. I'm just telling you the thought process of what was going on. We've got to be able to do a better job of that."
Marrone also addressed the incident in London Friday evening/Saturday morning in which four players – safeties Barry Church, Jarrod Wilson and Ronnie Harrison and cornerback D.J. Hayden – were reportedly detained following a dispute over a bill at a club. Marrone said the players will be disciplined and that the matter will be handled internally.
"There will be discipline taken," Marrone said. "It's not a call to the principal's office. It will be discipline."