JACKSONVILLE – Five takeaways from HC Doug Marrone’s press conference a day after the Jaguars’ 34-27 loss to the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C.
1.Ball security will be emphasized. He has been mostly good since becoming the Jaguars’ starting quarterback in Week 2, but rookie Gardner Minshew II will focus on one area this week that hasn’t been as strong: ball security. Minshew, who threw for a career-high 374 yards and two touchdowns Sunday, also lost three fumbles – with two of those fumbles leading to Carolina touchdowns. Marrone on Monday discussed specifically the first fumble, which came when tight end Seth DeValve knocked the ball from Minshew when Minshew was turning from center to hand the ball to running back Leonard Fournette. “Gardner just needs to seat the ball better,” Marrone said. “When he opened, the ball was out there. Seth took a good step to clear it. Those are things you don’t want to have happen.” A second fumble came later in the first half when Panthers defensive end Mario Addison drove Jaguars guard Andrew Norwell into Minshew, and a third fumble came in the second half with Minshew trying to escape pressure. “We’ll make it a point of emphasis,” Marrone said. “Obviously, he’s upset about that. He’s trying to make plays, which is great. He does a good job with ball security. He’s aware of it. We just have to do a better job with that.”
2.Chark continues to impress. The emergence of wide receiver DJ Chark Jr. is one of the best and most-important stories of the first five games of the Jaguars’ season, and Marrone left little doubt Monday that he remains impressed with the second-year veteran. Chark, a second-round selection in the 2018 NFL Draft from Louisiana State, caught just 14 passes as a rookie, but has 27 receptions for 485 yards and five touchdowns this season. “As a coach, you have high expectations of all your players,” Marrone said. “DJ has high expectations of himself. He has worked extremely hard. It always goes back to that. He’s playing well for us. We’re happy that he’s playing well. He’s playing with an air of confidence about him and it’s something we hope to continue each week.” …
3.Josh Oliver’s return just got more important. Oliver’s return from a preseason hamstring injury always has mattered, but a torn anterior cruciate ligament sustained by tight end James O’Shaughnessy Sunday has added urgency to the situation. Oliver, a third-round selection in the 2019 NFL Draft from San Jose State, has yet to play a preseason or regular season game – but he has the talent to be a receiving threat at tight end. Oliver has practiced the last two weeks, but has remained inactive on game day. “He’s going to be listed as questionable, but obviously it would be a big help for us if we can get him back on the field playing,” Marrone said. “I think we’ll know more with some of the strength testing the next couple of days and see where he is Wednesday.”
4.Ramsey saw a back specialist. Marrone confirmed that cornerback Jalen Ramsey saw a back specialist in Houston Monday. Ramsey, a two-time Pro Bowl selection, has missed the last two games with a back issue. Ramsey had requested a trade following the Jaguars’ Week 2 loss at Houston, then started the team’s Week 3 victory over Tennessee. He then missed practice the following week because of sickness, the back injury and the birth of his daughter before missing a Week 4 victory over Tennessee. The back injury kept Ramsey from practicing last week, and Marrone said Monday he expects the team will know more about the injury Monday evening. “We’re just waiting for that information to come,” Marrone said. “Hopefully, we’ll try to get it figured out. That’s why he went to see a specialist.”
5.Marrone is supporting Norwell. Norwell has been scrutinized this season following multiple missed blocks, scrutiny that increased Sunday after he allowed a sack/fumble that led to Panthers defensive end Brian Burns returning a fumble 56 yards for a touchdown. “When a guy (an offensive lineman) has a bad play, it’s going to be a really bad play,” Marrone said. “People are going to notice it. They don’t notice all the good that happens during a game a lot of times. As a [former offensive] line coach, I used to say all the time you can dominate someone for 70 plays and give up three sacks and it’s the worst game you ever played. I think that’s a good illustration of what happened. When you have a bad play, it’s a really bad play. I think Andrew would want it back like we all would. There other players, too – other players on the field who would like to have those plays back.”