JACKSONVILLE – Notes and observations: Senior writer John Oehser's Wednesday Jaguars notes and observations: defensive end Calais Campbell on Miami Dolphins running back Frank Gore, quarterback Cody Kessler talks scoring, more
1. Jaguars defensive end Calais Campbell won't get to swap jerseys with Frank Gore Sunday; the Miami Dolphins placed the 14-year veteran running back on injured reserve Wednesday with a foot injury. Either way, Campbell – a 12th-year veteran – doesn't want Gore's Miami jersey; rather, he wants the jersey his former University of Miami teammate wore with the San Francisco 49ers. Campbell and Gore played one another 13 times when Gore played with San Francisco and Campbell played with the Arizona Cardinals from 2008-14. "We've had some great battles when I was in Arizona and he was in San Fran," Campbell said Wednesday as the Jaguars (4-10) prepared to play the Dolphins (7-7) at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida, Sunday at 1 p.m. "I don't think I have a Frank Gore jersey at all. Back when we were playing [annually] I wasn't as big into collecting jerseys. I was a little younger. I didn't know better. I'll have to ask him to send me a jersey. I'm sure he can get one. To keep it real, the 49ers' jersey will be good enough for me."
2. The goal remains the same for Jaguars quarterback Cody Kessler. "The biggest thing this week is for us to score: put up points," Kessler said. "That is something we haven't been able to do and that falls on me. That is something we have to do these next weeks, obviously starting this week." The Jaguars have scored one offensive touchdown in three games with Kessler as the starter: a seven-yard pass from Kessler to wide receiver Dede Westbrook in a 30-9 loss to the Tennessee Titans on December 6. Kessler, who has a touchdown pass and an interception in three starts, completed nine of 17 passes for 57 yards with no touchdowns and an interception in a 16-13 loss to Washington last Sunday. He was sacked six times for 57 yards, with the Jaguars' 20 net passing yards in the game the lowest total in the franchise's 24 seasons. "It is my first year here, but at the same time it is something you take pride in as a quarterback is you want your guys to play for you, around you and be successful," said Kessler, a third-year veteran who spent his first two seasons with the Cleveland Browns. "I want everyone in this locker room to be successful and that is something you take pride in. At the same time, go out there and show that you can play in this league and turn this thing around and end well these next two games."
3. Kessler on motivation for the final two games: "A lot of it is pride. Every year in the NFL teams are going to change – not the same guys will be here next year, no matter where you are at in the NFL. … It is tough, but you are playing for your brother next to you and that is something that you take pride in and you want to go out there and represent them well as well as yourself. … You just have to take it one day at a time and that is something I have always felt is important to me. Control what you can control. For me that is practice today and how walkthrough just went and how practice is going to go and leading up to the game Sunday."
4. The Jaguars through 14 games have been penalized more than all but five teams with their 927 yards of penalties against them more than any team in the NFL except Kansas City. While there is debate within the NFL about how much penalties hurt a team's chance to win, Head Coach Doug Marrone is of the belief they hurt. "There is a lot of the analytical stuff that penalties don't really play into the wins and losses," Marrone said. "I tend to disagree with that, me personally. I think the timing of them and when they occur and when they happen play a big role. I look at it as it plays a big role in field position. There is stuff out there that says that doesn't contribute to winning and losing. I just tend to disagree with it, just having played and been around this game for so long. I can't prove it from an analytical standpoint, but I believe it does hurt you. There is no doubt in my mind."