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Notes and observations: "I try to stay steady"


JACKSONVILLE – Doug Marrone is nothing if not consistent.

It's little surprise then that Marrone was talking Wednesday about his first regular-season opener as the Jaguars' head coach in even-keeled terms.

"I try to stay steady," Marrone said Wednesday as the Jaguars prepared to play the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium Sunday at 1 p.m. "I don't want to feel too good about something. I don't want to feel too low about something.

"I want to see wait to see what actually happens when you go out there and start playing on Sunday. I think you could find yourself getting in trouble any other way."

Marrone not unexpectedly spent part of his Wednesday media availability discussing possibilities surrounding Hurricane Irma, which is approaching Jacksonville and could be off the East Coast early Monday.

"There are a lot of plans in place," Marrone said. "The first thing that's a concern for me is the players' families, coaches' families, and obviously whoever is traveling with us, their families. We had long meetings, discussions last night, we had discussions this morning.

"We're going to handle that all internally of what we're doing with all of our plans and trying to make sure we keep everyone in mind as this is going on because this is a difficult thing for the people that work here. It's a difficult thing for the people in Jacksonville.

"Our hearts and prayers go out and like I said before, I've been through this. It's a difficult situation."

Notes and observations from Wednesday around EverBank Field:

*Marrone served as the New Orleans Saints offensive coordinator from 2006-2008 in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. He also was the head coach of the Buffalo Bills in November 2014 when a game between the Bills and Jets was moved to Detroit because of a storm that produced six feet of snow in Buffalo. "We were worried about our families," he said. "We talked about it a lot. I think if you go the other way that was a problem if you just hide that stuff. So we talked about it a lot when we had our players. The first thing we did was we made sure that all the players and their families and their wives were safe. I think that is the number one thing you are looking for. To the players we had a lot of communication going back and forth and then we went out there and played."

*Sunday's key matchup may be the Jaguars' offensive line against a Texans defensive front considered one of the NFL's best pass-rushing units – and a huge matchup is Jaguars rookie left tackle Cam Robinson against Texans defensive end J.J. Watt, a three-time Associated Press NFL Defensive Player of the Year. But the Texans move Watt around the line, and also move their two other pass-rushers – end Jadeveon Clowney and linebacker Whitney Mercilus – around before the snap. "At the end of the day, somebody's going to have to step up and perform against a couple of the best players in the league," Marrone said.

*The Jaguars' Wednesday injury report: quarterback Blake Bortles (right wrist, full participation), defensive lineman Michael Bennett (groin, full), left tackle Josh Wells (ribs, full), cornerback Jalen Ramsey (hip, limited), wide receiver Dede Westbrook (core muscle, limited), defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. (knee, limited), safety Tashaun Gipson (ankle, limited) and running back T.J. Yeldon (hamstring, did not practice). Bortles on his wrist early Wednesday afternoon: "It feels good … good to go … 100 percent." …

*Marrone on Wednesday also discussed how he will approach injury information during the regular season, saying he will defer to the official injury report. "I know it's a tough deal," Marrone said. "I know you guys are going to want more, but I'm going to rely on that. That's what the rules are for me." …

*Marrone on Wednesday declined to specify the team's third-down back Sunday if Yeldon can't play. Leonard Fournette and Chris Ivory are listed as co-starters on the team's depth chart with Corey Grant listed as the fourth-team running back. Yeldon is considered the Jaguars' best back in pass protection. "We're going to figure that out," Marrone said. …

*Marrone also on Wednesday said the team is still "working through" left guard. Patrick Omameh started the first two preseason games and Earl Watford started Preseason Week 4. Luke Bowanko, since traded to the Baltimore Ravens, started Preseason Week 3. Omameh, Watford, Josh Wells and Tyler Shatley were listed equally at guard this week on the unofficial depth chart. "We are still moving people through there," Marrone said. "I am not trying to keep anything from anyone. Houston is not worried about who is at left guard. We are trying to find out who the best left guard is for ourselves to put in there and is going to perform at the best level." …

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