JACKSONVILLE – Senior writer John Oehser's Wednesday notes and observations as the Jaguars prepare to play New York Jets Sunday:
1.Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone gave the Jaguars a break from the heat Wednesday – and players were glad for it. The Jaguars, after starting practice with special-teams work on the outdoor practice fields, moved indoors for the rest of Wednesday's session. "Hot times down here in Florida," linebacker and defensive captain Telvin Smith said afterward. "We embrace it (the heat) … don't get me wrong: We embrace it. But sometimes it's nice to get in that AC (air conditioning) and get out of it. We've had a couple of hot games for a couple of weeks. We're trying to be smart." The Jaguars Week 2 victory over the New England Patriots at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville was played in temperatures of 97 degrees with a heat index of 107 – making it the hottest game in franchise history. A Week 3 loss to Tennessee at the Bank was held in 89-degree temperatures with a 95-degree heat index. Smith said players had "insinuated" to Marrone that they wanted to practice indoors, but he said Marrone already had planned the move for later in the week. "He had a plan to go in later this week, but then a couple of players said, 'Coach it would be good to go in,''' Smith said. "He came and said, 'We'll do it today.' Bless him."
2.Forgive Smith if he wasn't overwhelmingly gratified upon learning this week he "officially" had been held by Titans left tackle Taylor Lewan late in a 9-6 Jaguars loss this past Sunday. Smith revealed the news during his weekly media availability Wednesday, saying the NFL office had notified him that Lewan should have been called for holding him on a 15-yard run by Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota on third-and-1 from the Tennessee 33 with 2:31 remaining. The first down enabled the Titans to run the clock to :25 before punting to the Jaguars, who failed to reach midfield before time expired. "That would have been a little different, but it's OK," Smith said. "The last third down … he held me. It should have been a holding call." Smith then winked at the media, smiling and adding seriously: "That could have been a game-changing call. I don't care if it's a holding call or not. We lost that game; we're on to next week. But that is what we must address. Be more detailed. You're asking players to do the same thing and the coaches to do the same thing. We'll see … one day."
3.Penalties remain a Jaguars topic. They are tied for fourth for the most penalties in the NFL this season, and their 265 yards penalized through three games is the NFL's third-highest total. A 15-yard penalty on defensive tackle Malik Jackson for lowering his helmet when initiating contact on Titans quarterback Blaine Gabbert Sunday negated a first-quarter fumble recovery by defensive end Dante Fowler Jr., and Marrone constantly emphasizes avoiding offensive penalties to remain in manageable down-and-distance situations. "Obviously it's hurting our football team," Marrone said. "We're not a team that's built really to overcome long situations. We keep talking it. We keep stressing it." Marrone on Wednesday reiterated that he particularly dislikes pre-snap penalties, but also focused on preventable in-play penalties. "There's no excuse to drag someone down and hold somebody," Marrone said. "You're better off letting him go make the tackle and being second-and-10 than first-and-20. We keep trying to coach the technique, coach it off the tape and coach it off practice. We talk about it in meetings. We have to go out and perform that way."
4.Another Jaguars topic lingering from Sunday: punter Logan Cooke. The rookie seventh-round selection from Mississippi State is third in the NFL with eight punts inside the 20 in three games, with that field position contributing to his 37.1-yard net average ranking 27th in the NFL. But in so-called "flip-the-field" opportunities – punts from deeper in Jaguars territory, Cooke averaged just under 42 yards per punt Sunday. "He's been really good inside the 20, and I think he's got to do a better job flipping the field. I think he would be the first one to tell you that." The Jaguars as a run-centric offense often play low-scoring, field-position-oriented games. Flipping the field on punts is critical to that, as evidenced in the Jaguars' loss to the Jets last season. A 70-yard punt by Jets punter Lac Edwards with 2:20 remaining in overtime game helped turn a fourth-and-2 for the Jets at their 25 into a first-and-10 at the Jaguars 3 for the Jaguars. The Jets forced what became a 45-yard punt by then-Jaguars punter Brad Nortman, setting up a game-winning 41-yard field goal by Jets kicker Chandler Catanzaro.