JACKSONVILLE – Senior writer John Oehser's Wednesday Jaguars notes and observations: …
1.Jamaal Charles practiced with the Jaguars for the first time Wednesday. A four-time Pro Bowl selection, Charles signed with the team Tuesday – the same day third-team running back Corey Grant was placed on injured reserve with a season-ending foot injury. "It's pretty cool," Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles said of practicing with Charles – a 31-year-old, 11-year veteran who made the Pro Bowl with the Kansas City Chiefs following the 2010 and 2012-2014 seasons. "That's really my first experience with playing with a guy like that, who was playing and doing it at a high level in the NFL when I was still in high school. … You can still see some of the explosiveness and some of the cuts and the vision and all of that. We're excited to have him and I'm excited to watch him play." Charles said he expects 10 years of NFL experience to help him quickly learn the Jaguars' playbook, adding "I'm just trying to bring energy, excitement, big plays and show that I can still play. When they see me, I want to give a boost, get them hyped, get them excited that I am here and be a spark to the fire that is going to make a flame." On his role, Charles said: "I'm definitely getting my mind prepared for whatever. [I am] up for the challenge. I'm here, I'm in uniform and whatever coach asks me to do … I'm just here to contribute, to make plays and win."
2.A statistic Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone considers important: giveaway-takeaway ratio. It's also one he said the Jaguars must improve. The Jaguars' five giveaways – including four interceptions thrown by Bortles – defined Sunday's loss to Kansas City, and the team has 12 giveaways compared to five takeaways after finishing last season tied for fifth in the NFL with a plus-10 giveaway-takeaway ratio. The Jaguars' minus-seven ratio this season is 31stin the NFL, ahead of only San Francisco (minus eight). "It's very important," Marrone said. "We're 3-2 (record) at minus-seven, which is really tough to do. It's a trend that I talked about with the team today – that if we don't change we're going to be in trouble. We've got to change that." The Jaguars' takeaway pace would give them 16 for the season compared to 33 last season. "We're working," linebacker Telvin Smith said. "We're getting there. We're popping it off. It's not like we haven't had the opportunity for turnovers; we just haven't capitalized on them."
3.Marrone on Wednesday called Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott "probably the best running back in the league." Elliott, the No. 4 overall selection in the 2016 NFL Draft, leads the NFL with 480 yards and two touchdowns on 93 carries – a 5.2-yards-per-carry average. He also has caught 22 passes for 155 yards and a touchdown. "He's an inside runner, outside runner, great out of the backfield, great hands, great in space," Marrone said. "Probably there's not a run that he can't do. He can run people over. He can run by them. I've seen him run over them. He has a great stiff arm. I can't say enough good things about the guy. He's a load. He's tough."
4.Bortles on Wednesday discussed a season-long pattern of the Jaguars' offense starting fast during games in which they played well and starting slowly in games in which they struggle. "It's just a lack of execution," he said. The Jaguars scored on three of their first four possessions in a Week 1 victory over the New York Giants, four of their first five possessions in a Week 2 victory over New England and their first four possessions in a Week 4 victory over the New York Jets. They failed to score on six of their first seven possessions in a Week 3 loss to Tennessee and on their first seven possessions in a loss to Kansas City this past Sunday. "What it all comes down to is being consistent, and execution of everything we do is the biggest part of it," Bortles said. "Everything we do on Sunday is something we have repped in practice multiple times and believe in it and believe it is going to be successful. That is why [offensive coordinator] Nate [Hackett] is calling it and that is why we are running it in the game. I think anytime it doesn't work it is a poor decision on my part or a lack of execution anywhere."