Lewis, the Jaguars' sixth-year veteran Pro Bowl tight end, said when it comes to worrying about his individual production, he sees it the same way as he sees the Jaguars' success or lack thereof thus far this season.
It's not about pressing for more catches now, or trying desperately to win. It's about working, and doing things the right way. Do that, Lewis said, and the rest will follow.
"I'm very patient," Lewis said Thursday as the Jaguars (1-2) prepared to play the New Orleans Saints (2-1) at EverBank Field Sunday at 1 p.m.
"I've always been patient my whole life. This process is patience. If you try to do more than what's expected of you on each play, that's when you start pressing. I'm going to continue to be patient, and continue to be on my spot and prepare great, so I'll play great. . . .
Lewis, a sixth-year veteran, made his first Pro Bowl last season when he caught 58 passes for 700 yards and a team-record tying 10 touchdowns.
He has caught four passes for 43 yards this season, missing a 32-3 Week 2 loss to the New York Jets with a calf strain.
"I'm not 'two catches, one catch'—I want to win," Lewis said. "It's always been that way. I just want to win. If I have 10 catches and two touchdowns and we lose, what are we talking about? 'Well, even though you had 10 catches, you guys lost – how do you feel about that?' I feel horrible because we lost."
Lewis said while Jaguars Head Coach Jack Del Rio has talked this week about opening up the offense, the priority against New Orleans will remain to run and pass effectively, with balance. He also said the key will be rookie quarterback Blaine Gabbert's growing grasp of the offense.
"I want to see both (run and pass) go," Lewis said. "We're going to go as far as Blaine can handle. As far as he can put on his plate, that's what we're going to do. He's a smart guy, a sharp guy and he's preparing the right way."
Lewis said while a tight end can assist a rookie quarterback on the field as the younger player becomes acclimated to the NFL, the best thing he can do for Gabbert is to continue to do his job.
"With the last game being Blaine's first start, and with the weather conditions, I feel like he managed the game well," Lewis said. "Now, let's go. Let's roll. . . ."
Lewis said his focus is to "be in my spot and continue to encourage him. I just have to be accountable, period. My job is no different than anybody else. I'm looking forward going out and continuing to build that relationship and seeing what happens."
Also around the Jaguars Thursday:
*Defensive end Jeremy Mincey said without question the pass rush must finish plays better against the Saints than in the first three games of the season. Without defensive end Aaron Kampman in the first three games and without end Matt Roth last week, the Jaguars have registered three sacks. Although the defensive line has disrupted and bothered quarterbacks, Mincey said more is needed against Saints quarterback Drew Brees, a rhythm passer who has passed for 1,059 yards and nine touchdowns this season. "We just have to get that extra effort," Mincey said. "That comes with experience. Sometimes you think you're there and you let up before you're really there." Of Brees, Mincey added, "It's very critical (this week). Drew Brees will light you up. He's (Peyton) Manning, just a little shorter and can move a little better. We've got to keep pressure on him."
*Jaguars special teams coordinator Russ Purnell said Thursday the unit has not lived up to the team's standards in Weeks 1-3. "We were definitely a factor in contributing to some wins last year, and we don't feel in the three games we have been enough of a factor," Purnell said. "We're trying to step up our play on special teams."
*Purnell said it was his decision to have punter Matt Turk begin using the "rugby" technique when trying to down punts inside the 20. Purnell said former Jaguars punter Adam Podlesh used the technique effectively the last two seasons, as did Colts punter Hunter Smith when Purnell was the coordinator there from 2002-2008. Purnell said Turk, a 19-year NFL veteran, began working on the technique in practice early this season and will begin using it in games Sunday. Turk has a net average of 32.5 yards per punt this season with five touchbacks and three punts inside the 20. "I just think you have a bigger margin of error in there, as far as you're not going to hit the ball too hard," Purnell said. "When the ball hits the ground you're going to get more balls that pop straight up or back up, like a wedge shot on the green. You eliminate that ball carrying into the end zone."
*Defensive end Aaron Kampman (knee) returned to practice in full pads Thursday, but worked on the side during the period the session was open to the media. He was listed on the injury report as limited. He has missed the first three games of the season and doesn't seem likely to play Sunday.
*Defensive tackle Tyson Alualu (knee) returned to practice Thursday after missing Wednesday. He has started all three games this season despite being limited in multiple practices.
*Running back and special teams ace Montell Owens missed practice for a second consecutive day, with Del Rio saying Monday he expected Owens to be out a week or two.
*Defensive tackle Leger Douzable (thigh), offensive tackle Eugene Monroe (shoulder), wide receiver and special teams ace Kassim Osgood (hamstring), defensive end Matt Roth (neck), guard/center Jason Spitz (quadriceps) and safety Courtney Greene (neck) were limited for a second consecutive practice, while fullback Greg Jones, running back Maurice Jones-Drew, cornerback Rashean Mathis and returned to a full-participation basis after being limited Wednesday for non-injury reasons.
*Tight end Marcedes Lewis (calf) and linebacker Clint Session (wrist) each practiced full for a second consecutive day.
*Cornerback Derek Cox was added to the injury report with a groin injury after practicing on a limited basis.