JACKSONVILLE – Head Coach Doug Marrone assessed the state of the Jaguars Sunday.
"I think it's a work in progress," he said.
Marrone, speaking for the first time since a Preseason Week 3 loss at Miami this past Thursday, said he was referring to all three phases of the team – offense, defense and special teams.
"I was asked after the game, 'Where would you rate them?''' Marrone said as the Jaguars (0-3 in the 2019 preseason) began preparing for the preseason finale against the Atlanta Falcons (0-4) at TIAA Bank Field Thursday at 7 p.m.
"I don't know where you rate anyone. It's a good question, but you really don't know until it gets real."
Marrone on Sunday also discussed defensive tackle Taven Bryan's preseason inconsistency, an injury to backup left tackle Cedrick Ogbuehi and the surprising retirement of Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck Saturday. We'll cover those comments later in this Sunday update, but a highlight of Marrone's availability came when he discussed next weekend's cutdown from the 90-player offseason roster to the regular-season limit of 53.
Marrone on Sunday reiterated what he has said in past seasons – that he considers the upcoming week the most difficult of the year.
"I don't think you ever get immune to that," Marrone said. "I think people who are immune to that have no appreciation for what these people do. They have no appreciation for what goes on in their family. I think it's cowardly. I think it's b.s., and I hate people like that – to be honest with you.
"I think if you don't have an appreciation for it, if you don't feel bad about it, you really shouldn't be in this business. I really feel that way. I'm not an emotional person – up or down – but this week outside of anything happening with my family or things like that is by far the toughest week. I hate it."
*Reserve offensive tackle Cedric Ogbuehi (hamstring) and wide receiver DJ Chark Jr. (concussion) missed practice Sunday after sustaining injuries against the Dolphins. "We'll take it day-by-day," Marrone said of Ogbuehi. "I don't think it's going to be anything crazy, though." Also out of practice Sunday: wide receiver Terrelle Pryor Sr., running back Alfred Blue (ankle), linebacker Jake Ryan (knee), defensive end Lerentee McCray, linebacker Quincy Williams (knee), linebacker Davis Tull (leg), offensive tackle Leonard Wester, tight end Geoff Swaim and tight end Josh Oliver (hamstring). Rookie tight end Charles Jones returned to practice Sunday and worked in individual drills during the portion open to the media, and defensive tackle Marcell Dareus (elbow) returned and worked on the side early in practice. …
*Marrone on Sunday discussed Bryan, who played well in Preseason Week 1 in Baltimore but who was called twice for roughing-the-passer penalties in Miami. "It's like anything else: You're trying to get that consistency," Marrone said, adding: "Taven, he's had a setback. He's probably disappointed. But hey: He's got to get his mind right and go. There were some things he was doing earlier that were really exciting and would really be able to help our football team. And that's what he wants to do. So, strap it up, get your ass out there and go play." …
*Marrone called Luck's retirement after seven NFL seasons "a loss for the game," adding: "I know how difficult this game is, and I know how great a competitor he is. I thought it was unfortunate that injuries are a part of it, and I'm sure it must have been very, very difficult for him."
*Marrone also discussed the ongoing competition at right guard, where second-year veteran Will Richardson is pushing five-year veteran and long-term starter A.J. Cann. "Will's really worked hard and it's going to be a tough decision and he's done a good job," Marrone said. "Will's increase in play and competitiveness has increased A.J. A.J.'s gotten better, too, at the same time. When you have guys, and they're competing, then all of a sudden you feel someone breathing down your neck you just step it up. And it's not that you didn't want to before, or you've become complacent, it's just human nature. I think that's a good decision for us. I think both players can play. I think we'll look at what gives us the best chance and I think it might go now to practice with the games being even." Marrone said he has yet to decide if Cann and Richardson will play against Atlanta or if practice between now and the opener will be enough to decide a starter. "I think practice, but I'm not there yet," Marrone said. "I'll be able to tell you later in the week, I just don't know. I just can't tell you that right now."