HOUSTON, Texas – The noise may soften this offseason, and Marcedes Lewis said that's OK.
Lewis while visiting Radio Row at Super Bowl LI Friday said he realizes there may not be as much giddy excitement and preseason buzz around the Jaguars this offseason – at least not as much as last offseason.
The Jaguars' veteran tight end said that's absolutely fine.
"For our makeup and what we have on this team, I don't think we need any outside crowd noise," Lewis said Friday. "It's going to be all about the focus. The older guys are going to really have to come in, set the tone early and let them know what it's going to be.
"I've got about three or four years left in me. I want to go out the right way. I want to be part of something great. It is what it is. It's hard to talk about the same stuff year in and year out."
The Jaguars, after entering last offseason with many analysts predicting dramatic improvement and a possible postseason push, finished 3-13 – their sixth consecutive sub .500 season. Head Coach Gus Bradley was fired with two games remaining in the season.
Doug Marrone, who served as interim head coach in the last two games of last season, was named permanent head coach on January 9. Tom Coughlin, the Jaguars' head coach from 1995-2002, was named executive vice president football operations the same day.
"It's my 12th year," he said. "I've four or five head coaches, six position coaches. I don't want to say I've gotten used to it, because that sucks, but it is what it is. Obviously the last four years we couldn't take care of what we needed to take care of. It was time for some change. They did what they had to do. Now, it's time for us to go out there and grind.
"At some point we have to take accountability as a team and do what we have to do. We can't sit here and be in the same spot year in and year out where everything is promise, then not take care of business."
Lewis was asked about Marrone, who spent 2015 and the first 14 games of 2016 as the Jaguars' assistant head coach-offense/offensive line.
"He's the perfect balance of, 'I'm going to praise you when you do things the right way, but if you're not I'm going to hold you accountable for it,''' Lewis said. "That's what we need right now, especially with the youngsters we have on the team. We have young studs, trying to figure it out still, but being accountable is huge in this league."
Lewis said he remains confident the Jaguars "are going in the right direction."
"We have what it takes," Lewis said. "The talent is there. You don't lose eight games by eight points or less: that's crazy. We have to win those games. The margin for error is so small. That's what we have to clean up – that little margin. We can't shoot ourselves in the foot year in and year out."
HEALTHY AND READY
Lewis missed the last six games of the 2016 season with a calf injury and said he is fine now. "On the MRI it looked worse, but it healed up faster," Lewis said. "I was probably healed about two and a half or three weeks into it, but obviously it was a numbers thing. [Jaguars General Manager] Dave [Caldwell was just like, 'Be healthy, come back, have a great offseason and get ready for next year.'''