Thursday update: Fournette hears from father, Marcus Allen

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Jacksonville Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette (27) stretches during warm ups prior to an NFL football game against the New York Jets on Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019, in Jacksonville, Fla. The Jaguars won 29-15. (Perry Knotts via AP)

JACKSONVILLE – He needed perspective, and Leonard Fournette got it.

It came from two people important to Fournette, the first being his father and the other being Hall of Fame running back Marcus Allen. The message from both was about perseverance and focus.

Consider the message heard.

"Those guys put a lot of things in narrative for me," Fournette said Thursday as the Jaguars (4-6) prepared to play the Tennessee Titans (5-5) in an AFC South game at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee, Sunday at 4:05 p.m.

Fournette, after leading the AFC in rushing through eight games, has rushed for 63 yards in the last two games. This past Sunday was particularly frustrating, with the third-year running back rushing for just 23 on eight carries in a 33-13 loss to the Indianapolis Colts.

The Jaguars' franchise-record low nine rushes as a team against the Colts has been a major topic this week, with Head Coach Doug Marrone taking responsibility for Fournette's lack of attempts. Offensive coordinator John DeFilippo discussed the issue Thursday.

"Anytime you lose a football game, you go back and you self-evaluate – and you wish you could have done some things different than you did," DeFilippo said. "That was the case this week with me for sure. … There are some things I wish I would have done different there, especially early in the second half, that you go back and learn from. You discuss it and you move forward. That's all you can do."

Fournette said he discussed the situation with coaches this week but focused during his Thursday media availability more on his conversations with his father and Allen.

Fournette said he has known Allen since a recruiting visit to the University of Southern California, where Allen played. The two remained in touch since.

Allen, after several Pro Bowl seasons early in his career with the Raiders in the 1980s, played fullback several seasons after the franchise obtained running back Bo Jackson. He then revived his career with Kansas City.

"His situation was harder than mine," Fournette said. "It kind of opened my eyes. Whenever you're going through a lot, most people are going through worse. I kind of brushed it off when I heard his narrative, his story."

Fournette said his father – Leonard Fournette, Jr. – talked to him about remaining level-headed, staying focused and considering the "big picture."

"He's always been there for me," Fournette said. "His words mean more than anybody else's words, to be honest."

Also around the Jaguars Thursday:

*DeFilippo on Thursday reiterated something Marrone has discussed multiple times this season – that the Jaguars' success or lack thereof on third down directly influences how Fournette is used. The Jaguars' converted 6 of 14 third downs Sunday but were two-for-eight in that situation in the second, third and early fourth quarters as the Colts took control of the game. "It was a little but our own fault," DeFilippo said. "Before we got in the two-minute situation before the end of the [first half], we only had something like 21 plays. We have to do a better job staying on the field. That's on me. That's on execution. That's on everybody. We have to do a better job converting third downs. When you do that, you have more plays. You can run the ball, throw the ball more and have more offense." …

*DeFilippo also addressed the play Sunday of quarterback Nick Foles, who completed 33 of 47 passes for 296 yards and two touchdowns with one interception. "There was some good and there were some plays he wishes he would have had back," DeFilippo said. "You really saw Nick play well to start the game. I think there was a little bit of a lull in the middle there. Then he really started seeing it toward the end of the third quarter and into the fourth quarter. We're hoping those series of plays there at the end of the game kind of carry over to this week." …

*Wide receiver Chris Conley (hamstring), wide receiver DJ Chark Jr. (hamstring) and cornerback D.J. Hayden (hip/wrist) all practiced full after working limited and safety Ronnie Harrison (eye) and left tackle Cam Robinson (knee) practiced full for a second consecutive day. Center Brandon Linder (shoulder) and defensive end Calais Campbell (back) practiced limited for a second consecutive day while wide receiver Dede Westbrook missed practice with an illness. Tight end Seth DeValve, who missed last Sunday's game with an oblique injury, missed practice with the injury for a second consecutive day. …

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