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Wednesday Marrone: "It's a whole different team…"

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Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone during the first half of an NFL football game against the Indianapolis Colts, Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Gary McCullough)

JACKSONVILLE – The past is past.

Doug Marrone is taking that approach to the 2020 season, and the Jaguars' head coach absolutely is taking it this week.

The Jaguars (1-0) will play the Tennessee Titans (1-0) at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tenn., Sunday at 1 p.m. It's an AFC South game against a team that has fared well against the Jaguars in recent seasons. It's a venue where the Jaguars have struggled lately.

None of which is particularly important to Marrone.

"That's one of the things I've changed this year," Marrone said when asked if he looked at trends to learn why the Jaguars haven't won in Nashville since 2013.

"I used to do that – look back and look at things, whether it's positive or negative. I used to look at things like that when you've got a lot of guys returning, but it's such a different atmosphere and such a different team and it's such a young team."

The Jaguars split with the Titans last season, winning a Week 3 game in Jacksonville by a score of 20-7 before losing a Week 12 game in Nashville by a score of 42-20. The Titans have won the teams' last six meetings in Tennessee by a cumulative 181-114.

The Titans – who made the playoffs as a wild card last season with a 9-7 record before advancing to the AFC Championship Game – won the last two meetings in Nashville 72-29, with running back Derrick Henry rushing for 397 yards in the two meetings.

"You're talking about a team that went to the AFC Championship Game, and another team that's picked to go a long way this year," Marrone said. "They're just getting more and more pieces together for themselves. It's a challenge. They have a lot of pieces in all three phases.

"They have a heck of a football team. They play extremely well."

The Jaguars will play on the road for the first time this season Sunday, with a reduced traveling party and strict road protocols in place because of COVID-19.

"We're looking at this as this is our first road game, and I'm curious to see how our young guys on our team play on the road," Marrone said.

The Titans beat the Denver Broncos, 16-14 Monday – a day after the Jaguars beat the Indianapolis Colts, 27-20, in an AFC South game in the regular season opener. For the Jaguars, it was an important season-opening victory for a young team with 16 rookies on the roster.

Marrone on Wednesday said the team's youth has affected his approach on multiple fronts, but particularly in not referencing the past when discussing the present.

"We've got so many young guys and first-year guys and not many guys have been around," he said. "I wanted to make sure there was clarity, that it was real clear for everyone knowing it's just human nature for people to say, 'Hey, listen … this is what happened before' or 'this is what happened to this team.' I wanted to say, 'You know what? This is really a whole different deal.' It's a whole different team. It's a whole different atmosphere. If you labeled this season it would be, 'A season of change.'

"I wanted to make sure we kept our focus on a daily basis, looking at the day and not getting too far ahead. I didn't want players who were new or young players to try to go, 'What was going on? What are you trying to correct? What are you trying to do?'

"My goal was to say, 'Hey, this is the vision I want to create for this football team.' That's kind of the way I approached it."

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