JACKSONVILLE – Two games remain, and Doug Marrone is motivated.
The Jaguars' head coach on Wednesday afternoon said it's his responsibility to make sure players feel the same way.
"That's my job, to make sure they're ready to go and get ready to play a game," Marrone said Wednesday as the Jaguars (4-10) prepared to play the Miami Dolphins (7-7) at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida, Sunday at 1 p.m.
"The onus is on me to do that."
The Jaguars, eliminated from the playoffs with a 30-9 loss at Tennessee December 6, lost their ensuing game to Washington this past Sunday, 16-13. They will visit the Houston Texans (10-4) in the regular-season finale, meaning both of their remaining games are against teams in contention for the postseason or playing for playoff positioning.
Marrone was asked Wednesday about the idea that Jaguars defensive players perhaps entered the season believing their success last season would automatically carry over to this season. The defense is ranked sixth in the NFL this season after finishing second in yards allowed last season.
"I look at things in life – at how people deal with success and failure – as pretty important," Marrone said. "It's kind of like the poem by [Rudyard Kipling]: 'Treat both imposters (triumph and disaster) the same.' I really feel that way. When you start letting things on the outside cloud yourself, I think you lose that focus.
"The whole key when you're going through a 16-game season – training camp, injuries, ups and downs – maintaining that focus creates that consistency. When you start to lose that as a player, you're not going to play at the highest level. Even myself as a coach … if you lose that as a coach, you're not going be able to perform at the best level. …"
Marrone added, "I take total responsibility. What's on the field is my responsibility. I've done a poor job of communicating, of keeping everyone on track, of keeping everyone consistent. That falls solely on me, and I'm not going to back down from that."
Marrone on Wednesday also discussed third-year cornerback Jalen Ramsey being selected a Pro Bowl starter for a second consecutive season, calling Ramsey deserving of the honor.
"He's a guy who has been out there every Sunday," Marrone said. "He plays through injury. We match him up against the top guys (opposing receivers)."
*Running back Leonard Fournette practiced full with a foot injury. Fournette rushed 11 times for 46 yards in a loss to Washington Sunday, rushing just one time for 25 yards in the second half. …
*Four Jaguars players missed practice: wide receiver DJ Chark Jr. (quadriceps), safety Jarrod Wilson (personal/foot), right tackle Jermey Parnell (knee) and kicker Josh Lambo (right groin). Chark has missed the last four games, while Parnell and Lambo both missed Sunday's loss to Washington; Josh Wells started for Parnell and Kai Forbath made two of two field-goal attempts playing for Lambo. Marrone said Wilson would have practiced on a limited basis on Wednesday if not for the personal issue. …
*Marrone said linebacker Donald Payne will practice Wednesday with the idea of the team activating Payne for the regular-season finale. The second-year veteran has been on injured reserve since sustaining a knee injury in a 20-7 Week 7 loss to Houston. "If he practices well, we'll try to figure out a way to bring him up," Marrone said of Payne. NFL teams each season can designate to players on injured reserve to return; Wells returned off injured reserve last week. …
*Marrone also said strong safety Ronnie Harrison will be placed on injured reserve later in the week, adding that the knee injury the rookie sustained against Washington is not expected to require surgery. Harrison started the last three games at the position. …