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Wednesday update: "This team is different"


JACKSONVILLE – Worried about the Jaguars' focus this week?

Doug Marrone isn't.

"This team is different," the Jaguars' head coach said.

So, as the Jaguars (10-4) on Wednesday morning began preparing to play the San Francisco 49ers (4-10) at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California, Sunday at 4:05 p.m., the potential of players being distracted by outside goings on didn't concern Marrone.

Not the increased media attention. Not a sudden uptick in praise. Not a chance to accomplish a significant, season-long goal.

Not even – gasp! – respect.

"I've said it from the beginning: 'I think they felt like they are who they are from the beginning – like they were going to win the division, go to the playoffs and win football games,' " Marrone said. "We haven't won the division. I think they're going to go out there and be extremely focused.

"They've been loose. They haven't seemed tight. I would be shocked if the team changed."

The Jaguars, after clinching their first postseason appearance since 2007 this past Sunday, can clinch the first AFC South title in franchise history Sunday. The Jaguars will clinch the South if the Los Angeles Rams (10-4) beat the Tennessee Titans (8-6) in Nashville at 1 p.m.  – or if the Jaguars beat the 49ers later in the afternoon.

Marrone also during his Wednesday media availability was asked about the team's goal for the week.

"Win," he said simply. "Win, and win the division."

Also on Wednesday:

*Wide receiver Allen Hurns returned to practice after missing the last five games with an ankle injury sustained in a victory over the Los Angeles Chargers on November 12. "He's supposed to be ready to go full go," Marrone said. "I'm excited to see him on the field." …

*Marrone said he remains hopeful that wide receiver Marqise Lee can play against the 49ers on Sunday. Lee left this past Sunday's victory over the Texans with a first-quarter ankle injury.  "I'm holding out that he's got a chance," Marrone said.

*Lee was one of three Jaguars players not expected to practice Wednesday with the others being tight end Marcedes Lewis (shoulder) and wide receiver Larry Pinkard (concussion). Listed with injuries but expected to practice were quarterback Blake Bortles (right wrist), cornerback Jalen Ramsey (back), defensive back Peyton Thompson (foot), defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. (hamstring), running back Leonard Fournette (quadriceps), running back Chris Ivory (back/elbow), center Brandon Linder (ankle/hand/knee) and Hurns. Fournette missed Sunday's game after not practicing all three days last week. …

*Marrone, who coached 49ers wide receiver Marquise Goodwin in Buffalo in 2013-2014, called Goodwin "the fastest player I've ever seen on the field." Goodwin, a former Olympic long jumper and elite-level sprinter, has a career-best 51 receptions for 897 yards and a touchdown this season in his first season with the 49ers. "I'm not surprised by his production," Marrone said. "He's always had that in him. He's dangerous with the ball in his hand, because if he gets behind you you're not catching him. There's no doubt." …

*Marrone on 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, who is 3-0 as a starter in San Francisco after being made the starter three games ago: "He's probably the hottest quarterback in the league right now. He's never lost a game, so you have to make sure you understand what you're going against." Garoppolo, acquired by the 49ers from the New England Patriots for a second-round selection in the 2018 NFL Draft, has thrown for 1,008 yards and two touchdowns with two interceptions in the past three games. "Right now, he's the best quarterback in the league," Marrone said. Marrone was asked if Garoppolo was "hotter" right now than Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles, who has thrown for 903 yards, seven touchdowns and no interceptions in the last three games. "I don't have to play against our guy," Marrone said. "I have to play against their guy." …

*Marrone was asked about the Jaguars having four players – cornerbacks Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye, defensive end Calais Campbell and defensive tackle Malik Jackson – named to the 2018 Pro Bowl. "It's fine," he said. "I'm more concerned about the team and winning. I'm happy for those guys. We've got a lot of guys on our team who have played extremely well and who are good enough to make that team. Hopefully, we're all focused in on our team goals." …

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