JACKSONVILLE – Last week's issue is this week's issue, too.
Add in some serious urgency and outside criticism, and run defense was – as expected – an overriding topic around the Jaguars Wednesday.
The Jaguars aren't stopping the run recently. At all.
Players and coaches know it. They discussed it last week before struggling in the area Sunday, and they discussed Wednesday in the vein of what it has become – the defining issue of the 2019 season.
"We've got to stop the run; it starts with the D-line," defensive end Calais Campbell said as the Jaguars (4-6) began preparing to play the Tennessee Titans (5-5) at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee, Sunday at 4:05 p.m.
Head Coach Doug Marrone and Jaguars players discussed multiple issues Wednesday – including wide receiver DJ Chark's improvement this season. But a run defense that ranks 29th in the NFL at 134.6-yards-per-game allowed was perhaps the primary topic.
"As a defense right now, that's what we're focusing on," linebacker Najee Goode said. "We're focusing on stopping the run and recovering from what we made mistakes on. When we don't do it consistently, it's frustrating for us because we know we can do it.
"We just have to go out there and consistently play our game. When we do that, it's beautiful."
The Jaguars have allowed 480 yards in their last two games – losses to the Houston Texans and Indianapolis Colts. They allowed the Texans 216 yards rushing, then allowed the Colts 264 yards rushing with two players – Marlon Mack and Johnathan Williams – rushing for more than 100 yards.
"It's a go-get-it mentality," Jaguars cornerback DJ Hayden said. "It's just not taking no for an answer. It's going out there and imposing your will on somebody else. That's all we've got to do."
Marrone changed the practice schedule to focus on tackling and said on Wednesday the run-defense issues are many-fold.
"It's everything," Marrone said. "It's not just the linebackers. It starts up front. We've got to do a better job up front and that gives us a better opportunity to do a good job at the second level then obviously as the second level."
The Jaguars on Sunday must improve the run defense while playing Titans running back Derrick Henry, who rushed for 238 yards and four touchdowns in a victory over the Jaguars in Nashville last November. Henry rushed for just 44 yards on 17 carries in the Jaguars' Week 3 victory over the Titans in Jacksonville this season.
"It's want-to," defensive tackle Abry Jones said. "Tennessee is not a team that you just go in there and stop a couple of plays and they just stop running the ball. They have a great workhorse back there who deserves to get the ball down-in and down-out.
"It's a mentality to make sure we're going to take away the run game from them and if they think they can get it back, we have to keep taking it from them."
Marrone on Wednesday emphasized the need for defenders to get off blocks better and tackle better.
"That's what everyone has to do and then we have to tackle well," Marrone said. "We've just got to keep hustling, working, getting off blocks better – taking on blocks and getting off of them. We've got guys covering us up last week and we weren't able to get off blocks.
"It's a matter when someone's coming at us of, 'Hey, you've got to take them on and get off.' That's the one thing we're not doing very well. The common theme when we haven't been able to stop the run is we haven't been able to get off blocks or we haven't been in the right spots and a lack of tackling."
Also around the Jaguars Wednesday:
*Marrone on Wednesday praised Chark, a second-year veteran who has emerged as the Jaguars' top receiver with 51 receptions for 796 yards and eight touchdowns. "He keeps getting better," Marrone said. "He's really playing well. He's big. He's strong. He's fast. He gets contested balls. He can catch the ball over the middle, run, score. He's doing a lot of things well. He's kind of quiet and he just works his butt off. He'll continue to get better." …
*Tight end Seth DeValve continued to be out, missing practice with an oblique injury after missing this past Sunday's game with the same injury. Campbell (back) and center Brandon Linder (shoulder) also missed practice, as is often the case for both players on regular-season Wednesdays. Five Jaguars players practice limited Wednesday: wide receivers Chark (hamstring) and Chris Conley (hamstring), Hayden (hip/wrist), safety Ronnie Harrison (eye) and left tackle Cam Robinson (knee). …