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Wednesday: "We've got to do a lot of things better…"


JACKSONVILLE – Running back Leonard Fournette hasn't been ruled out.

That was the news at Doug Marrone's media availability Wednesday, but mostly the Jaguars' head coach continued to make one thing clear:

The Jaguars must improve, and they must do it now.

"We've got to do a lot of things better," Marrone said Wednesday morning as the Jaguars (3-3) prepared to play the Houston Texans (3-3) in an AFC South game at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville Sunday at 1 p.m.

That was Marrone's major theme Wednesday, and he emphasized it during most of the questions he answered – that what has happened in consecutive one-sided losses to Dallas and Kansas City is unacceptable, and the way to change is to work and improve fundamentals.

"I'll get a lot of questions about Houston, and I have a lot of a ton of respect for them," he said. "But just so we're all on the same page with what's going on with me: I'm more focused on what we've got to get done in practice and do those things before we can even go to the next step and get out there on the field Sunday.

"We have a lot of time between now and Sunday to correct a lot of bad football that we've been playing."

Marrone reiterated the focus on fundamentals often, answering a question about a struggling Houston offensive line possibly being a chance for the Jaguars to get back to being "Sacksonville" as follows: "If you're think of it like that, that's a pretty good path to probably get your ass kicked."

"We've got to think about fundamentally we've gotten away from some things, and that's on us as coaches," Marrone said. "That's what I've challenged the coaches and I've challenged myself with this week: 'Hey, listen: we've got to get back to fundamentals. We've got to stick with something we can sink our teeth in, and this way we can go out there and just perform.'"

Added Marrone: "Me and the coaches have to do a better job of the little things, the fundamentals, the technique. Scheme … that will take care of itself. Let's get back to where we can run, block, tackle – function – before we start over-scheming and overdoing things."

Marrone was asked why the Jaguars are struggling fundamentally.

"It's us [coaches]," he said. "We've got to do a better job. Is it part on their end? Yeah, it's part on their end. But whatever we emphasize, that's what usually a player will take. We have to get back and emphasize the heck of it.

"I'm a firm believer that anytime you see football being played as poorly as we've been playing, that's what it goes down to. You have to do things well fundamentally. Usually if you do that you have a chance to play better."

Among the topics Marrone also covered Wednesday: the status of Fournette and cornerbacks D.J. Hayden and Tre Herndon. Fournette has missed four of the last five games with a hamstring issue, and Hayden – the team's nickel corner – has missed the last four games with a toe injury. Herndon has been out two games with a hamstring injury.

Fournette, who rushed for 1,040 yards and nine touchdowns for the NFL's top-ranked rushing offense last season, won't practice Wednesday. Nor will Hayden or Herndon.

Marrone said there's a chance all three could play Sunday.

"After you get through today, then tomorrow you give it a shot – then you pretty much know by then," Marrone said.


*In addition to Hayden, Herndon and Fournette, the following players are not expected to practice: running back T.J. Yeldon (foot/ankle), center Brandon Linder (knee), left guard Andrew Norwell (foot) and defensive end Calais Campbell (ankle). Yeldon has started the last two games for Fournette, playing through the ankle injury since Week 2. Norwell has started the last two games with the foot injury. Campbell also has started the last three games with the ankle injury, while Linder has missed practice each Wednesday while starting all six games this season with the knee issue.

*The following players are expected to practice with injuries: cornerback Jalen Ramsey (knee/ankle), right tackle Jermey Parnell (knee) and defensive tackle Malik Jackson (hamstring).

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