JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – During his weekly press conference Wednesday, Jaguars coach Doug Marrone delivered his message to reporters, just minutes after addressing the team. Marrone's message: Work harder.
With his team stuck in a two-game losing streak, fighting injuries, and poor play, Marrone didn’t single any individual out, but instead singled everybody out as a group, including himself, as he talked about what he believes is the way to get back to winning.
"Unfortunately, I learned by going through it so much," Marrone said. "I have been in all these different situations. Clear head and communication. Showing that you care more about others than you care about yourself is important. That is humility. There is no magic pill or magic moment that you can just snap your fingers and go. The only way to start playing better is you have to work your ass off. You have to work hard."
Marrone, as he has done after losses in the past, went to great lengths to include himself in the criticism.
"You have to coach better. We have to play better. I have to do a better job. That is how simple it is," Marrone said. "It is like that with anything in life, whether it is football, family or work or whatever it may be. I like it because it is challenging. What better than hitting adversity and coming back from it. Seeing who people are. It happens all the time. It happens to me my whole entire life."
Now the next question: Will the players respond?
The Jaguars, especially on defense, are a veteran group, many of whom have been through worse than a two-game losing streak. The test of whether the message lands will be seen on Sunday.
"I think we had a reality check these past two weeks," defensive tackle Malik Jackson said. "You have to be a realist, but you have to understand that we have more opportunities. If you blow up this loss, then it will affect us more than we want it to."