LONDON, England –
A day before the Jaguars kick off against the Philadelphia Eagles in London, Doug Marrone and the Jaguars captains addressed fans in London, with Marrone recalling his long football history in England.
“I was actually here in a capacity representing the NFL; I was here in 1988 as a player for the Miami Dolphins and we wound up playing the San Francisco 49ers here back all the way in 1988. And then obviously coming back with other NFL teams and then obviously with the World League with the London Monarchs, coming here and winning the championship that first year was outstanding,” Marrone said. “And then coming back here with Jacksonville and just the way people appreciate American football in the way they take into our game and the way they’ve taken to our players, is just a great appreciation from our club.”
Jaguars captains Telvin Smith, Calais Campbell, Blake Bortles, Brandon Linder, Leonard Fournette and Lerentee McCray, who wore the black jerseys they will wear in Sunday’s game as they addressed a crowd at the Brent Civic Center. Among those in the audience were NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and former Eagles quarterback Ron Jaworski, along with scores of NFL jersey-wearing fans, many of whom sported the teal and black of the Jaguars.
“I think each year is kind of like a new experience. It’s always you’re caught off guard, I think, just by whether it’s the accent or the language or cultural differences, but it’s always cool to come over. I think the coolest thing for me is just seeing how many more Jags fans there are each year. We were watching around the stadium continue to build up and continuing to be bigger and cooler things. Just seeing the Jags fan base grow over here is pretty special,” Bortles said.
The Jaguars hope to end their losing skid by returning to the physical style of play that Marrone favors and that the team was built around.
“That’s what we always want to do as an offense, as an offensive line. We want to run the ball and set the tone being physical. I know up front for the d-line, that’s the same way,” Linder said. “They want to be physical and stop the run and get pushed back on the other offensive linemen. The biggest thing is being physical.”
NFL Network personalities Rich Eisen, Steve Mariucci and Michael Irvin also spoke on stage.