JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Doug Marrone sees flickers of promise.
But for one of the youngest teams in the NFL, there’s got to be more consistency. The Jaguars haven’t found it yet and the results on the field scream that loud and clear.
Jacksonville is 1-3 and spiraling.
After their third consecutive defeat, this one a 33-25 loss to the previously winless Bengals, Marrone said that players are doing what’s asked of them.
As a team, the Jaguars just have to do it better and do it consistently.
“I told the team afterwards if you’re sitting in here and you’re like ‘well look, I’m doing my job, I’m winning,’ and don’t think we can get anything more out you, then we got we got problems,” Marrone said.
“The players have been good. I mean they understand that we have to get better, the coaches, myself … and get better to a point where we become more consistent and try to put together 60 minutes. There’s flashes, but flashes aren’t good enough to win games.”
The Jaguars can’t play defense at a high enough level to win games. The offense isn’t seasoned enough to be able to come back out of double-figure deficits every game.
There have been sparks in recent weeks, but those sparks haven’t led to more. Jacksonville has gotten good production out of rookie running back James Robinson. On the flip side, quarterback Gardner Minshew has played well in bursts but hasn’t taken a step forward after two solid weeks to open the season.
The defense has played better in the second halves of games against the Titans, Colts and Dolphins, but the starts in those games were ragged. The lack of pressure from the line continues to be a major issue. The team has just four sacks in four games and hasn’t been able to generate anything near a consistent pass rush. The Bengals had given up a staggering 14 sacks in their first three games. Jacksonville managed one sack of rookie quarterback Joe Burrow.
The inexperience could also be attributed to the slow start. Jacksonville has 16 rookies on its roster and 27 players who are 24 years old and younger.
“You could feel that way but that’s not going to help you,” Marrone said about the youth being a reason for the struggles.
“I look at it the other way. That hey, listen, these guys, the effort’s there, we’re getting the effort, we’re getting everything we need from them from practice. The challenge for us as coaches is how much better can we get them.”
Marrone did say that he felt that the Jaguars could be well-positioned for good news on the slew of injured players from Sunday’s game. Among the players who left the Bengals game injured were both starting cornerbacks (DJ Hayden and C.J. Henderson), linebacker Myles Jack and left tackle Cam Robinson.
“I think Wednesday, honestly, I’ll have a good, good feel [of where the injuries are],” he said. “Right now, like I said, I’m optimistic about all those guys, so we’ll see where they are. And we’re just waiting to see how they do when they start to work a little bit.”