JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - While the Jaguars were busy dominating the Texans on Sunday, Hurricane Irma was bearing down on Jacksonville and the entire First Coast. After the game was over reality set in for what for what was going on back home.
“You know, it’s crazy,” said Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles. “To go to Houston where a week ago Harvey had kind of hit there and see that and talk to the people there, and while we were there knowing Irma was hitting home and hitting Florida, kind of affecting our families and then coming back, we got back yesterday, and seeing all the trees fallen down, all the stuff. I know I spent my day trying to fix a fence on the side of the house that got blown down. It’s crazy, devastating to see what has happened, what people lost, some of the things that they have to go through. I know us, as a team, are thinking and praying for everyone involved, and I know my foundation, personally, is going to get involved and do some stuff, and I’m sure some other guys will as well.”
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The Jaguars didn’t return from Houston until Tuesday. Like many around the area they were glued to the TV and social media to find out how bad Hurricane Irma was.
“Just seeing the devastation around the whole state in Miami and Tampa as well,” said Jaguars defensive tackle Malik Jackson. “It’s pretty interesting being from the west coast and you never hear about hurricanes. All we have is earthquakes. But to see one and be part of one and to see the aftermath is pretty interesting.”
On Wednesday the team returned to the practice field in preparation for Sunday’s game against Tennessee. A win would make the Jaguars 2-0 for the first time since 2006. As an organization they’re also well aware that beating the Titans would be a big lift for the entire city.
“I don’t try to ignore the things that are going on the outside,” said Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone. “We address it, we think about the people that don’t have power or their homes were flooded, we think about the first responders, the things of that nature and you also think about the rest of the state. A lot of us are very fortunate, it was a very difficult storm, so I think you think about the rest of those people and I think you just talk about it and we understand we have to practice but we focus on what we have to do at the moment.”
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