It was very business like when the Jaguars departed the busses at their team hotel in Providence this afternoon. That’s not unusual. The team’s goal this week has been to keep their routine the same.
“At the end of the day you just gotta play ball,” said the Jaguars Calais Campbell. “The game is the same since we were kids. Just a bigger stage, bigger audience.”
It is the third appearance in a conference championship for Campbell and he knows that this doesn’t happen every year.
“You have to earn the right to be here. This is very special. It’s a great opportunity and we know that. We prepared the way we’re supposed to prepare and we believe when we do it that way, it leads to a win.”
Although the Jaguars routine is the same, their surroundings are not. A large group of reporters and photographers met the team busses chronicling every move as they arrived. Leonard Fournette had a big shearling coat on. Paul Posluszny wore a business suit. Some players had on the coveted Jaguars beanie. Campbell wore his own Jaguars stocking cap, the same one he wears on every cold weather trip.
“I’m always observing, just trying to get a feel for the guys,” Campbell told us. “We’re loose, sometimes I wonder if it’s too loose but it’s worked for us all year. There’s no reason to doubt at all. It’s just a great opportunity.”
Tonight, meetings and meals, curfew and a bed check will mostly occupy the players’ time. Head coach Doug Marrone will address the entire team, something that Campbell is looking forward to.
“Coach gets a little fired up,” Calais noted. “He likes to get the blood boiling a little bit. He likes to keep it simple. You can tell he’s excited, focused and ready. It’s going to be nice to go to meetings tonight and hear his message.”
With the preparation finished, it is, after all the AFC Championship game, not just any other week. So, will Campbell have any trouble sleeping tonight?
“We’ll see, hopefully I will sleep like a baby,” he said with a laugh. “I might watch a movie or something to get my mind off the game. Definitely some excitement that will keep me tossing and turning a bit, but I’ll wake up, ready to go.”