Jaguars Need A Big Step Forward vs. Bucs

Again this week Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone isn’t telling anybody how long different players will see action against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Marrone says he isn’t “a secretive guy” but rather wants the players to be ready to play instead of ready to come out.

After giving quarterback Blake Bortles a rest on Sunday, Marrone thought his quarterback performed better in the two practices against the Bucs. Blake says the whole offense is still learning, but it needs to be quicker.

“Not everybody is young anymore,” he said after Tuesday’s practice. ” That’s not a crutch to use anymore, so I think guys are definitely more football-smart and able to pick up the scheme and system a little quicker. I think when you take a step back and look at it, it still is our first camp in the system with Coach Hackett and I think guys have done a good job. Definitely still a lot to improve on.”

Are they getting better? It appears they have more talent and they are more “football smart” but while the good isn’t great, the bad is really bad.

“Yeah, I think so,” Blake explained regarding the peaks and valleys so far in camp. “Because I think we’ve shown day in and day out how good we can be and then we’ve shown day in and day out how stupid some of the stuff we do is.”

Which is almost exactly how Marrone described watching his offense operate. Sometimes pretty good, sometimes pretty bad.

“I’m always trying to get more, so for me I’m one of those guys that it’s hard for me to say,” Doug said about his reticence to say they’re improving on offense. “There are some throws that I’ll think, ‘Hey, that’s a good throw,’ and then I’ll be like, ‘That’s a horse s^@$ throw.’ “I thought he came back and really had no issues for these two days. I think he’s gotten good work, and I think that him along with the rest of the guys on offense, I want those guys to get better.”

Last week against the Patriots you could see the Jaguars getting better and more competitive everyday. This week didn’t have that marked improvement and Bortles noticed.

“There hasn’t been a whole lot of negative or positive,” he said. “I think we need to be more crisp in the situational stuff. We can make the plays. We can do all the stuff we need to do, you’ve just got to do it every time it’s called.”

So it’s back to the consistency and the focus Marrone has talked about since day one. Don’t just do it the first or the last time, do it every time. And Doug thinks it’s his job to make sure they stay focused on that goal.

“My job is to coach them and get them better. They screw up; they are going to hear it. If it’s a good play, there’s a chance they’ll hear it. I’m going to continue to push them through every single play.”