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JACKSONVILLE Eric Wood
Jersey , Fla. (AP) Calling it ”not an exact science,” Jaguars coach
Doug Marrone wants to do a better job of getting rookie running back Leonard
Fournette the ball in ”the right situations.”
The Jaguars (2-2) failed to get Fournette a touch during a key sequence in a
23-20 overtime loss at the New York Jets on Sunday.
Trailing 20-17 late in regulation, Jacksonville appeared to take the lead
when Fournette turned a screen pass into a 23-yard touchdown. But the score was
nullified because of a holding call on receiver Arrelious Benn.
The Jaguars were pushed back to the 16, and Chris Ivory replaced Fournette on
Ivory gained 10 yards to set up a first-and-goal situation from the 6-yard
line with 1:46 remaining. But Fournette didn’t touch the ball on any of the next
three plays – all passes from Blake Bortles.
The Jaguars settled for a field goal and overtime, squandering a decent
chance to steal a victory on the road.
”We’re still trying to do a better job of when we distribute all that
Schmidt Jersey ,” Marrone said Monday. ”We’ve just got to keep
doing a better job so this way when the right situations come up we can put him
in there, get him in there, and he’s 110 percent and he’s good. … That’s
something we can do a better job of.”
Fournette finished with 24 carries for 86 yards. He also had four receptions
for 59 yards, including a 10-yard touchdown catch to end the opening drive.
So Fournette touched the ball 28 times in his 39 plays.
But Ivory and fellow running back Corey Grant got the ball on third-and-short
plays in the fourth quarter, and neither moved the chains.
”It’s really a difficult thing Cordy Glenn
Jersey ,” Marrone said. ”It’s easy afterward, `Oh, I wish we had
him in this situation. … We’re always trying to constantly maintain how to
manage the substitution level to make sure that the best players are in. …
There’s a lot of things that go into it so it’s not an exact science, but it’s
one that we continue to keep working on.”
Equally troubling for the Jaguars is creating some space for Fournette.
The Jaguars have run the ball against eight or more defenders in the box an
NFL-high 48 times, including 16 against the Jets. They have 139 total
carries Jerry Hughes
Jersey , meaning 35 percent of those have come against eight or
more defenders near the line of scrimmage.
Fournette has an NFL-high 29 carries against stacked boxes.
And part of the problem stems from losing leading receiver Allen Robinson in
the season opener. Robinson tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee
at Houston and had season-ending surgery. Marqise Lee, Allen Hurns and rookie
Keelan Cole have failed to fill the void for Bortles.
The Jaguars are one of four teams without a passing play of at least 40
yards. The other three – Chicago, Houston and Miami – have changed quarterbacks
since the preseason.
With opponents are essentially loading the box against Fournette and daring
Bortles to beat them over the top without his big-play threat.
”We are running against some tough situations,” Marrone said. ”We just have
to make the plays down the field when we’re able to make it. We did have some
opportunities and we weren’t able to take advantage for multiple reasons,
whether it’s protection or just what’s happening on the other side of the field.
”You have to start making those plays and doing those things to get people
out of stacking the box.”