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Thursday: Winless Jaguars host Titans while fighting inner hostility

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey showed up for training camp in a Brinks truck.

Based on his actions Monday, when he asked for a trade, it sounds like he’d prefer a moving van these days.

“Right now,” Ramsey said Tuesday afternoon, “I’m still a part of the Jacksonville Jaguars.”

And that may not even be the biggest issue facing coach Doug Marrone as he tries to get Jacksonville into the win column Thursday night against the visiting Tennessee Titans.






Marrone’s daring call to go for two points and the win Sunday at Houston backfired when running back Leonard Fournette was stopped inches short of the goal line after Gardner Minshew’s 4-yard touchdown pass to DJ Chark with 30 seconds left.

“I loved the play,” Marrone said. “I looked at it all week. At the end of the day, we just didn’t get enough push up front. Really, when you look at it on film, I wish we were able to get more push. I’m sure the players did.”

The 13-12 defeat dropped the Jaguars to 0-2, making this game a must-win situation if they are to entertain hopes of contending for the AFC South title. And Marrone’s sideline confrontation with Ramsey was arguably a bigger story Monday than the failed gambit at the end of the loss in Houston.

Upset that a DeAndre Hopkins catch in the first quarter wasn’t challenged, Ramsey had words with Marrone as he approached the Jacksonville sideline after the Texans’ possession ended. Ramsey walked to the bench and Marrone followed him to continue the conversation.

It got heated enough between the duo that safety Ronnie Harrison had to walk Marrone back toward the sideline. A day later, Marrone opted to shrug it off as a situation where emotions boiled over.

“These things happen,” he said. “They happen all the time; they really do. I think now they’re a little bit more publicized, but ever since I played there’s always stuff that goes on during the course of a game. These things occur.”

While the Jaguars spent the day after a loss marinating in controversy, Tennessee (1-1) licked its wounds from another loss to Indianapolis. A 19-17 defeat in Nashville was the Titans’ 14th in 16 games against the Colts since December 2011.






The Titans’ defense did its part by allowing only 288 yards, forcing two turnovers and bagging three sacks. But their offense resembled a limp noodle on a sweltering Sunday in Nashville, managing just 242 total yards and giving up four sacks for the second straight week.

Second-year coach Mike Vrabel hinted that quarterback Marcus Mariota could improve his pocket presence at times.

“I think at times there were some examples where (his pocket presence) was good,” Vrabel said. “There were times when the protection wasn’t what we were looking for, and there were times when there was a pocket and we probably got out of there too soon.”

Mariota completed 19 of 28 passes, but for just 154 yards. No pass went longer than 25 yards as Tennessee failed to offer a downfield presence, a frequent problem since 2017.

But the Titans have experienced success against Jacksonville, sweeping the season series the last two years. That includes a 30-9 win on Dec. 6 in which Derrick Henry set a franchise record with 238 rushing yards and tied an all-time NFL record with a 99-yard touchdown run.






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