Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette is looking to move past his Week 9 benching. The rookie running back was a healthy scratch on Sunday after violating team rules.
"We just had a misunderstanding, that's all," Fournette said. "That's out of the way now. I did my time, I did my punishment and now we're on to the L.A. Chargers."
Fournette was forced to watch his teammates beat the Cincinnati Bengals, 23-7. It wasn't easy to be a spectator during the team's first EverBank Field win of his rookie season.
"It was aggravating," Fournette said. "As a competitor and also a player, you want to go out there and play with your brothers. Like I said, it's just another lesson I'm to have to learn and grow up from."
Fournette doesn't think he has lost the respect of the locker room. He just wants to learn from the incident and get back to work.
He hasn't played in three weeks because of the benching, the bye week and an ankle injury. Trying to find a silver lining in the whole ordeal, the rookie running back is feeling great heading into the matchup against the Chargers.
"God does everything for a reason, man," Fournette said. "Maybe it was my time to sit out. I feel great. Can't wait to go out there Sunday in our stadium and go to work."
Fournette has produced 596 rushing yards and six rushing touchdowns through six games this season. He is still on pace for 1,390 rushing yards and 14 rushing touchdowns if he plays out the rest of the year.
Marrone on Gus Bradley's defense
The Jaguars have plenty of familiarity with Los Angeles Chargers defensive coordinator Gus Bradley. The former Jaguars head coach served as the leader of the Jacksonville squad from 2012-2016.
Marrone served as Bradley's offensive line coach for two seasons. Offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett was on the staff with Marrone during that time period.
Defensive coordinator Todd Wash served in the same role under Bradley last year. Prior to his promotion to defensive coordinator, Wash served with Bradley on several staffs as a defensive line coach.
The team also has 31 players who played for Bradley in Jacksonville.
Still, the familiarity isn't much of an advantage for either side, according to Marrone.
"All the coordinators, offensively and defensively, kind of know the background and philosophy," Marrone said. "A lot of it goes to how they’re using the players and the positions and things of that nature. There’s a little bit of it, but, at the same time, you still have to go out there and the players that are on the field have to perform.”
The Chargers have plenty of ways to attack an opposing offense. Bradley coaches one of the best pass rushing tandems in the league, Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa. The two pass rushers have combined for 17 sacks so far this season.
Marrone said Ingram benefits from his speed.
“[Ingram is] quick as a cat now," Marrone said. "He’s got good power, both inside and out."
Marrone said Bosa is successful because of his technique.
"You can’t look at him like a two-year player," Marrone said. "Technically, he’s as good as anyone you would see as far as hand usage and movement and he has an unbelievable, both guys have unbelievable motors. They really do. They’re constantly working to the quarterback or to the play. You’re going to have your hands full all day with those two players.”
Marrone also noted that inside linebacker Denzel Perryman (ankle) is set to return from injured reserve this week. The Jaguars head coach thinks Perryman is one of the biggest playmakers on the Chargers' defense.
"They get the middle linebacker back," Marrone said. "He’s really the heart and soul of the defense. He’s an outstanding football player. I’ve seen him coming out, watching him play when we played against him. He’s someone who can make a ton of tackles. We’re going to be challenged."
More News and Notes
- Punt returner Jaydon Mickens was named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week Wednesday. Mickens returned a punt for a 63-yard touchdown against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 9. It was only the second punt return of his career.
Mickens is only the fifth player to return a punt for a touchdown in Jaguars' history. He is also only the fifth returner in franchise history to win the AFC Special Teams Player of the Week award.
- The Jaguars were without wide receiver Marqise Lee (knee) and defensive tackle Marcell Dareus (illness) at practice.
Lee missed the first two practices of last week but still played in Week 9, producing eight catches for 75 yards and a touchdown. Dareus made his Jaguars debut on Sunday against the Bengals.
- The Jaguars waived linebacker Hayes Pullard following final cuts in September. The third-year player was claimed up off waivers by the Chargers.
Pullard has moved his way into the starting lineup, leading the team with 59 total tackles. He also produced his first career interception in Week 6 against the Oakland Raiders.
Marrone spoke about Pullard during his Wednesday press conference:
"It’s always tough when you have good players and you have to make decisions. He did a hell of a job when he was here. Good kid, played well. I have a past with him because when I was at Syracuse he was at USC playing linebacker. He was a starter there. We understand and know that and appreciate everything he did here. We know he’s a good football player and he’s playing well.”
- The NFL is donating $5 to military non-profit partners for every use of #SaluteToService on Twitter from November 3-11. The total donation was over $1.1 million as of Wednesday at 11:12 a.m.
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