JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Doug Marrone said Blake Bortles will continue to start at quarterback when his Jacksonville Jaguars attempt to snap a six-game losing streak when they play the Buffalo Bills on Sunday at New Era Field, the first time Marrone will return to Buffalo as a head coach.
Marrone was the Bills’ coach in 2013 and ’14, when he led the franchise to a 15-17 record.
Marrone was an assistant with the Jaguars when he returned to Buffalo on Thanksgiving weekend two years ago for a game the Bills won 28-21.
He took over as Jacksonville’s interim for the final two games of that season.
Of course, the Jaguars defeated the Bills, 10-3, in a wildcard playoff game last season in Jacksonville.
“I’ve been up there a couple of times already and I always have a great appreciation for the fans and the way the organization, everything that happened when I was up there,” Marrone said Monday. “I was always very grateful and very appreciative of it. It’s been a long time now, we’ve played those guys a couple of times and right now my focus is just on my team, because obviously we’ve got to play well enough to try to get a win.”
Marrone has deep roots in New York, beyond his tenure in Buffalo. The Bronx native also served as head coach at Syracuse from 2009-12.
Marrone's team is riding a six-game losing streak and is coming off blowing a 16-point lead in a 20-16 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday.
“When you don’t win, you look at all the different things," Marrone said. "The turnovers at one point, giving up big plays at another point, not being able to finish and put it together for four quarters. ... Sometimes it’s the play-calling, sometimes it’s the execution, but first, you start with the mentality of the team, knowing that if we continue to work hard and we continue to work together to figure out this formula that we need right now to go out and get a win. Are you disappointed? Yes. I always worry about that word ‘frustration’ because frustration is an emotion … I don’t want to get too [deep into it] … I just look at it like, if I get frustrated, what type of production can I have? Everybody is looking to me for the answers and what we have to do, so I’m continually going to keep working through that, trying to find the best way – whatever it is."