2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Jaguars' Lewis wants to forget about last 2 years

By MARK LONG - AP Sports Writer
    2013-07-27 16:25

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) - Marcedes Lewis slipped on his headphones after practice Saturday, sprawled out in front of his locker and closed his eyes.

No doubt it's been a while since the veteran tight end has been able to really relax in Jacksonville.

After signing a five-year, $35 million contract in August 2011, Lewis has endured two forgettable seasons with the Jaguars.

Following a 10-touchdown campaign in 2010 that earned Lewis a trip the Pro Bowl, the team rewarded him with a new deal that included nearly $17 million guaranteed. It also brought huge expectations, which Lewis has admittedly failed to meet.

But with a revamped offensive line and another new coaching staff, Lewis has high hopes for 2013.

``I just feel good about being here, and it's about time,'' Lewis said.

Lewis, 29, certainly didn't feel good the last two seasons.

When the 6-foot-6, 272-pound Californian arrived for training camp in 2011, his mind was still 3,000-miles away. And he spent the entire season more concerned about an ugly custody battle involving his young daughter than anything happening on the field. As a result, he dropped passes, rarely picked up first downs and was pretty much an afterthought in one of the league's worst offenses.

``People from the outside don't necessarily know,'' he said. ``They think we're machines and think we can't be altered by real-life situations. It's one thing for adversity to hit, but I've never had a daughter before. It's a situation that hit me way more than I thought it would.

``It affected me the entire season and after that. At that time, I didn't know how to compartmentalize it. I didn't know how to put it in a different place. This was my first time dealing with something like this.''

Lewis finished with 39 receptions for 460 yards and no touchdowns.

He settled most of his off-the-field issues before last season and was expecting to return to form under new coach Mike Mularkey, whose tight-end friendly offense was supposed to be tailor-made for Lewis.

But after a couple of key injuries along the offensive line, the Jaguars started using Lewis more as an extra blocker than a pass-catcher.

He ended the season with 52 catches for 540 yards and four scores. His stats got a boost in the season finale, in which he caught seven passes for a career-high 103 yards.

``Obviously, we hoped for more things last year,'' Lewis said. ``But it just didn't work that way. Not once did I argue or whine. That's not who I am. But people didn't know what was going on inside the building. On Mondays, they're asking me not to expect any catches. You just take it as it goes.

``I'm happy that last year's done, and I'm ready to move forward.''

New coach Gus Bradley and offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch expect big things from Lewis in 2013.

The offensive line should be better with the addition of right tackle Luke Joeckle, the second overall pick in April's draft, and the healthy return of guards Uche Nwaneri and Will Rackley. Running back Maurice Jones-Drew is back from a foot injury, too. And with the emergence of receivers Cecil Shorts III and Justin Blackmon on the outside, there should be more room for Lewis to roam in the middle of the field.

``We need him to be more than just a blocker,'' Fisch said. ``We're trying to use this camp to see what he does best. There's a lot of positives. He's 6-6 and 260 pounds. When you have a guy like that, you have to find ways to get him the ball.''

No one wants that more than Lewis, whose team has missed the playoffs the last five seasons.

``I love blocking,'' Lewis said. ``But at the same time, I want to catch the rock. I want to be able to put us in position to score touchdowns. That's only natural. I actually want to help this team win. It's been too long, and I'm excited about our opportunity. I honestly feel like mentally we have a better grip of where we want to go.''

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

K. Pierre-LouisNov 28 06:52p

The Seattle Seahawks placed LB Kevin Pierre-Louis (shoulder) on Reserve/Injured Friday, Nov. 28.

Jerick McKinnonNov 28 06:02p

Minnesota Vikings RB Jerick McKinnon (back) has officially been listed as doubtful for Week 13. McKinnon has already said that he will not play.

Latavius MurrayNov 28 04:42p

Oakland Raiders RB Latavius Murray (concussion) will not play in Week 13 after failing the final test of the concussion protocol Friday, Nov. 28.

Arian FosterNov 28 04:22p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) is probable for Week 13 after being limited in practice Friday, Nov. 28.

Charles ClayNov 28 04:12p

Miami Dolphins TE Charles Clay (knee, hamstring) did not practice Friday, Nov. 28, and could miss Monday night's game versus the New York Jets.

Larry FitzgeraldNov 28 03:32p

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee) was limited during practice Friday, Nov. 28, and will be a game-time decision for Week 13, according to head coach Bruce Arians. Arians [ More ]

Ray RiceNov 28 03:02p

Free-agent RB Ray Rice (Ravens) has won the appeal of his indefinite suspension and is eligible to play immediately, according to a source.

Jordan ReedNov 28 03:02p

Washington Redskins TE Jordan Reed (hamstring) took part in a full practice Friday, Nov. 28, but is questionable for Week 13 against the Indianapolis Colts.

Dwayne AllenNov 28 02:52p

Indianapolis Colts TE Dwayne Allen (ankle) missed practice all week and is officially out in Week 13 against the Washington Redskins.

Jerick McKinnonNov 28 02:22p

Minnesota Vikings RB Jerick McKinnon (back) said he has been ruled out for Week 13.

William MooreNov 28 02:22p

The Atlanta Falcons activated SS William Moore (shoulder) from the Active/Reserve/Injured list Friday, Nov. 28. The team also waived OT Cameron Bradfield.

Julius ThomasNov 28 02:12p

Denver Broncos TE Julius Thomas (ankle) is in attendance for practice Friday, Nov. 28, but is not participating in drills.

Arian FosterNov 28 01:32p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) is expected to play in Week 13 against the Tennessee Titans, according to head coach Bill O'Brien. O'Brien has been pleased with the [ More ]

Larry FitzgeraldNov 28 10:02a

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee) said he's highly unlikely to play in Week 13 Sunday, Nov. 30.

Marshawn LynchNov 27 11:52p

Seattle Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch had 20 carries for 104 yards in a 19-3 victory over the San Francisco 49ers Thursday, Nov. 27.

Julius ThomasNov 27 07:52p

Denver Broncos TE Julius Thomas (ankle) was limited during practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Anthony DavisNov 27 07:23p

The San Francisco 49ers have declared OT Anthony Davis, WR Bruce Ellington, DL Glenn Dorsey, QB Josh X. Johnson, WR Quinton Patton, CB Tramaine Brock, TE Vance McDonald inactive for Week 13.

Arian FosterNov 27 07:12p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) was limited during practice Wednesday, Nov. 27.

Allen BradfordNov 27 07:12p

The Seattle Seahawks have declared LB Allen Bradford, TE Cooper Helfet, CB Jeremy Lane, LB Kevin Pierre-Louis, C Max Unger, TE Rashaun Allen, DL Travian Robertson inactive for Week 13.

Jordan CameronNov 27 06:32p

Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron (concussion) was limited during practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Latavius MurrayNov 27 04:52p

Oakland Raiders RB Latavius Murray (concussion) was limited during practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Larry FitzgeraldNov 27 04:02p

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee) did not participate in practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Tony HillsNov 27 03:22p

The Dallas Cowboys have declared LB Dekoda Watson, OG Donald Hawkins, QB Dustin Vaughan, FS Jeff Heath, DL Joshua Brent, OT Tony Hills, CB Tyler Patmon inactive for Week 13.

Taylor HartNov 27 03:12p

The Philadelphia Eagles have declared OT Dennis Kelly, DB Jaylen Watkins, WR Jeff Maehl, OG Julian Vandervelde, QB Nick Foles, CB Rashad Carmichael, DE Taylor Hart inactive for Week 13.

Jordan ReedNov 27 03:02p

Washington Redskins TE Jordan Reed (hamstring) was limited in practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Dwayne AllenNov 27 02:32p

Indianapolis Colts TE Dwayne Allen (ankle) did not participate in practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Kyle FullerNov 27 11:32a

Chicago Bears CB Kyle Fuller (knee) will play in the team's Week 13 game against the Detroit Lions. Fuller had been questionable during the week.

Lance BriggsNov 27 11:22a

The Chicago Bears have declared WR Chris X. Williams, LB Darryl Sharpton, OT Eben Britton, DL Jeremiah Ratliff, LB Lance Briggs, CB Terrance Mitchell, DL Trevor Scott inactive for Week Week 13.

Reggie BushNov 27 11:12a

The Detroit Lions have declared QB Kellen Moore, OG Larry Warford, DE Larry Webster, DL Nick Fairley, RB Reggie Bush, OT Riley Reiff, WR Ryan Broyles inactive for Week 13.

Reggie BushNov 27 11:12a

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush (ankle) is inactive Thursday, Nov. 27, for Week 13.

Reggie BushNov 27 10:12a

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush (ankle) is out for Week 13 Thursday, Nov. 27. His ankle isn't responding well enough, but the hope is to return for Week 14.

R. Griffin IIINov 27 09:53a

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III is highly unlikely to return to the team next season, sources within the organization said. Head coach Jay Gruden convinced owner Daniel Snyder [ More ]

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