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Jacksonville coach Doug Marrone discounts weather factor

January 11, 2018 GMT

Jacksonville Jaguars coach Doug Marrone won’t mind being left out in the cold when he brings his team to Heinz Field on Sunday for an AFC divisional playoff game against the Steelers.

The forecast calls for a high temperature of 18 degrees with a low of 4, which will make it the coldest conditions the Jaguars will play in this season. It’s also a stark contrast from when the teams played at Heinz Field in October. It was 73 degrees at kickoff that day.

In their home wild-card game against Buffalo last week, the Jaguars played in mild 53-degree conditions.

Marrone isn’t concerned. The temperature was 23 degrees with a 16-degree wind chill when the Jaguars played at Tennessee on the final week of the regular season.

“We’ve been fortunate that we have played in some cold weather,” Marrone said. “I think it’s all in the mindset. It’s no different than when you’re up north and you’re coming down south early in the season with the heat. People have to adjust to that.”

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Case in point: The Steelers lost in Miami in October, 2016 when the temperature was 81 degrees. In the wild-card playoff rematch, the Dolphins had difficulty dealing with the 17-degree (minus 2 wind chill) conditions at Heinz Field. The Steelers scored two quick touchdowns and raced to a 30-12 win.

“Years ago when I played or was coaching, they didn’t have all of the things they have now – thermo gear, heaters on the sidelines,” Marrone said. “It’s different than it was back in the day. You didn’t have those things.

“I think the hardest part for the players is the warmups because they can’t get to the benches.”

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said Tuesday that he welcomes the cold.

“It’s just a part of life in Pittsburgh, Pa.,” he said. “It’s a part of life that we embrace.”