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Marla Ridenour on Sports

Jags' Lewis a tough matchup

By Marla Published: November 19, 2010

Jacksonville tight end Marcedes Lewis is one of only three players in the league with three multi-touchdown games this season.

 Lewis, 6-foot-6 and 275 pounds, was a first-round pick in 2006 out of UCLA. He's recorded 30 receptions for 379 yards and a career-high seven touchdowns in 2010. That TD total equals his scoring production the previous four years. His scoring also ranks second among NFL tight ends, trailing only San Diego's Antonio Gates with nine TDs.

Lewis will challenge a banged-up Browns secondary. Defensive back Mike Adams has missed practice all week with an abdominal injury, while cornerback Sheldon Brown is battling a shoulder injury.

“They’ll split Marcedes Lewis out when they have three wide receivers so it forms kind of a four wide receiver set,'' Browns coach Eric Mangini said. "Other guys just have to step in and be able to help out.''

Jaguars quarterback David Garrard said Lewis is showing his maturity this year.

''Going into this season, he's gotten more confident in himself, more confident in what he's supposed to do, his routes have been run so much better just because he understands now what it takes to get him open,'' Garrard said, "He understands coverages, he understands when guys are going to attack him after he catches the ball, what moves to do. He's really good when he gets the ball in his hands at making that first guy miss, then running over a couple other guys.

"He has really grown in his confidence and his understanding the game. That's really what has changed Marcedes.''

Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio said Lewis has improved gradually over his career.

"He's stronger, more confident,'' Del Rio said. ''Coming out of training camp I appreciated his energy, his effort, his commitment to  playing some dominant football. His blocking, receiving and overall leadership, he's been tremendous this year.''

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