JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — As soon as Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette broke free around the right side of the line of scrimmage, he started looking for Pittsburgh Steelers safety Mike Mitchell.

When he finally spotted him, he waved him on — and then made a beeline right for him.

“I kind of told him, ‘Come on,'” Fournette said Sunday. “It was just us. The whole game he was talking. We were talking back and forth with each other.

“We finally got our one-on-one.”

“The kid has confidence. They were battling all game and when I saw that I said, ‘Hey, he wants the contact. He wants to kind of put his foot on their throat.’ He ran him over.”

Barry Church, on Jaguars teammate Leonard Fournette

Players call each other out during games all the time, but it usually happens after the play. However, Fournette did it during the play — and his teammates loved it.

“Leonard’s crazy,” receiver Marqise Lee said Monday. “It just shows you the energy and things that he has for the game.”

Safety Barry Church laughed when asked about the play, which happened early in the fourth quarter.

“The kid has confidence,” Church said Monday of Fournette, who finished with 181 yards and two touchdowns rushing in the Jaguars’ 30-9 victory. “They were battling all game and when I saw that I said, ‘Hey, he wants the contact. He wants to kind of put his foot on their throat.’ He ran him over.

“And then at the end [of the game] I felt like nobody really wanted to tackle him. If he can do that to impose his will on teams like that, that can only help us.”

All Fournette really wanted to do was shut Mitchell up. They had been yapping back and forth all day and Fournette finally got a chance to take a shot at the nine-year veteran.

“He was saying I’m a rookie and I’m not ready,” Fournette said Sunday. “It was fun. I can say that it was fun.”

The Jaguars were leading 20-9 at the time and the play was the seventh of what would turn out to be 18 consecutive runs in the fourth quarter. Facing first-and-10 from the Jaguars’ 39, Fournette went around right tackle and stiff-armed linebacker Bud Dupree just past the line of scrimmage before taking aim at Mitchell.

The 6-foot-1, 221-pound Mitchell went low, and the 6-foot, 228-pound Fournette ran through the contact and ended up with a 12-yard gain. Mitchell popped up immediately after the play and started celebrating. Fournette yelled a few things, too.

Meanwhile, the Jaguars sideline was going a little crazy.

“It just shows what kind of team we are,” defensive tackle Malik Jackson said Monday. “We’re a tough team. We like contact. We’re very physical. We want the issue to be brought to us so we can show people that we can stand up to it and overcome it.

“I think it shows grit. It shows toughness and it shows the want-to, to have a great safety like that in Mitchell who’s back there smashing people, come up there and wave him on and see what he’s got. It shows the character of this team, the grit, who we are.”

It also shows other defensive backs that it may be better to think twice about trash-talking Fournette.

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