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A lot of games remaining

Posted Nov 1, 2012

Let's get to it . . .

Omar from San Jose, CA:
I see what Mike Mularkey was saying about Gabbert being patient. There were times Sunday Gabbert went to the check down too early instead of waiting for the receiver to get open – or, if he waited for the receiver to get open, he threw too early. A good example was the deep crossing route to Cecil Shorts that got knocked down by Clay Matthews. With more time and experience he will be more patient with those throws. Your thoughts?
John: I think with time and experience Gabbert will get better in many areas. Gabbert had better protection Sunday, and whatever you think of his progress before that game, it’s hard to argue the idea that he had his best game and seemed to make better decisions and better throws. He threw downfield more, made the right read more often and threw with better accuracy. He could have been better, and one area in which he could still improve is patience. That improvement needs to keep coming, and that’s what the next two months are about.
Richard from Woonsocket, RI:
I just watched the Blaine Gabbert press conference. What's not to like about this kid?
John: He often eats with the wrong fork at a formal dinner, but other that, I’m not sure.
Bill from Jacksonville:
How does the decision to pay Mike Thomas all that guaranteed money look now that Gene Smith has traded him? Gene wanted to rid himself a contract/player so bad he traded him for a pick in 2014. I'd love to hear your thoughts.
John: I’ll answer your questions in order. One, certainly it looks like paying Thomas was a mistake. He didn’t play to a level worthy of $9 million guaranteed. Two, Smith traded a player who wasn’t producing for a draft pick, but there’s this perception that the Jaguars were ridding themselves of a contract. It doesn’t really work that way. The Jaguars already paid Thomas much of what they guaranteed him, and it seems likely they would have released him following the season had he not been traded, so the trade didn’t save them too much in that sense.
Mike from Orange Park, FL:
Maybe I'm just not paying much attention to him lately, but Cameron Bradfield is starting to be invisible. Is he playing that good?
John: I’m always hesitant to anoint young players as having made it a half season into a career, but yes, Cameron Bradfield is playing well. He’ll likely have stops and starts, but the early read is that he could be a very good right tackle for a long time.
John from Jacksonville:
Gabbert had his best game on the same day that the O-line had one of its best days pass blocking. Coincidence?
John: No.
Jeremy from Jacksonville:
I have a sprained foot right now. It hurts, bad, and I don't even walk (MD). MJD is milking nothing but a pickyourcodone bottle.
John: Your email makes a good point. People have a tendency to look at athletes, think about how much they’re paid and forget that these are humans who have to really play through ailments, injuries and pain. Maurice Jones-Drew has played through enough and proven himself tough enough that he has nothing to explain in terms of whether he will play with pain and injury.
Sean from Jacksonville:
Is the Mike Thomas trade a good example of why you don't extend a guy's contract in the middle of a season? Not to make light of Mike's contributions here in Jacksonville, but I was scratching my head last year when I heard they extended him.
John: A lot of people criticized the decision to extend Thomas last year. At the same time, extending a contract at that point in a player’s career is a calculated risk and when the Jaguars made the move Thomas was coming off an 800-yard season. It wasn’t unreasonable to think he was ascending, and if indeed had been, the Jaguars were locking him up at a reasonable price. As it turned out, he wasn’t, but making that sort of calculated risk was hardly unique to the Jaguars.
Buddy from Jacksonville:
I'm hearing rumors that the Jaguars are looking at Tim Tebow. Is it true? Could it be? I told the idiots to sign Garrard first, then try to acquire Tim. They'll figure it out, but unfortunately not soon enough to avoid another losing season.
John: Ladies and Gentlemen . . . Buddy!
Robin from Jacksonville:
I always see the Jags signing and releasing the same players during the season. Is this normal procedure throughout the league to sign a guy for a week, then release him only to sign him again in a week or so? Just curious.
John: It’s normal, particularly late in the week and early the following week. It’s really a roster-management mechanism rather than an inability to decide whether they want a player on the team. The Jaguars and other teams often release players at the end of a week because they need players for depth at other positions. Once the game has been played, they are able to reset the roster because the immediate injury concern has passed. Each team has a handful of players near the so-called bottom of the roster who are often the ones signed and re-signed in this situation. These players know the system and who are good enough to help that team, but who won’t automatically be claimed by another team if they are released. For example, if the Jaguars release Rashad Jennings, he would be claimed immediately. If they release John Parker Wilson, there’s a very good chance he will be available to re-sign the following week.
Tony from St. Louis, MO:
I never seen a team with a 1-6 record so happy with a lose. Just because you did not lose by the large number many predicted you guys are treating it like you won. You always talking about steps forward and you never talk about the many steps backwards. This team is all-time bad and I wonder how you are going to spin the lose to the Lions. Let me guess: "They got a first down and that is something the team things they can build on.”
John: The Jaguars were not even remotely happy with the lose to the Packers, and they don’t believe they will come out of the Lions games with a lose, either. As they say in the NFL, a “lose is a lose is a lose,” but there are plenty of places to find what the team is doing wrong. We’ll point that out, too, but we’re going to try be balanced. Yes, even during a four-game lossing streak.
Brian from Jacksonville and Section 320:
Maybe it's my imagination, but the stadium videos and graphics seem to be much better this year. Is that a result of new software or new talent?
John: It’s part of a concerted effort by the team to enhance the fans’ Game Day experience. A lot of credit should go to Senior Vice President of Fan Experience Hussain Naqi and his staff. They have made improvements this season, and that’s an area in which the team will continue to improve going forward.
Homer from Springfield:
I am not sure how many snaps Alualu plays, but would he benefit from playing even less? I remember reading that Mike Smith got more out of John Abraham by having him play less snaps so he could be more explosive on the plays he was in the game.
John: He could theoretically be more explosive, but the Jaguars need him on the interior to play the run. Abraham’s strength is as a pass rusher, so having him fresh on obvious passing downs allows him to still be effective. Doing the same with Alualu might help him on specific plays, but it would hurt the defense overall.
Gary from Vista, CA:
I wonder if Tebow will be in Jacksonville by the time you read this. All things considered, I like what the Jags are doing. KHAAAAAAAANNNNN!!!
John: I read this around 4:38 p.m. Wednesday, and from what I heard in the media, there was good chance Tebow was in Jacksonville. That made sense, because the Jets are off this week and Tebow is from . . . that’s right, Jacksonville.
Jim from Jacksonville:
We need to hold off on this first pick of the draft talk. The Kansas City Chiefs have not led a game in regulation this season, and their only win was on the final play in overtime. Unless something drastic changes, the rest of the league is scrambling to see who gets pick No. 2 on down.
John: We need to hold off on the No. 1 selection talk for many reasons, but mostly because there are nine games remaining in the season. That’s a lot of games and the Jaguars have shown positive signs in the last two weeks. There’s no reason to be in the mode of thinking draft yet.

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