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No time for laughter

Posted Dec 31, 2012

Let's get to it . . .

Steve from Jacksonville:
Like my dentist said to me last week after a two-hour root canal, "You can relax now; it's over." Eerily similar feeling Sunday afternoon – sore, but relieved.
John: I don’t know about relieved, but I can see why you’re sore. This was a painful season in a lot of ways. It began with high hopes and optimism, took a punch to the gut in Minnesota and never seemed to recover. After that, it just sort of got worse and careened out of control. Now, it is indeed over and now that it is, the time has come to move forward. There are reports that there may be change, and as Paul Posluszny said after the game Sunday, if that’s the case at 2-14, the Jaguars earned that much. What’s next? We shall see. We shall see.
Nick from Annapolis, MD:
Not a question, or an opinion, just an observation. Scott Pioli has been with the Chiefs since 2009, the same year the Jaguars promoted Gene Smith to general manager. Both of these men were very well-respected in the league, with Pioli being given a lot of credit for New England's success. Both have been equally unsuccessful in building a competitive roster and both end their 2012 seasons with 2-14 records. Reportedly, the Chiefs will retain Pioli, while the Jaguars are going to replace Gene Smith. On another note, both general managers have not had good quarterback play to help their cause. Hmm...
John: The final sentence may be the most pertinent in your email. When you struggle at the quarterback position, and when you don’t have a franchise guy, your job as a general manager is very, very difficult. As to comparing Pioli/Chiefs to Smith/Jaguars, different teams approach their situations differently. Fans and media spend a lot of time comparing one team’s situation and actions to another, but each owner must look at his individual situation and determine direction. That’s the task now facing Shad Khan.
Lee from Duval County, FL:
Henne gave the team a spark at midseason? This is the worst team in Jaguars history; two wins. There were no sparks, not even a flicker. It's time to take your reality pills, my friend. The owner must totally blow this thing up.
John: I never said it was a fire. Sparks are small.
Chris from Section 242:
If there is so much uncertainty about whether Gabbert is the guy, then he's probably not.
John: There may be some truth to that, and in a normal situation, I’d be more inclined to completely agree. But as poorly as the offensive line played at times this season, and as poorly as the receivers played this season, there still remains some doubt—about Gabbert, about Henne . . . about everything. That’s one thing that makes the offseason difficult. You thought the Jaguars would have a quarterback in place by now. That’s not the case.
Daniel from Johnston, IA:
All of this year's draft picks AND all of next year's for Aaron Rodgers. If you were the Jags' GM would you do it? If you were the Green Bay GM would you accept it?
John: Yes, in a minute. No, not in a million years.
Jim from Meridian, ID:
“Fitting" is a perfect word for Sunday’s game; strange is not. Nothing strange here. How many times has the O-man said, "Then the opponent scored a million unanswered points." And in typical Mularkey fashion: “I’m not sure how that one got out of control like it did, but it did.” This should be a very interesting off-season.
John: Yes, it will be an interesting offseason, but I’ll still argue that Sunday’s game was strange. It wasn’t strange because the Jaguars gave up a slew of points that allowed the game to get away from them. That, as you say, has been happening all season. But to have 28 points scored on returns? Consecutively? That’s strange to the point of being nearly impossible.
Eric from Keremeos, BC:
Worst season ever.
John: Yep.
Tucker from New York, NY:
Reports indicate the Jaguars are interested in hiring the Arizona Cardinals director of player personnel. I'm curious why we would want a general manager who helped construct another embarrassing team, with an equally ambiguous quarterback situation.
John: You’re referring to Jason Licht, who has been mentioned as a possibility if the Jaguars indeed part ways with Gene Smith. He was with the New England Patriots as director of pro personnel from 2009-2011 and rejoined the Cardinals in May 2012.
Mike from Section 238:
About halfway through the 3rd quarter today I was having trouble "cherishing the moment". Not the final impression that Mr. Mularkey and the staff wanted to leave for Mr. Kha. n
John: Yeah, Sunday wasn’t much to cherish.
Fred from Naples, FL:
I just don't understand Henne's decision-making. He threw three interceptions and frankly, it should have been six. The passes he did complete allowed his receivers to get hammered after the completion. Say all you want about Gabbert, but for the most part he is careful with the football. This game summed up the Jaguars’ season. However, in my opinion it cleared up the quarterback position. Give it to Gabbert to start the season as it is clear there is not a game-changer in the draft nor a free agent worthy to bring in.
John: I have a pretty good idea this will be oft-covered ground in the offseason. Oft-, oft-covered. But while the game indeed summed up the Jaguars’ season, I don’t know that it cleared up the quarterback position. Henne struggled down the stretch, and Sunday was probably his worst game since becoming the starter. But while he’s not a Top 5 quarterback, I don’t know how well any quarterback outside the Top 5 would play with the offensive line and receiving corps Henne had around him Sunday. You had two guards in front of him who weren’t on the roster in November, and the same was true of the starting running back and a starting wide receiver. I don’t know that I’d argue that Henne is the franchise guy moving forward, but I don’t know that Sunday is the biggest reason for that.
Ryan from Valdosta, GA:
O-man, it's time for you to take a day off now that this debacle of a season is over. Go enjoy an Ice Cold Fat Tire.
John: I’m relatively sure the streak won’t last forever. I’m equally sure this is not the week to end it. I’m also equally sure not ending it wouldn’t keep me from enjoying a Fat Tire at some point.
Bill from Scottsburg, NY:
Blackmon, Shorts, Robinson, Lewis... those four players make me believe we could have a very potent passing game like the Saints, and Patriots. Throw Tebow into that mix and it will NEGATE that entirely. Tebow and passing do not go together, no matter the talent around him. Let’s not let this talent go unnoticed with an inept QB behind center. They have suffered enough.
John: There are those who feel this way . . .
Tommy from Jacksonville:
Timmy!!!
John: . . . and, well, you know.
Alex from San Diego, CA:
I can't believe Poz wasn't penalized; didn't know you were allowed to hit quarterbacks that hard.
John: Paul Posluszny played well Sunday, and in fact, the whole defense played pretty well Sunday. That’s what was so stunning and strange about that game. The Jaguars were in control and looked to be dominating Tennessee in just about every phase and the defense was putting together a second consecutive solid game. Then, without the defense even on the field, a 14-7 lead turns into a 35-14 deficit. It was unbelievable.
Kimmy from Alpharetta, GA:
Let's be glad that season is over. My New Years wish is for a few weeks we remain fans of football and get some playoff related questions before we dig into the tear down of 2013.
John: I’m afraid your wish won’t come true here. I hope you have a Happy New Year, anyway.
Jeremy from Wise, VA:
At least the defense only gave up 10, right? What an embarrassing season. Found a new way to lose every week.
John: Yes, the Jaguars did, and there’s not much left to say about the season at this point. It was difficult beyond anything anyone imagined possible in the offseason. I said before the season I thought the Jaguars would be improved from last season. I thought the passing game would be improved, and while I doubted that the defense would match its No. 6 ranking from last season, I believed this would be a team that competed well, kept games close and won enough close games at the end to be, say, 7-9. Had the Jaguars won their overtime games early and had Daryl Smith and Maurice Jones-Drew been healthy, I think the Jaguars could have pushed for that 7-9 record. All of that said, the Jaguars weren’t 7-9. They were 2-14 and too often, it was a bad 2-14 – as if there is any other kind of 2-14.
Jackson from Houston, TX:
Well John...you did it...you managed to convince us that we'd be solid this year, but instead we got the worst season in franchise history. All I can really do is laugh at this point.
John: I thought they would be better than 2-14. I was wrong. I’m not laughing.

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