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O-Zone: Simple assessment

Posted Sep 9, 2013

JACKSONVILLE – There’s not much to say, but we’ll say it anyway.

Let’s get to it . . .

Ron from Orlando, FL:
Well, with 6:12 left in the first quarter, I feel comfortable saying that Gabbert and the offense are still AWFUL. Gabbert's not scared? We were lucky enough to see multiple angles of Gabbert passing on third down against the blitz and his follow through is him covering up. Pathetic. This is unwatchable.
John: Congratulations, Ron. Your email arrived at 1:34 p.m., and was officially the first “reaction” email off the 28-2 loss to Kansas City Sunday. Usually, you’re a little out there, and frankly, sort of extreme. This week, quite understandably, you’re pretty much in the middle.
Jackson from Houston, TX:
Teddy Bridgewater...come on down!!!
John: This was second email.
Lance from Jacksonville:
I'm ready for the 2014 draft.
John: This was third. I had a good evening.
Jackson from Houston, TX:
Can't wait to hear you try to spin this one, John...
John: Ah, Week 1 and the whole “spin-this-one” email. Love it! Seriously, there’s no spinning what happened Sunday, and there’s no explanation, really. This is a team in Week 1 of a building process. I thought it would be a better showing Sunday because I thought the offense would function better. I thought Gabbert would have more time and would therefore throw better. I thought the receivers would catch better. I thought wrong.
Fred from Waycross, GA:
John, I didn't witness any improvement. What happened?
John: Good question. This wasn’t the offense I believed Jaguars fans would see. The Chiefs’ defensive line/pass rush controlled the game more than I anticipated and an offense I thought would improve was very much not better than last season. I suspect that will change because I don’t think the offensive line will continue to struggle. That’s the beginning of the answer to your question. Answering the whole thing – “What happened?” – well, I suspect that will take a little time, don’t you?
Daniel from Jacksonville:
I know we were tied for worst in the league last year. And I didn't have any fantasies about us making a playoff run this year. But wow. I was expecting more than that. I'm willing to be patient, but if things continue like this, it's going to be a long season. On a positive note, I still like the new logo and the new uniforms. Anything else we can take away from this?
John: The defense didn’t allow a touchdown in the second half. I’m not being snide. That’s probably the best takeaway from Sunday – that the defense actually did a decent job getting off the field considering it was struggling to create a pass rush. I don’t feel like talking about helmets or logos or uniforms this morning. I doubt many others do, either.
David from Kingsland, GA:
Well, we got beat in every facet of the game by one of the worst teams we'll play all year. It didn't take long to realize we still have a LONG way to go.
John: Yes, the Jaguars got beat in every facet. Soundly, in fact. I’d caution against saying the Chiefs will be one of the worst teams the Jaguars play all year. That’s possible, but it’s really tough to judge that until Week 6 or so. But whatever . . . yeah, there’s a long way to go. A lot of times great distances can be covered quickly, but for now, you won’t get an argument.
Ray from Summerfield, FL:
Well, when are we going to shop for an offensive line and a quarterback?
John: I guess when the store opens.
Marcus from Jacksonville:
Embarrassing!
John: Well, yeah.
BMac from Greenwood, IN:
I have an idea. Not that you don't have enough to do as is, but how about a "First on the Field" column on Game Days?
John: No.
Jeff from Ellicott City, MD:
That was painful. Eleven punts, no rushing game, no passing game, bad offensive line play. Only positive is that we forced the Chiefs to punt nine times. I've been willing to support Gabbert even through these last two seasons but honestly he isn't close to being even an average NFL quarterback. It was check down after check down and poor pass after poor pass. It's just depressing as it seems like the Jaguars are no better than last year. No question, just depressing.
John: Gabbert didn’t play great – or even well. That’s indisputable, but I will say this: there was a stretch in the second quarter and third quarter in which I watched downfield to see if receivers were open when Gabbert was checking down. A couple of times, he threw incomplete or short when it seemed there was no one open downfield. Other times, he threw quickly or was sacked. My point: yeah, he checks down, probably too much, but there are a lot of times he doesn’t have much choice. He’s not a Pro Bowl-level quarterback, but when that’s the case, the guys around better play well, too, and that didn’t happen Sunday.
Cody from Jacksonville:
We're not moo-ing da chays very much today.
John: No, it’s no fun to #Moodachay if you don’t #Moodachay.
Cory from Philadelphia:
What should we have expected? Teams will continue to have no respect for Blaine Gabbert and our passing game. When our quarterback play is this bad, other parts of the team tend to look worse than they actually are (i.e. the offensive line and MJD).
John: Yeah, but no. This day is not about defending Gabbert or Jones-Drew. I didn’t think either looked like world-beaters Sunday, but to say Gabbert made the line look bad is incorrect. You just can’t give that group a pass today.
Josiah from Jacksonville:
I want Gabbert Gone! Put Henne in. I am sick to death of continuously giving Gabbert chances and excuses. Regardless of his circumstances, the TEAM doesn't play good under Gabbert; they DO under Henne.
John: I don’t know what the future holds for Gabbert. I do know the team can’t start him forever if the struggles continue, wherever the fault lies. I don’t know how “good” the team plays under Henne, though. The team went 1-5 with him in the lineup last season. That’s not a knock on Henne. He may indeed play this season and may indeed play well, but to say that history suggests the team will automatically play well with him at quarterback is to not really understand history.
David from Lakewood:
I am only a few minutes into the third quarter, and as disgusted as I am about what is happening. Am I correct in my assessment that the lines, both offensive and defensive really let us down? Sacks on O and no sacks on D? Thank you for your time.
John: Yeah, you ain’t wrong. And you’re welcome.
Malachi from Valencia, CA:
The line seemed to struggle so bad all game, on both pass and run blocking. Is this a matter of needing more chemistry, or does this foreshadow a season of struggles with the need to address it once again next offseason?
John: Your question is one that will play out over the course of the coming weeks and months. I’m not being evasive. I don’t know. I believed the Jaguars would be better up front, so I believe there can be continuity found and improvement made. If not, yeah, there will be addressing, going on. Darned right there will.
Marcus from Jacksonville:
Not a lot of #moodachay today...although, next week I'm just hoping to #moodaballpasda50.
John: Good one.
Mark from Jacksonville:
Yuck. New owner, new coach, new team, new uniforms. Worse result. Would Blackmon and Lewis have made any difference?
John: A little. And Cecil Shorts III certainly would have had more room to work. But were those absences the difference in winning or losing? I can’t in good conscience say that.
Chris from Mandarin:
Umm...what the heck was that? It did not look like a team in transition. It looked like a bad team that took a major step back after its worst season in franchise history.
John: It’s understandable it looked that way. A 26-point loss at home is a disappointing way to start the season, but let’s not call this team worse than last year’s. Not after Week 1.
Greg from Jacksonville Beach:
I'm a loyal season-ticket holder and I'll keep showing up on Sundays, but I can't remember the last time I had any fun there. I'm tired, John.
John: I hear you. And you’re right to feel the way you do. Nothing I can write this morning will make you feel differently. The Jaguars have the right people in place, and they are building the right way, but I know you have heard that before. What to say to you today? It will get better eventually. In time.
John from Jacksonville:
Sucks to be you today.
John: Today has nothing to do with it.
Austin from Atlanta:
I am not the one to base an entire season off of one game. That being said, everything that was supposed to be a strength on this team looked a lot like a weakness. Special teams coverage looked pretty bad, the wide receivers dropped way too many balls, and goodness the O-line: I’m speechless! On a positive note, the end zone paint job looked just great.
John: I can’t spend a lot of time arguing. The offensive line struggled on a striking level, and while I haven’t had a chance to break it down player by player, it looked like perhaps the interior struggled more than tackles. Still, Luke Joeckel did allow at least one sack and the whole idea that this was a team strength sure looked false on Sunday. The area could improve. Offensive line often is an area where a team can show significant growth with continuity and time together, but for a day at least, it was a concern. Unfortunately for the Jaguars Sunday, while that are stood out, it was far from alone.
Brooks from Jacksonville:
Bad.
John: Yes.

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