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Two positives

Posted Nov 9, 2012

Let's get to it . . .

Ryan from Howell, NJ:
I've been a diehard Jaguars fan since the beginning, when I was five years old. Thursday was the first time I can remember not having any emotions watching a game, and I can count the games I've missed on one hand. This team has numbed me to the point that I no longer care. I have supported Gabbert for the past year and have been careful not to rush to judgment. But I have decided he just doesn't have what it takes. I know the pieces around him aren't perfect, but neither is Luck's cast.
John: This is a brutal season, and emotions are running high – and as for Gabbert, I’m more confused now than at the beginning of the season. He shows signs, but he’s not yet close to elite, and I hope that in the course of seven more games we have an answer. As for the first part of your email, you’re right. People are numb, and more than one person has talked of watching the game without emotion. That’s what 1-8 does. The way this team has played, that can be expected. At this point, nine games in, it’s hard to argue hard that they’ve done much to get excited about. There are seven games remaining. That’s more than enough time to play better, but if it’s going to happen, the time is running short and the team is going to have to do something it hasn’t done yet. And this isn’t going to be a day of glass half-full stuff. No one wants to read it and after a season of double-digit home losses, and I’m not sure I know how to write it anymore, either.
Ryan from Orange Park, FL:
So if your quarterback isn't your offense's problem, what is?
John: A whole lot of everything.
Chris from Portsmouth, NH:
Well, O-man – hard to find any positives in this one, or the season as a whole so far. As a side note, those six-yard out routes to Blackmon are big time.
John: As dead-on as your first comment was, your second has a lot of truth. The Jaguars have started to show some signs of going downfield in recent weeks, and there were glimpses of it Thursday night, but there need to be more then glimpses.
Jeff from Jacksonville:
Ok, this is just sad. I just do not see any more reason to watch this train wreck. The season is over and now the Jags are playing for evaluation of who will go or stay. This is worse than watching preseason, because there are no playoffs this year and they are too bad to even watch for entertainment.
John: Yeah, it ain’t good.
Ernie from Las Vegas, NV:
As disappointing and frustrating as the season has been, to me this loss to the Colts is the worst. Because of how some of the players conducted themselves with those personal fouls. Regardless of the score and the outcome you should be better than that. Very embarrassed. Thanks for reading and listening. Go Jags!
John: That was probably the most disturbing thing about the game. Whenever you looked up in the second half, there was a penalty or something avoidable happening that just shouldn’t happen. Mike Mularkey was very pointed after the game that the Jaguars are not going to turn into the sort of team that picks up unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty after unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty. But that’s the sort of team they were Thursday, and that sort of team has no chance to win long-term.
Josh from Lynchburg, VA:
You know, in retrospect it might have been a good idea to cover No. 87.
John: I wouldn’t have argued against it.
Mark from Wichita, KS:
My emotions tell me to blow this whole thing up and start over, but rationally I know that's not the way to go. However, this team will undergo another rebuild at the end of the season that could take 3-5 years, if not longer. Someone needs to go and that person is Gene Smith. I like the guy, but when you acquire and draft this poorly a change must be made. I'm just a fan who wants to see a competitive team every Sunday...I've never looked at my team so hopelessly.
John: I include this email, because it’s understandably one of many, many emails about Gene Smith this morning. At 1-8, he’s going to come under criticism. Here’s where we stand on the issue: Shad Khan has said he is evaluating right now, and he won’t make quick-trigger judgments. That’s a good thing, but obviously the way the Jaguars are playing now improvement must come – and it better be significant and it better not take too long.
Jeff from Ellicott City, FL:
I know you try to look and report everything as objectively as you can and that you aren't a "fan" per se, but it feels like you're the only one on our side, the only one who goes through this with us. Just wanted to say thanks.
John: Appreciated. I get the feeling, “Thanks,” may not be the overriding theme of the inbox today.
Mark from High Springs, FL:
I thought all scoring plays were to be reviewed this season. Don't get me wrong, I'm more than happy to have the replacement refs out of the game. However, can fines be leveled against refs who, through action or omission, skew the outcome of a game like this?
John: The Luck sneak was reviewed – albeit very, very quickly. Though I get why Mike Mularkey was upset, from what I’ve seen, it was the right call.
Abe from King of Prussia, PA:
Do you have people swearing, calling you names and other unpublishable comments in Ozone questions?
John: Oh, nooooooo . . . . never.
Matthew from Tempe, AZ:
Mike Mularkey throws playbook on the ground, he could've just let Blaine Gabbert throw it and saved his energy.
John: There are a lot of jokes to be made from that game, not a whole lot of them funny for the Jaguars. I didn’t think Gabbert was any better or worse than a lot of things about that game.
Jon from Southampton, IK:
Shorts, Blackmon and Robinson – I’m pretty sure we have got a good receiving unit. There is a lot of talent there. I don’t think there are many positions on the Jaguars’ roster that have that sort of talent!
John: I think all three of those players belong in the NFL. I think they are capable of producing. I’m not ready right now to do cartwheels over the talent level at any position.
Emily from Boulder, CO:
I normally don't get upset with referees - they have a tough job - but at what point should I be mad, John? This is getting ridiculous.
John: I thought they missed a couple of calls, but from what I’ve seen they got the call right on the sneak, and I think most of the personal fouls were the right calls. Officials aren’t why the Jaguars are 1-8 and they’re not why they lost Thursday. In the wake of six consecutive losses, I just can’t dwell much on the officiating. Good teams overcome bad calls.
Matt from State College, PA:
You know it's bad when even John Oehser can't put it into words.
John: It’s difficult. I wrote in the live blog Thursday that I wasn’t sure what to say, and I’m not sure I knew what to say in the Ozone, either. What do you say when you’re 1-8 and all of the good signs you and a lot of other people saw in the offseason are lost under a season of mistakes, unmade plays and missed opportunities? I don’t know. Maybe I’ll figure it out over the next few days.
Kurt from Jacksonville:
Wow, we stink. But, I/we had fun at the game tonight. My son made comments about how well we were doing, but he doesn't understand the score, stats, etc. Many years from now he'll look back and remember watching this game with his dad (I hope). I'll remember how bad we stunk (past tense, please!!), although I wouldn't trade these moments for the world. I hope he'll remember just having fun with dad and watching the Jaguars. One day we'll get there....
John: Good story. It warmed my heart. This morning, I envy your son.
Nicholas from Anchorage, AK:
Is it lack of basic football knowledge or what? Why is it that when the defense jumps offsides the Jaguars will throw a five-yard pass (especially when it is 3rd and over 15)? Do they not know that offsides is a free play to throw a deep ball? Obviously Gabbert knew there was a penalty because he gave the offsides signal after the play. That lack of aggressiveness on a free play just frustrates us. Oh, can you explain why the reviewed completion was ruled an incomplete pass even though the wide receiver got two feet in bounds prior to going down to the ground, which means he has already completed the completion requirements?
John: As for your first question, it should frustrate you. That’s absolutely a free play and you’ve got to take a shot deep if at all possible. I agreed with you on the Shorts reception/overturn, particularly because Shorts appeared to step out of bounds before falling and losing possession. My guess is the officials used the rule that you have to control possession while completing the catch while falling to the ground. It almost certainly will be a topic when Mike Mularkey talks to the media Friday and I hope to find out more.
Justin from Westerly, RI:
Here are my positives for Thursday's game. I got two free beers from people who felt bad I was a Jaguars fan. Okay your turn.
John: You win.

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