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O-Zone: Awesome advice

Posted Aug 9, 2014

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it …

GPP from Jacksonville:
Although it was preseason, I was very impressed with Blake's composure and pocket presence. Good times may be coming to Jacksonville!!
John: That’s probably the main takeaway from Friday night at EverBank Field. Blake Bortles looked very good, and because he looked very good, the chorus of people wanting him to start now has begun making itself heard. That chorus likely will grow louder, because there’s no indication that Bortles will look bad in the preseason. He has poise, pocket presence and looks the part of a quarterback. Here’s what to remember about that: IT’S ALL GOOD. THERE ARE NO NEGATIVES IN THIS. Bortles appears to have all the stuff that perhaps no quarterback in this franchise has had – or at least that it hasn’t had in a long time. The size, the arm strength, the ability to throw downfield and make all the throws. At the same time, that doesn’t mean that you have to hold a press conference Saturday afternoon and make him the starter now. Bortles has benefitted from the time between the draft and now. While backing up Chad Henne, he has developed and improved. He will do that for a while longer. We don’t yet know how much longer, but it’s OK to let this play out. The good news for Jaguars fans is all indications are that once it plays out, as you say, good times may be ahead.
Lance from Jacksonville:
Our defense is legit.
John: You may be right.
Sean from Jacksonville:
Has the coaching staff changed its mind about Henne starting the whole season this year? What is the status of the center position?
John: No, the staff hasn’t changed its mind, though human nature would suggest that there might be some conversations taking place. As for the center position, yes, the Jaguars will have one this season. Snapping is essential to starting a play.
Ken from Jacksonville:
This Bortles kid, he's good. I like him.
John: You ain’t alone, Ken.
Shawn from the Mean Streets of Arlington:
Third-down problems? Henne? Break it down, Mr. O.
John: The Jaguars’ first-team offense was in the game for four series on Friday. It’s a small sample size. Give this thing some time. At least a couple of weeks.
Daniel from Santa Rosa, CA:
What happened to Lee? Was he just not targeted? How come no word in your write up about no catches for the second-round pick?
John: The Jaguars’ first-team offense was in the game for four series on Friday. It’s a small sample size. Give this thing some time. At least a couple of weeks.
Dennis from Burbank, CA:
Not sure how I feel about the Lightning package after seeing Marks in that game. He was getting such good pressure it seems like it would be hard to take him off the field in any situation.
John: Fear not. The lightning package features three Leos, which leaves room for a pass-rushing defensive tackle. That tackle would be Marks, and you’re right: he gets good enough pressure that it’s extremely hard to take him off the field.
Ethan from Starke, FL:
My take on the game. Before the game, I was all for Henne being the starter while Bortles gets ready. Now I say, “Start 'em.” He has proven to me that he is definitely ready. I think if we start Bortles, and the defense continues to play like that, we can make the playoffs this year. Bortles has made me a believer.
John: #startem #definitelyready Let’s give this thing some time, shall we? There’s time for this to play out.
James from Socorro, NM:
Well, that performance should certainly quell all of the "start Blake Bortles" talk.
John: Yeah, almost no one’s talking about it. It’s kind of cool.
Kent from Jacksonville:
It's first down, Jags got the ball, I wonder what they will do with it.... It's another run play!! Where is the vaunted Jedd Fisch creativity?!?
John: Time of email: 8:37. Which means, what, about midway through the second quarter of the first preseason game? Or so? And we’re criticizing the offensive coordinator for play calls with an offense that’s missing most of its skill players? Football season is here, and it’s awesome!!
Jason from Jville:
Wait, Matt Scott doesn't play for us anymore?
John: #Freemattscott
Andy from St. Johns, FL:
John, John, John. Haven't you been listening to Coach Gus? The three most dangerous words he tells his football players is, "I got this". You answered a question on Friday saying, “Don't worry, Bradley and Caldwell got this….” Coach wouldn't be happy with you!
John: Well, it’s never good to say, “I got this,” but when it comes to handling the quarterback situation, Gus and Dave do got that. Or something like that. I think.
Jeremy from Miles City, MT:
I'm worn out on the Bortles starting conversation, but I had a thought I don't think has been brought up – that if the Jags do decide to start Bortles midseason it could happen after the Cowboys game, since he most likely won’t get any reps with the ones prior to being started. This would give him the most amount of practices with the ones before he starts.
John: Yes, if the Jaguars aren’t in the playoff hunt by then, and if the coaches feel Bortles is ready and if the team is ready for Bortles and if a whole lot of other ifs happen, then than scenario makes sense.
Ryan from Charlotte, NC:
This time next year Chad Henne will be...
John: Thirty.
Mark from Ponte Vedra Beach and Section 215:
Would Shorts, Robinson and Doss be playing if this was the regular season? Are coaches more conservative with potential lingering injuries in the preseason?
John: Coaches are more conservative with potential injuries in preseason. That’s why you saw Johnathan Cyprien and Mike Brown, for example, pulled out of and held out of practice for a day each this week. That’s not the scenario with Cecil Shorts III, Allen Robinson or Tandon Doss.
Terron from Jacksonville:
Good day, John, and fellow O-Zone readers! Glad to know that it's this glorious football time of the year again! With this current wide receiver corps being uncertain does it make you worry about the first half of the season being lost?
John: Not really, no.
Daniel from Jersey City, NJ:
Do you find it ironic that so many fans who are VERY unlikely to be in the top 32 performers in their jobs, and even ridiculously less likely to be in the top 32 in their jobs in the ENTIRE WORLD, seem to be so quick to judge the performance of NFL players?
John: Nah. Not really. Athletes work in the public eye, and they often play a sport at which many fans have at least dabbled. That leads fans to be critical and judgmental, and you know what? A lot of times they’re right. Either way, they’re fans. They can judge what they want.
Jared from O-Town:
Hey John-O! I was chatting with an ex-NFL quarterback the other night and asked him about Blake Bortles' infamous wobble. He went on to tell me that some scouts had approached him about it pre-draft as well and that it was a result of a lower amount of spin on the football and that it didn't affect his accuracy or how quickly the ball gets to the intended target in any way. Then I pointed out to him how many readers on Jaguars.com showed concern over him sticking out his tongue when he threw and he almost started laughing. Should I take that as a non-concern as well?
John: Well, yeah.
Augie from Jacksonville Beach:
I realize and believe Coach Bradley's style/concept works well with a young team. How do you think it will translate in four or five years with a more mature team filled with veterans in the prime of their life as players? Veterans that have proven their ability and likely have a few more good years with little chance or need to be replaced.
John: I don’t know why it wouldn’t work. Veterans on the Jaguars appear to like playing for Bradley as much as rookies – and actually, they seem to appreciate it more. Players such as Alan Ball, Sen’Derrick Marks, Marcedes Lewis, etc., speak to younger players often about taking advantage of the opportunity to play for a coach such as Bradley. Now, it is true that any voice of leadership runs the risk of being tuned out after an extended period, but there’s no reason to think that Bradley’s style would be any more susceptible to that than any other.
John from Atlantic Beach, FL:
Come on John, Jags of the Round Table? Great segment but corny music and hey, can we at least have a round table? Come on guys, we really need to lose the corny music! Thanks
John: Hey, Mike!!! This!

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