SEATTLE, Wash. – Let’s get to it . . .
Bryce from Algona, IA:
The Richardson trade hurts the Jags two ways. One, the Colts get better for what seems to be a long time at the running back position. Two, Cleveland has a real shot of snagging the No. 1 quarterback in the draft away from the Jaguars. They just can’t win, figuratively and literally.
John: That’s a common way of looking at it, and if you assume that Cleveland and Jacksonville will have some combination of the No. 1 and No. 2 selections and that the Jaguars will be looking for a quarterback and that Richardson will be healthy and that the Colts offensive line will run block better than it has – (BREATH FOR EFFECT) – then sure, worry about this week’s trade. It’s way too assume the teams will fight it out for the first two selections, so once we get to December or so, we’ll see how this looks.
Joey Oehser (the Pho Zone) from Philadelphia, PA:
Johnny Boy! Haven't heard from you since our last family reunion (no need to bring up the specifics). Anyway, I need to apologize. Turns out the Chiefs are pretty good at defense and might be one of the best turnaround stories in recent years. Hoping the next family reunion goes better. Go Jags?
John: Awesome . . . the brother I never wanted.
Heather from Panama City Beach, FL:
O'dear, my Jags whiffed on the "easy" part of their schedule and now face some really good teams. I'm scared!
John: Don’t be. As my “brother,” Joey, alluded to a moment ago, the perception of a schedule’s difficulty can change dramatically in a matter of weeks. In the NFL, that’s almost always the case. The Chiefs no longer look like an “easy” game, and a road game against the Raiders traveling three time zones is often not an easy task. You can usually start seeing where teams really rank about Week 6. By then, who knows how the first two opponents will be perceived.
Sean from Atlanta, GA:
Trying on shoes while not wearing socks. #ShadrickSightings
John: Well, yes.
Nathan from Richmond, VA:
Filling up his cup at the self-serve soda fountain. Took a sip, then topped it off. #Shadricksightings
Princefigs from Jacksonville:
Kinda early in the season for the Seahawks to have a bye week already.
John: The Seahawks don’t have a bye. They are playing . . . oh, wait. I get it. You made a joke. You’re saying that because the Jaguars haven’t won and . . . oh, I see . . . the Seahawks are good and it’s going to be like . . . Ah, I see. Funny. Funny stuff.
Ben from Warren, MI:
I love the O-Zone, but I've got to ask. What do you enjoy more (and take enjoy however you want), getting ridiculous questions submitted to you, or reading the angry mob in the comment section. I for one get some popcorn and enjoy the comments after reading O-Zone.
John: What’s a “comments” section?
Andrew from Panama City, FL:
Not being sarcastic, but it is just as hard to go 0-16 as 16-0. There is too much parity in the league. Every year a team comes from the bottom of their division to win it the next year. This talk of 0-16 is silly. We will win games this year. Eventually our team's injuries, suspensions, turnovers, penalties, bad bounces move from our team to the team we are playing. #beliefinkhan
John: Well said. It’s easy and tempting to look at two games and project the result over the next 14 games. As you say, circumstances change throughout the course of a season. Teams you think are very good now may not look so good in December and vice-versa.
David from Jacksonville:
Thanks O-man. My wife was published in a magazine several times. My son got his PHD at UF AND HAD AN Article published in an engineering publication. I have been published for the second time in your O-ZONE. I am rubbing it in. THANK YOU.
John: Congratulations. You win.
Patrick from Jacksonville:
At present, do you think our defense would be better or worse had we kept Cox, Smith, and Knighton?
John: It would probably be better for the short-term – provided the trio stayed healthy and was available. That was the issue with Cox and Smith, particularly. There is no doubting they are good players. There was doubting based on recent history if they would be available on a consistent basis.
Richard from Starke, FL:
You is smarter. No doubt.
John: Your right.
John from Jacksonville:
I have to spend a LONG offseason (Jan-Aug) reading about draft picks to fill the time between regular-season football. Once the season starts, I'm so tired of hearing about potential draft picks, past draft picks, everything draft picks. Can we enjoy a few weeks of football, now that the regular season is here, and put the 2014 draft pick questions in your SPAM folder until January (or April)?
John: I think you’ll find comparatively few draft-related questions in the O-Zone during the regular season. But because the Jaguars are struggling, is a tendency among some to want to talk draft already, so there will be questions that make it past the goalie. Still, for the most part, I wait until the Senior Bowl or so to start talking draft in-depth.
Gavin from Jacksonville:
I am trying to be patient, and I know what we were getting into when we cleaned house and turned over the roster. However, your answer Nicholas frustrates me because the Chiefs were worse than us last year, and suddenly this year they may not be a bad team? They are 3-0 and we are worse. How did they manage to get better this year and we didn't? I'm not expecting the world but my hope this year was that we would look competent.
John: I’m sorry my answer frustrated you. Being frustrated is difficult. In fact, it can be downright frustrating. When David Caldwell and Gus Bradley took over this past offseason, they made it pretty clear with their approach that they were rebuilding the roster from the ground up. The reason for that is they didn’t believe the roster was “close” to being where they wanted it, and because of that, it was better to try to rebuild a strong foundation of young players who could grow together and develop into a sustainable, successful team. The Chiefs had multiple Pro Bowl players, and therefore believed that with a few key additions they could move in the right direction. The Jaguars signed lower-priced free-agents for shorter contracts because their focus was to take this season to focus on competition, and determine the strengths and weaknesses of the roster as the season continues. That may be frustrating, but that’s the difference.
John from Section 132:
Sundays: Devastated. Mondays: Angry. Tuesdays: Hope we look better this week. Wednesdays: Anything can happen. Thursdays: I think we can win. Fridays: We are going to win. Saturdays: Nap time. Sunday Mornings: Stand United!
John: I like Saturdays.
Bill from Section 104 and Orange Park, FL:
Why do you need to wait until the end of the season to determine if there is a need for a different quarterback, but you're already expecting that Caldwell will address the defensive end position? Do we not give Branch the same opportunities that Gabbert receives? P.S. The draft was moved to May so it is eight months away. #Moodachay
John: The Jaguars are giving Branch the opportunity. That’s why he’s on the roster. I’d guess that even if Branch shows improvement, the team will look to address pass rush. You’re allowed to have more than one player who’s good at that.
Oscar from Palm Coast, FL:
Inside the Jaguars Live. You pause, look over at JP and he's stroking his beautiful hair in the California breeze. You look up and smile. Gotta love the live feed.
John: Do ya?
David from Jacksonville:
gotta ask. What could have Marcedes Lewis
done to himself while warming up for a preseason game? He hasn't been available since, what, August 16? Over a month ago? Seriously, could you share any insight into this injury?
John: He strained the calf on August 16, and aggravated it in practice shortly before the preseason opener. He has been working to get back onto the field and believes he will play against the Colts next week. The Jaguars are being cautious because he already has had one setback and they don’t want another.
Mike from Atlanta, GA:
Yea John, Manning went to Denver because Tebow showed them they could win. Duh. You would have to be an idiot to not know that. How could you not know that, John!? Without Tebow there is no Manning.
Malachi from Valencia, CA:
To be honest, Valencia is probably a long ways from Fremont. I would guess about six hours with no pleasant sights to see. Would it have been worth the drive John? Would I see you pull a double gainer into the hot tub?
John: No. You would have seen J.P. Shadrick with his patented, look-at-me belly flop. #Shadricksighting.