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O-Zone: Not the entire season

Posted Oct 21, 2013

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it . . .

Casey from Templeton, CA:
I couldn't help but notice quite a few reporters point out Gus Bradley's depressing postgame comments. Is he in danger of losing the team for this season?
John: I answer this first, because I have been struck since Sunday’s game how many questions I have gotten along these lines. First, I didn’t find Bradley’s comments depressing. They were actually quite candid and refreshing. He said the team didn’t improve on Sunday, also saying he didn’t like the effort and that what happened Sunday wasn’t acceptable. He essentially said what people wanted him to say for a while, and he said the truth. I don’t know if those comments are the reason people are talking about him losing the team, but if you’re around this team, that’s just not something you think about. The players want to play well. For the most part, they have played hard. On Sunday, that didn’t happen. One game is one game. It’s not a trend and it doesn’t in anyway mean it’s going to keep happening.
Steve from Atlanta, GA:
I hate to be Captain Obvious but it strikes me watching this mess today that a top 15 quarterback makes this team playoff capable. How far off am I?
John: I thought about this question, then rethought about it and tried to step back from the disappointment that was Sunday. After considering it, I have to say I don’t agree. That’s not to be snide or reactionary. A Top-15 quarterback definitely would help, and it would get the Jaguars to the point of competitiveness. But there are still a few holes. The interior of the offensive line has to play better, and the defensive front absolutely needs playmakers than can rush the passer and disrupt the offense. This process won’t take forever, but it’s further away than just one player. Even if that player is a quarterback.
John from Savannah, GA:
John, if the entire 10-pick draft class next year is used on offensive linemen and quarterbacks, I'd be OK with that. Really.
John: I wouldn’t say all 10 will be used there, but I think you’ll probably see some focus on those areas. Really.
Sam from Jacksonville:
Most teams are not good enough to give away a free first down on third-and-30. And we are not as good as most teams. That's not rebuilding, youth, injuries, or even talent. That's just silly. Bad, frustrating pattern.
John: Yes.
Mike from Section 238:
Long drive home to St. Augustine Sunday. Does it really matter which quarterback starts if the "best" option can only put up two field goals?
John: That’s sort of the point that I made much of last week when people were clamoring for Henne over Gabbert. Many took it as an example of me saying Gabbert should be the guy. I don’t know that Gabbert should be the guy. I do know neither guy is yet the guy, and until a guy is the guy there’s no rush to make him the guy. That’s five guys. Now, I’m hungry.
Keith from Jacksonville and Section 436:
0-16????
John: No.
Royce from Jacksonville:
The run defense has not played well this season (youth does not seem to be the problem). This week, the coach mentioned that effort was not what was expected. At 0-7 is lack of talent in the front seven why?
John: It doesn’t help. The Jaguars need to get better on the defensive front and at linebacker. I’d expect it to be a pretty prominent offseason emphasis.
Lance from Jacksonville:
We have weapons on offense. I'll take that positive from Sunday!
John: I wasn’t even going to mention this, but you’re right that there are weapons. That was a weird thing about Sunday’s game – that through a lot of it, particularly in the first half, you got a much better feeling about the offense than you did early in the season. The Jaguars had two first downs on their first drive and moved 68 yards on the second drive. One problem was the drives only yielded a field goal and the other problem was the Chargers kept the ball so long the Jaguars’ offense didn’t have enough chances. But the offense certainly is better after seven games than it was in the first month of the season. That’s little solace today, but it is.
Sam from Boston:
Now what? Anyone who says this is an improving team is delusional. This is the worst NFL team of the last twenty years. Not one aspect of this team is professional quality. Even the television commentators remarked that Bradley is losing the team. I mean it! Now what? I know, more of the same. This team will not win a game and will go down as the worst of all time. I doubt they win a game next year. Also, now we know why Henne was not named permanent starter. He is all time bad. I know sending this was a waste of time. But I feel better.
John: I’m glad you feel better. Your feelings are understandable, because Sunday was bad. Along with the Colts game, it was probably the Jaguars’ worst performance of the season. But to say Bradley is losing the team, I would challenge that – if indeed it was said. Your predictions aside, we’ll see what happens the rest of the season. Sunday wasn’t good, but overall there has been progress made. It hasn’t been enough to get close to a victory, and it wasn’t evident Sunday, but it has been made. Will that progress continue? Will it be enough for the Jaguars to win? I believe it will. We shall see.
Don from Macclenny, FL:
I know Shorts wants us to be able to pick a real quarterback with the first overall pick but aren't the drops getting a little silly this year?
John: They certainly have been an issue and no one is more bothered by them than Shorts. To Shorts’ credit, while he played through pain on Sunday, he didn’t use his sprained SC joint and the accompanying pain as an excuse for two dropped balls. If those two drops wouldn’t each have been touchdowns, then they at minimum stopped drives. The Jaguars have a chance with Shorts and Justin Blackmon to have a very good young receiving duo, and Shorts has a chance to be a very good player. If all of that is going to happen, the drops need to be reduced significantly.
Christer from Copenhagen, Denmark:
Do you travel with the team to London next week and will you be available for high-fives at the tailgate party? Do the Jags sell apparel there? And most importantly: The ROAR, John: Will the ROAR be there?
John: I will make every effort to answer all of your questions. Yes, I will travel with the team. I will probably not be available for high-fives at the tailgate because I have to be inside the stadium before the game. I imagine there will be apparel for sale. And yes, the ROAR, Christer. The ROAR will be there.
Mark from Jacksonville and Section 113:
Hey, John. Been a fan since the first game. I've seen us go through the great years and the awful ones. While I notice we are trying to build for the future, any future that includes players who go 2-14 and 0-16 is bleak. I love Gus' energy, but it's time to face facts. We haven't spent big in free agency for as long as I can remember, and we have a tremendous amount of cap space. Alex Smith passed us by this summer, and why would we not go for him if we are giving Henne a chance to start? Because Jaguars. How long do you think it is before the fans give up? Because the players look like they have already. Pathetic loss to the Chargers.
John: Sunday was tough. The season has been tough. The Jaguars will spend in free agency under David Caldwell, and I expect that to start this offseason. As for the players giving up, I don’t sense it. I don’t see it happening under Bradley. I understand how people think that, because Sunday looked bad, but I just don’t see it.
Nelly from Section 132:
That was a rather tough loss, John. The refs made some questionable calls but there was some disconnect with the Jags, especially with the run block and red zone. Do you agree?
John: I think there was disconnect with a lot of areas. Mostly, I thought the defensive effort was lackluster and that was where the lack of effort that Gus Bradley mentioned showed the most. The offense actually looked more efficient in spots than it had at the beginning of the year, but couldn’t finish drives. That wasn’t as big a concern as the defense. At least not from this view.
Trey from DC:
If playing the Broncos hard is a step in the right direction and a better feeling at what lies ahead, then what was this week? A step in the wrong direction and a team that is not improving and feeling worse at what lies ahead?
John: Yes, it was a step in the wrong direction. Missteps happen. Improvement in the NFL, as in most things, isn’t a steady graph up and down. Overall, the team has improved. Overall, the belief around here is that things are going in the right direction. It wasn’t that way Sunday, but one game doesn’t define the entire season.

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