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A day for interpretation

Let's get to it . . . George from Yulee, FL:
Can you please pass on to the readers to stop using the word "sweepstakes" when it involves drafting a player into the NFL? These people hear these kinds of words or phrases on ESPN and they run with it. As if Ed McMahon is going to show up at the front office with a huge check with say Andrew Luck or Justin Blackmon's name on it. The draft is such a crapshoot there is no definitive method to determine a player's success on the professional level. Be careful what you wish for. Does anyone remember how bad everyone wanted Crabtree? I rest my case.
John: Your email is the first I ever have received with the word "sweepstakes" in it, but your point is valid. There understandably is excitement involving drafted players, and I can only imagine the deafening roar that will grow louder as April approaches. Without question Blackmon will dominate the inbox. Maybe he will play in Jacksonville next season and maybe he won't, but you're right that nothing is guaranteed. I believe the Jaguars' passing offense will improve next season, and I believe player acquisition will be a part of it. As to the exact form that will take, I don't yet know.
Adam from Orlando, FL:
I've re-watched a couple of games on my DVR (I know it's not game tape, but it's all I got here) and one thing I've noticed is that Gabbert is not shying away from pressure or feeling phantom pressure like he was at the beginning. Against the Browns, he only ducked two times when he was going to get creamed. Other than that, he stood tall and delivered or ran when the pressure was there. Did you see some of the same?
John: I do, and that's encouraging. Fans are understandably focused on the deep pass when he threw short as he was about to get hit, but overall, he's doing it less and seems to feel more comfortable in the pocket. Because of the one or two incidents you mentioned it's not vogue right now to say he's improving, but that seems to be the case.
Brian from Greenwood, IN:
You have to think that with a couple of more pieces in place, the Jaguars would be winning these close games. That would mean wins against Carolina, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, and Cleveland, not to mention possibly Houston and New Orleans. That would make them, at the very least, 7-3. If you think of it that way, yes, they are closer to being very good than most people think.
John: I do believe that and many around the Jaguars believe that, too. Many fans don't, and many are understandably frustrated at being 3-7. That's OK. Fans should be frustrated, and the in-box should be exactly what it has been since Sunday: an angry place not for the feint of hear or sensitive of skin. The Jaguars generally believed in 2008 that they needed four drafts and four off-seasons to rebuild this thing the right way and to have a consistently competitive team. A lot of pieces are in place. A few aren't. It's close, and a lot of times, close hurts.
Ron from Orlando, FL:
The Jags have yet to score 21 points this season??? Wow, that's really, really awful.
John: It sure ain't good.
Kevin from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
I don't think this is one of those "if it works you're a genius" moments. His strategy is patently false. You give your team the most chances in case of, oh I don't know, a dropped ball or miscommunication. Always err on the side of giving your team one more play. Not one less. Is there any coach in the NFL who would have managed the clock similarly? I think not. I have always been a JDR fan, but he has installed his defense and we now need a true HEAD coach.
John: This is the last we'll discuss this issue. I never applied "if it works you're a genius" to the timeout situation. That was meant in reference to the decision to throw at the end of the game as opposed to running Jones-Drew. There has been a lot of criticism about not using the timeout at 30 seconds. I wrote that it didn't bother me not to use it because if it had been used the Jaguars would then have been out of timeouts without the threat of a run until the game's final play. Here's where the Jaguars failed in that situation: With about 35 seconds remaining after converting the first down, they did not get another play off until 13 seconds remained. That's too long. What Del Rio said he wanted in that situation was for the Jaguars to get to the line, run a play, then use the timeout. Now, a strong case can be made that the coaches should have known from previous cases this season that there was a strong possibility the offense could not get a play off that quickly. That has been a problem throughout the season. But in an ideal situation – with an offense better prepared to handle the moment – a play could have been run on first down, a timeout called, two passes thrown and another run or pass called.
Bill from Jacksonville:
In 1995, the Jaguars' inaugural season, they averaged over 17 points a game. This Jags team is averaging 12.5 points per game. It shouldn't matter how far you are into a rebuilding process, you should NEVER average less points per game than a team in its inaugural season. Can you please explain how this is possible? This is absurd. That being said, go Jags.
John: I'm not going to invest an incredible amount of time defending the offense. At 12.5 points a game, that would be silly. The 1995 team scored more offensively and also made more mistakes, which led to essentially the same results as this year's team so far. They also had the advantage of a running quarterback, Mark Brunell, whose ability to improvise led to points in some situations. That's about as deep as I'll go defending this year's offense. No one around here will tell you 12.5 points a game is good.
Sonny from Ponte Vedra, FL:
Someone needs to tell Hal from Jax that Clint Session is playing like a machine right now. I love that we have a guy that will light you up if he can get to you. Session has become one of my favorite players because of his relentlessness.
John: Session is an easy player to like. Most fans saw that before he went on injured reserve Tuesday. What you see on the field is what he is. He's aggressive. He plays hard. He makes a mistake now and then, but it's a mistake of desire and aggression and you never doubt his effort or passion. He's a football player and loves what he's doing.
Josiah from Fargo, ND:
Thank you for valuing our feedback. And thank you for reading every email message received.
John: What?
Kenny from PeeWee Valley, KY:
When is the NFL going to adopt the college way of reviewing challenges and let the guy with the big monitors in a booth review them and call it down to the field? It seems such a waste of time to have the referee run all over to get to the review box, watch the play, then make an incorrect call. Hopefully Mr. Weaver can suggest that to the rules committee next year.
John: The NFL long has avoided the college system of reviewing every play with the so-called "eye in the sky," the belief being that it is too intrusive on the game and makes games last too long. That's why I was surprised the league went with this year's rule of having an official in the booth reviewing every touchdown play. It feels more intrusive than the league ordinarily would want. Because of that move, there does seem to be more of a feeling in the league to allow all plays to be reviewed upstairs, so maybe you'll get what you want.
Joe from Houston, TX:
Currently there are no teams with winning records that have offensive averages under 22 points a game. Jags current average is 12.5 and we have yet to score even 21 points in a game. What is your interpretation? For me, it's clear you have to put points up in this league to win. Not to discount the D, but you put the 2000 Ravens' defense on the field, and the truth is, you still might not make the playoffs with a 12.5 average.
John: My interpretation is you need to score at least 22 points a game to have a winning record.
Joshua from Schwäbisch Gmünd, Germany:
How much input does the head coach have in deciding which plays the offense runs? For example, if JDR didn't like the call on the last play of the game on Sunday, could he (or would he) call something else?
John: It varies by team and head coach. In the case of the Jaguars, Del Rio allows his coordinators to call plays with very little interference from the head coach.

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