Long day Wednesday and another one Thursday. Flying from Dallas to Atlanta Thursday morning for Thursday night's game against Atlanta. Then, it's home.
Keeping my head down and my fingers moving.
Let's get to it . . .
Dave from Panama City Beach, FL:
I watched the press conference with Mr. Khan. He seems to be an honest and straightforward fan who I trust to build a winner. I liked what he said and how he handled himself. Welcome aboard Mr. Khan!!!
John: There's not a lot to not like. I spent about 20 minutes with Khan Wednesday evening, and while he was tired from a long day, he was engaging, forthcoming and obviously anxious to get going in the process of building the Jaguars. He has specific thoughts on the direction of the franchise and how to run things, and he is committed to moving the franchise in the right direction. He didn't talk in clichés or generalities, and he is obviously someone with razor-sharp business sense and an idea of how to run an organization. He also, as you said, seems to be someone of high integrity who clearly cares about establishing a trust and an energy with the fans of Jacksonville.
Nick from Riverside, CA:
When I think of the value we have in people like Daryl Smith...I think of the line from Dirty Deeds - Dirty deeds and they're DRUM JERK JEEP Dirty deeds and they're DUMB DIRK SHEEP. Value for sure.
John: And away we go . . .
Charles from Midlothian, VA:
Was thinking about the future and had to see what we have. We currently are paying 80 players (53 on active roster, 22 on IR and five on practice squad). We have 18 rookies, 19 first-second-year veterans, 19 third-fourth-year veterans, 13 fifth-sixth-year veterans and only 11 players with over six years in the league (Kampman, Meester, Mathis, McCown, Scobee and Harris). The average experience: 3.4. Remove Kampman, Meester, Mathis, McCown, Scobee and Harris and its drops to under 2.9. That makes us one young team. Since they say the best years for a player are the fourth-through-sixth years, it makes a strong argument that once we get some seasoning, and keep filling the roster, we have nothing but up side going into next year.
John: I hadn't broken down the roster to that extent, but what you say backs up the general belief around the Jaguars. This is a building team that should improve. You can't get lazy with that idea and assume you're going to improve just because you're young, but there should be improvement in the next year, particularly if Blaine Gabbert makes the strides a young quarterback must make. Fans are tired of hearing about being young and building. I get that, but the reality is it takes time and the core is getting into place.
So Sincere from Orange Park, FL:
I get confused not getting posted sometimes, only to find that a similar-to-what-I-said submission was selected instead. Are you afraid that if you post me too many times I might build a following? I suppose I am pretty spectacular. I fear the end of everyday O-Zone's! Thanks for your commitment. Go $#&%^+ !@)(- Jaguars. Whoooo!
John: I almost didn't post this. I was trying to do what I usually do, which is to find a submission similar to yours, but just a bit better.
Dillon from Ducor, CA:
Ha! A new O-Zone phrase is born: CAT SIZE. Can we get an official ruling on the definition?
John: Not sure of the definition. I'll take ideas. But I do think we need that cat to run off the crows.
Dave from Duluth, GA:
Not many emails on the hiring of the next Jags head coach. Are you surprised at the apparent lack of interest from the fans? I mean, that has to be more important than who or what position is drafted in Round 1.
John: There are plenty of emails, just not a lot to address quite yet. For now, Mel Tucker is the interim coach of the Jaguars and until we get closer to the end of the season, we're in the mode of speculation. I'm fine with that mode, and we've indeed in the O-Zone mentioned the candidates that have been thrown around. As we get closer to the end of the season – and as we learn more about Shad Khan – obviously the conversation will pick up.
Brendon from Austin, TX:
To build on yesterday's comment about Victor Cruz stepping up in Year 2, I also want to point out that Victor Cruz was undrafted, and played college ball in the Colonial Athletic Association for UMass Amherst. Good receivers don't just come in Round 1 from BCS schools.
John: Hmm . . . .
John from Fleming Island, FL:
With rest and recovery such a major concern during this short week, why did the Jaguars leave on Wednesday? The players certainly could use the extra recovery time using the team facilities and sleeping at home, don't you think? Besides, Atlanta is a one-hour flight with a prime-time kickoff. Are teams so entrenched in "routine" to deviate or try new approaches?
John: In a word, yes. Routine is everything in the NFL. Teams leave the day before the game to ensure nothing goes wrong on game day. There are also meeting routines and arrival routines that teams don't like to alter.
Nick from Atlantic Beach, FL:
If a player is on IR, but is healthy enough at this point in the season, are the allowed to participate in practice?
Tony from Jacksonville:
It amazes me how everyone's attitude does a 360 with one win. We're one game from possibly the worst half we've ever played. We just beat a team at home that has now lost seven in a row. I liked what I saw and I'm encouraged, but let's not get too crazy yet. There's still a lot of work to be done.
John: Yes, there is.
Forrest from Jacksonville:
MJD leads the league in rushing and is on the 32nd-ranked offense. If that doesn't say MVP, I don't know what does.
John: I do: a 13-0 record, 4,125 yards passing, 39 touchdowns, six interceptions. Those are the numbers of Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Jones-Drew has had a big-time year, and it may be worthy of Offensive Player of the Year, but the MVP should be the best player with the most impact who defines the season. That's Rodgers this season.
Darrick from Jacksonville:
What really got me out of my seat on Sunday was when I realized that the Jags had no intention of settling for a field goal towards the end of the first half. Instead of being satisfied with a slim lead, it seems that someone flipped the "Let's be Aggressive" switch. It was truly fun to watch. Think we'll see more of the same in Atlanta?
John: Decisions in those situations often depend on circumstances. The Jaguars had momentum and were playing well offensively, so it made sense to go for a touchdown. They also made plays and stayed in situations that favored aggressive play-calling.
Cory from Jacksonville:
Monday afternoon, I saw GM Gene Smith at the Jacksonville airport and talked with him for about 15 minutes before we boarded the same flight. He was very talkative and friendly. I am so glad I approached him and had the pleasure of meeting him.
John: I'm glad you did, too. As you and anyone who has been around him can attest, he's all class.
Lee from Duval County, FL:
Do you believe that a solid performance by Blaine against a quality Atlanta defense in prime time can silence a lot of his critics going into the off season?
John: I believe it would silence his critics for a week. Another rough game after that and the critics would grow loud again. That's not a commentary in Gabbert. That's the nature of quarterbacking in the NFL.
Jason from Jacksonville:
So if I got 100 million of my buddies to vote for Cecil Shorts to make the Pro Bowl would he be a "Pro Bowler"? In other words, is it based solely on votes from the fans alone?
John: No, it is a split of fan voting, player voting and coaches' voting.
Hunter from Duval, FL:
Dearest John: I am perplexed at why despite my numerous efforts you still only reply with single-word answers, even when I try to divert your attention to degrading someone else. I have also noticed that many times people post long questions, and you give them equally long responses. So I figure I should go ahead and tell you that I, a poor college student, am road tripping to Hotlanta today so I can see my Jags. Really all I want for Christmas is a better response. I'm even willing to compromise; If you are really unwilling to say more than two words perhaps you could give me a compound word such as mailbox or racecar?
Dustin from Jacksonville:
ENOUGH!! To all those that are in favor of losing to get a higher draft pick, think about this. In 2006, there were five running backs picked in the Top 45: Bush (No. 2), Laurence Maroney (No. 21), DeAngelo Williams (No. 27), Joseph Addai (No. 30) and LenDale White (No. 45). We got MJD at No. 60, a full 15 spots behind LenDale White who, the last time I checked, isn't even on an active roster. Done.
John: Indeed we are.