Home opener is a day away.
Let's get to it . . .
Duran from Rapid City, SD:
I found it humorous Paul Posluszny was talking about bad angles in terms of better tackling because there were multiple plays I watched where he took a bad angle on ball carriers and whiffed. I like his high tempo/energy to get to the ball; he just needs to settle down and have a little more awareness of the ball in the air. Which I always thought would be very difficult to do on the field.
John: I find it curious you find what Posluszny said humorous. I credit Posluszny with targeting what went wrong and being up front and candid enough to talk about making it right. Even very good players don't play perfectly every game. Posluszny is a reporter's dream and a fan's dream in the sense that he'll talk about what happened on the field and try to provide insight, which is what a lot of fans and reporters complain about players not doing often enough.
Ryan from Boynton Beach, FL:
What do you think are the keys to success for a victory on Sunday?
John: I think there are 10 things the Jaguars must to do beat the Houston Texans Sunday.
Melissa from Jacksonville:
While most are expecting Houston to dominate us, I'd like to get your opinion on some things I've thought about: They played Miami; granted we lost to Minnesota, but they have better weapons than Miami. A majority of Houston's points resulted from turnovers. Had it not been for those turnovers, how would they have fared? Based on these little points to ponder, I'm thinking the Texans won't dominate us as much as people would like to think. Especially if our Jags are playing error-free football. Thoughts? And p.s., you're awesome.
John: This is a case where you could have started with the P.S. and been done with it. Your points are valid, but the biggest thing to remember is this: it's very difficult to know what will happen in the NFL based on comparative scores and what happened the previous week. If the Jaguars hadn't fumbled in the third quarter against Minnesota and if they had caught two interceptions when they had a chance their game would have been far different. The NFL is about making plays when you have the opportunity. If you do that and avoid turnovers, you usually win; if you don't, you usually lose. So, yes, if the Jaguars play error-free football, they have chance to be in every game, Sunday's included.
Jonathan from Fort Irwin, CA:
I was curious about the injuries that these guys have sustained so far, especially the injuries to Cox and Smith. A hamstring? It has been a month; how bad is it? Is it so bad that they can't play through it? I'm in the Army and I can speak for most service members past and present when I say that a hamstring is not enough to stop us accomplishing our goals. Suck it up!
John: They haven't played, so apparently it is so bad they can't play through it. Each person and each body responds to injuries differently, and each injury is different. This sounds like a snide answer, but it's not. It's just difficult to know the extent of an injury and how it affects an individual. It's frustrating, but that doesn't mean it's not true.
Chris from Jacksonville:
There was a story on NFL.com speculating that Tebow might ask the Jets for a trade after the season is over (I personally think there is little validity to the story and it was a lame reason for the national media to continue to talk about a backup QB). In any event, if Tebow does ask for a trade, there probably wouldn't be much of a market at this point for his services. What round pick would you offer up for Timmy T? The Jags could always upgrade their punt-protector position. For that I would part with a 6th-7th round pick, if for no other reason it would bring a little more national exposure to one of the NFL's least-covered teams.
John: I'm looking for the sarcasm font here. I am. Please, please, please, PLEASE tell me there's a sarcasm font. Please?
Mike from Jacksonville:
Shouldn't we be trying to have Blaine pump fake also – not just stare off the receiver? He tends to stare down our receivers a little too much, but it can really play with a defense if he utilizes the "pump fake."
John: The biggest play Gabbert made Sunday came when he held the safety in the middle of the field with his eyes and found Cecil Shorts in man coverage for a 39-yard, go-ahead touchdown. Gabbert is progressing, and looking off receivers and moving the defense in various ways is part of progress and growth. He's getting there. Give it time.
John from St. Augustine, FL:
I understand that football is a violent game, but it would appear that the Jaguars have more injuries when compared to other teams who also have players that play that same violent game. I think that is where all the frustration comes from - our team seems to have more injuries relative to the other teams in the league. It's not assigning blame, it's looking for a reason why our team loses so many players to injury than other teams.
John: I understand the frustration. If you think you're frustrated imagine how frustrated people whose job it is to coach, play and find players must be. I can only answer these questions with the best answer there is – and that's that while injuries are frustrating, there usually isn't a "factor" leading to them that can be changed to prevent them. It's a violent game. Injuries happen. You wish they didn't, but they do.
Christian from Orlando, FL:
IF the Jags had a Top 10 pick and IF the draft was tomorrow, what position do you think we would address? I personally wouldn't mind a nice, elite corner to pair with a healthy Cox, maybe defensive end, but I was just curious.
John: My guess is the Jaguars will take a cornerback in the first round next April.
Emil from Tallahassee, FL:
I really hate to be a buzzkill, and I love what Mularkey has done with this team in one short offseason, truly. However, could it be within the realm of possibility that since the Jaguars had one of the most physical training camps in recent memory we are now dealing with a rash of injuries? Wanting your players to get beat up and remain healthy feels a bit like wanting to keep your cake and eat it all, too.
John: The nature of the Jaguars' injuries for the most part really hasn't been related to the physical nature of training camp. Austen Lane, for example, was injured in a relatively light drill, and Derek Cox sustained his injury in a preseason game. Zach Miller's injury came in a game, and John Estes' did, too. I had given some thought to the same possibility, but I just don't think training camp beat this team up in that sense.
Steve from Jacksonville:
Not really a question, but the more I see players after scoring a touchdown turn and give the ball to the officials, the more I like it. It really 'reeks' of professionalism.
John: It is a very pleasant odor.
Mark from High Springs, FL:
On NFL.com, one of the commentators floated the notion that last year's lockout hurt defenses disproportionately to offenses, which led to staggering fantasy points and stats for QBs going through the roof. He predicted much lower fantasy points this season as defenses across the board have improved from last season due to their training in the off-season. Was this guy just trying to fill time between scoring plays on a long, slow defense-laden game, or does his idea have merit?
John: I would have thought the opposite would be true, that offenses benefit more the more time they are together. If you talk to NFL coaches and players they will tell you that offenses typically start more slowly and need more time to develop continuity than defenses. I tend to believe it based on my experiences. In that sense, it sounds like the NFL.com guy's theory was a bit of a time-filler, but we'll see how it plays out.
Lyle from Atlanta, GA:
What is the status of Will Rackley? Why didn't he replace Britton this past Sunday?
John: Will Rackley is on injured reserve and is out for the season.
Tim from Middleburg, FL:
I want a Jag win on Sunday. However, I look forward to the following: The smell of early tailgating, the walk into the stadium, the National Anthem, the flyover and most importantly, having the honor of having 1 of the 32 teams here in Jacksonville. GO JAG!
John: Don't forget to read the Ozone, and swing by our radio spot, but yeah, game days are special, and the regular-season home opener is particularly so. Your frame of mind is right. As we said last week before the regular-season opener, enjoy.