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Chin up, mailman

Let's get to it . . . Justin from Jacksonville:
What do you think the odds are of Jacksonville losing home games to overseas? After watching that press conference, Khan seems to like the idea.
John: I'd say it's very likely. He looks at it as a marketing opportunity and a way to build an international brand. Many people are going to look at it as the first step toward London. Those people can look at it however they want. Khan made it clear Friday he wants to keep the Jaguars in Jacksonville. He made it equally clear the stands have to be full. New owner same message – and that's because it's the only logical message.
Brian from Rehovot, Israel:
I'm a serious Jaguars fan. I even woke up at 3 a.m. Israel time to watch Thursday's game live. That said, I couldn't be more disappointed with Blaine Gabbert's performance. He took bad sacks, he still misses receivers. He was 4-of-7 for 22 yards through three quarters of a blowout. It's disgraceful. Then I saw a poll on a serious Jaguars website: 57 percent of people were willing to part ways with Gabbert and draft a new quarterback in the first round. You think maybe you're looking at Gabbert's play through teal colored glasses?
John: I think I've been pretty consistent. I haven't said he's great and I haven't said he's horrible. I've also said I'm willing to wait until next season to judge. Enough people who know football have told me that Gabbert can't be accurately judged right now. A lot of fans have made that jump. A lot of analysts have, too. Maybe next season I'll share their opinion. For now, they can say what they want.
Nick from New York, NY:
At this point I'm treating this as the preseason to the 2012 preseason. You have to have a discerning eye when you're watching these games. Except for two throws, I thought Gabbert's passes looked sharp all night. He could have avoided the rush and protected the ball in the pocket better, but those are skills that can be learned (and avoiding the rush will be easier when receivers become open). The innate skills that matter most at this point -- the quality of his throws and decision-making -- seemed sharp from what I saw.
John: I thought so, too, for the most part. I'll close the book on looking back at Gabbert against the Falcons with this: whatever you thought of him before probably didn't change. He wasn't great. He wasn't horrible. He shouldn't have fumbled twice, but in that game he had little time and very limited options in the passing game. A lot of the people criticizing that performance Thursday went into that game looking for reasons to criticize it. He looked better in the pocket and he had less time than he has in several weeks. Bottom line remains the same. He needs time. He'll get it in the off-season. And so on and so on.
Steve from Atlanta, GA:
Was at the game and "tough" is a good word to use having to sit through that one. The worst part is at some point these kinds of losses are going to prohibit Mel Tucker from being the new head coach. You can't get blown out in four of your last five games and get a promotion, can you? And that is a shame because he seems like he'll make a great coach somewhere. So the question is, was last night the only interview that will matter for Tuck?
John: No. The most important thing will be what Shad Khan and Gene Smith see from Tucker and his overall body of work. This won't be a decision based on what the public or media thinks, and it shouldn't be. It will be a well-considered, well-researched decision based on who is best for the situation, not who has the most recognizable name. And that's what it will be.
Skip from Jacksonville:
OK, OK I must be missing something. In a game with the score 41-0, a game they knew there was no chance of winning, why in the WORLD would they leave Gabbert in a game like that? He was being sacked battered and run over. Are they trying to get him killed? Please explain this to me. Also I think he should be benched these last two games so he can get a fresh start next year.
John: They're trying to get him needed experience. In the last quarter of that game Thursday, Gabbert actually played well. Yes, the game was decided at that point, but he made some good throws – the touchdown to Chastin West was particularly good. Fans pooh-pooh those moments because they come in mop-up time and they don't matter for the present, but for the future, they certainly could matter very much. And you absolutely don't bench him. No way. He has to play. The only thing better than playing him every snap the final two games is finding a way to add two more games and playing him in those, too. He needs snaps. He needs repetitions. He needs maturity. He needs experience. And he needs it all as soon as possible.
John from Jacksonville:
Is it wrong of me to be tired of hearing the coaches and players say injuries are not an excuse? It sounds noble but the fact is that injuries are an excuse. The net effect for each position impacted, and there are a lot this year, is that the better player isn't on the field and a player who isn't at that same level or is pulled from the street is on the field. I understand that early in the season we struggled while quite healthy but it's hard to build on this, improve, and win consistently, after a slow start, when you keep losing pieces of the foundation along the way each week.
John: It's not wrong of you to be tired of it, but you must realize the culture of the NFL is to absolutely not allow yourself to believe that you're outmanned. Players must believe it and coaches must believe it and to think any other way and let any other idea slip in is sacrilege. Do coaches know injuries matter? Sure. Do players know? Absolutely.
Colin from Jacksonville:
Cecil Shorts, Victor Cruz and Pierre Garcon may all go on to have solid careers, but you're never going to see any of them make plays like Julio Jones made on Thursday, or A.J. Green has made at points this season. When you keep saying that passing offense is the one thing that's holding us back, and Blaine will be better next season, why would you not take a shot on Justin Blackmon?
John: You take a shot at him if he makes sense for the selection at the slot you pick. If after the pre-draft evaluation Blackmon is considered by the Jaguars a bonafide Top 10 selection, you take him. Whether he will be considered that or not is yet to be determined.
Tim from Jacksonville:
I have to disagree with you John. Next year we will not go to the playoffs. Our late-blooming rookie quarterback will still only have one full offseason of NFL conditioning and preparation. At the start of the 2012 season he'll still be only 22 years old, and many of the players currently on injured reserve will still not be fully recovered from their injuries. One offseason of personnel moves will not cure our depth problems. Hopefully, we'll have a new rookie receiver or defensive end who will not be expected to make a huge impact in his first season especially if there is a holdout, which there usually is with top-10 picks. We also will have a new coaching staff and a new offensive playbook. If you think all that makes for a playoff team, you are delusional. I'll still be a Jaguars fan and I'll be in my same seats, but I'm a realist.
John: We'll see. Jim Harbaugh turned things around quickly in San Francisco and a new energy with a new structure and plan can turn alter an NFL environment and results very quickly. Remember, before the injuries hit, this team was very competitive, if not successful. And there isn't likely to be a holdout. They have no point under the new Collective Bargaining Agreement and rookie wage scale.
Kevin from Atlanta, GA:
I hope we have learned to not again pass on Ben Roethlisberger because we were so sure that Byron Leftwich was our answer at QB.
John: The problem with your logic is you don't know what quarterback is the next Roethlisberger. As Jim Mora once said, "You think you know, but you just don't." The reason is you can't predict the future. I can predict that I'll get this question many, many times between now and April.
Don from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
Maybe Mr. Khan can get Jimmy Johnson to come onboard like Mr. Weaver wanted to do from the start. If JJ is ever going to coach again he needs to do it now and I really think that Jacksonville would be a great fit. No disrespect to Mel Tucker but we really do need a high-profile coach with a proven track record.
John: Why? High-profile coaches with proven track records rarely repeat that record elsewhere. Who says Bill Cowher can replicate what he did in Pittsburgh, where he had the benefit of a franchise with an identity and a culture long since established? Perhaps he can and perhaps he can't, but just because he did in Pittsburgh doesn't mean he can duplicate it. You research and pick the best person who will set a high standard and establish a culture. Profile and track record matter far less than that.
Mailman from Jacksonville:
HAVE A DRINK ON many as you need at Intuition Ale Works. I'm buyin.....say when. Chin up!
John: I wish you were my real mailman.

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