Let's get to it . . . Sean from San Bernardino, CA:
From what I have seen, if the Jaguars improve no further (which we know they will), they should be able to pummel the bad teams, beat the mediocre and probably take a loss to the elite teams. With that notion, the Jaguars would probably sit somewhere in the middle of the league in terms of power rankings. At this point, I am okay with that. What say you, sir?
John: I don't really know where the Jaguars will rank in the power ratings. I pay little attention until it's time to compile my own for jaguars.com, and even then I think we all have a good idea their true importance. I believe the Jaguars will be able to compete with most teams when they play well, play smart and are healthy. That's where this team is right now, with a chance to get better as the season continues.
Josh from Rochester, MN:
When are the cut-down days?
John: Teams must be down to 75 players by Monday, then down to 53 by Friday, August 31.
Jordan from San Antonio, TX:
We've heard a lot about most of the Jaguars' recent draft picks. Yet, I haven't heard much about Mike Harris or Brandon Marshall. How those look in camp/preseason?
John: They're playing well, but not standing out as much as, say, Justin Blackmon, Andre Branch and Bryan Anger. That's to be expected, considering the first three were first-, second- and third-round selections, respectively, and the other two were taken later. I expect Harris and Marshall to make the team and play on special teams. That's normal for rookie later-round selections.
Lloyd from San Antonio, TX:
Can you help me with my homework?
John: Waddya got$?
Goat from Fort Myers, FL:
Regarding the defense Thursday, last year in Week 3 of the preseason the Jaguars got torched by the Bills. If you would have told me then the Jags would go on to be the sixth-ranked defense I'd have told you to take your meds. Week 3 this year, they get shredded by the Ravens (again on the road.) We were missing Cox and Smith, and Mathis barely played. Am I crazy for not being worried about the defense?
John: You're not crazy, but one thing that's true no matter the season is all teams have ups and down. The best teams have really bad games and the worst teams have really good ones. I watched the 2000 Ravens, one of the best defenses of all time, get torched by Jimmy Smith for nearly 300 yards receiving. I once watched a pretty bad Cleveland Browns team hold the Colts and Peyton Manning in his prime to an abysmal day offensively. What you're looking for in the NFL is as much consistency as possible through a very long 16-game season. You want to see teams that struggle adjust to what made them struggle. I believe based on the personnel of this defense and what that personnel did last season that more weeks than not this team will play good defense. I also believe based on what we've seen so far that the offense has a chance to improve and that it will improve as the season continues. That makes me think this is a team going in the right direction.
Eric from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
John, you are a peasant.
John: You're very a nice, too . . . I'm sorry. I thought you said, "pleasant."
Jesse from Panama City, FL:
I've watched and recorded all of our games this year and want to know how much percentage of the playbook do you think we are using? It seems like Gabbert has taken a lot of three-step drops. Is this by design, to get the ball out of his hands fast because of our O-line? Or have we been kind of vanilla with it? Also, it seems Blaine has been staring down receivers quite a bit, do you see this as a problem?
John: Certainly Gabbert has been getting the ball out quick and because the coaches overall like what he's doing, it's safe to say it is by design. Look, I'll continue to say this and it's going to irritate people, but the truth can be irritating: Gabbert and the Jaguars' offense are a work in progress. We're three games in. Against the first two teams, there was no game-planning. Against the third team, there was some, but the offense made some early mistakes, got into third-and-long and struggled. People want simple answers and they want them quick. That's the world we live in, but football is not really a simple-answer sport. There are a lot of moving parts and the "problem" is rarely one thing. Gabbert is improving, and as he continues to improve and the offense overall improves, you will see the offense become more complex.
Dustin from Jacksonville:
Panic? I panic when my girlfriend says "we" need to talk. I don't panic over wide receivers. That being said, I'm surprised you haven't taken the chance to point out that Robinson is exactly why you don't go diving into the free agent market. You almost always overpay and you often overpay for a substandard product. Robinson is being paid No. 1 money. One catch is unacceptable for that kind of money. At this point, I would honestly give his spot to Robiskie in the last preseason game just to see what Robi can do. What can it hurt? The last preseason game is almost entirely about evaluating right? Robiskie has played well and just maybe it'll light a fire under Laurent.
John: I'd hate to see you when you're panicking.
Sal from Jacksonville:
You previously mentioned that you weren't concerned about the way the defense played in Baltimore. What I saw was a lack of speed, and tackling ability in our linebackers. The tackling part can be fixed, but I'm afraid the lack of speed can't be taught. You either have it or not. So how can we fix this lack of speed in our backers??
John: Well, one thing that won't hurt is getting Daryl Smith back. Another thing that won't hurt is not having them coming immediately off of a brutal training camp and playing a road game six days after another road game. This linebacking crew with Posluszny, Russell Allen and Smith was pretty fast and pretty good at the end of last season. I think it will be fast and good again.
Ralph from Wise, VA:
It has been said Blaine needs to wait a little longer in getting the ball out, especially in the Red Zone. I've liked what I've seen from him so far this year. No "happy" feet and no pressing to make things happen like he did last year. He's still a work in progress and from all indications his and the coaches work is paying off. Those other things can and will be worked on and I thing we all will see this pay off as the season goes on. I think, as fans, we all should be happy with the work he's put in and watching his development from week to week.
John: We have learned a lot from the first two preseason games, and aside from Justin Blackmon apparently being very NFL ready, maybe the most important thing we know now is that Gabbert is ready to truly begin developing. For many reasons, that was curtailed last season, but now – with a new coaching staff – we have seen early that Gabbert has improved his fundamentals and he is establishing a base. Watching Gabbert in preseason, I see a quarterback who is better than last season and who still has a long way to go to reach the level he wants to be. He still needs to make better decisions and as Mularkey said, he still may need to be a little more patient. Those things come with time. I believe what we're going to see this year from Gabbert is what many wanted to see last season: a young, developing quarterback who has a few more good games than bad, and one who has shown enough by the end of the season that most people can see he has a very bright NFL future.
Lee from Duval County, FL:
Has Henne done anything in practice to warrant a roster spot? He has done a poor job of pushing Blaine Gabbert for the starting QB spot.
John: I never really believed that Henne was going to push Gabbert very seriously. Anyone who did wasn't paying attention to what was going on around the Jaguars, and they weren't paying attention to what was being said. To me, Henne looks like what the Jaguars brought him in to be – a veteran backup behind a good, young quarterback. Henne hasn't had much of a chance to play with the starters, and that hasn't helped. He also has been in the game earlier than Jordan Palmer, which means the level of competition is a little better than Palmer has faced. I believe you'll see Henne and Palmer each play a lot Thursday. We'll see what happens.
David from Charleston, SC:
O-man do you think Merriman would be a help to the Jags with the possible loss of Session? Do you think the Jags have looked into him at all?
John: I'm sorry . . . were you speaking?
Let's get to it . . . Sean from San Bernardino, CA: