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Competitiveness not an issue

Let's get to it . . . Richard from Starke, FL:
I think it is funny that everyone seems to be putting the Colts game down in the win column. You know what the Colts will be thinking. It's their best chance to win this season. I think we will be lucky to win that one on the road.
John: The Jaguars are 2-6 and scoring just over 12 points a game. No one should be putting anything in the "win" column. Now, that said, the Jaguars don't need to get lucky. The Jaguars should beat Indianapolis, and if they play well, I believe they will. But no one is thinking this game is a sure thing. At least no one around here.
Mike from Jacksonville:
Any chance the tape of the Texan punching Session in the stomach while he was on his back on the ground will be sent to the league? If it were to be sent, what would the likely action be?
John: I'd think there's a chance the league will see it. I'd expect there to be a fine.
Jonas from Jacksonville:
Why does the team with the lowest strength-of-schedule percentage select first? It would make more sense for the team with the toughest schedule picking higher.
John: If two teams are 0-16 and one team did it against really good teams and the other did it against really bad teams, the one that did it against really bad teams is probably the worst team. The worst team gets to pick first in the NFL.
Jason from Alexander City, AL:
Am I wrong or does it seem we do not have a running back screen in the playbook? With MJD and Deji, it seems the running back screen would be a good high percentage pass for Gabbert.
John: I'm almost sure it's in there.
John from Jacksonville:
I wonder how many fans want to "suck for luck." The biggest problem in that line of thinking may not be the most obvious. Luck doesn't go to a no-name, Division II school, so there is little chance that Gene would get him.
John: Cute. I don't think the Jaguars will be selecting Luck, but if they did, he would be in the first round. Gene Smith has drafted three players in the first round as general manager. They are from California, Virginia and Missouri. Many fans have heard of them all and they all play in big-time conferences.
Dane from Jacksonville:
I am very excited at how much our defense has improved this year. They have simply been dominant in most games, despite having a mediocre pass rush. With the addition of a sack-generating, disruptive pass rusher, this defense could be really scary.
John: It almost has to be an off-season priority. I'd be surprised if it's not.
Stephen from Jacksonville:
As good as our defense has been this year, do you believe they would be even better if our offense could stay on the field more?
John: Yes, but sometimes that works the other way. A more high-powered offense sometimes means more incomplete passes and therefore the defense getting back on the field quicker. That's not always good. But in this case, yes, the defense would be better if the offense could extend a few more drives.
Bill from Jacksonville:
"For the most part, the line has not played badly this season." Football Outsiders who provides stats and analysis for all things NFL ranks the Jaguars O-line as 31st in pass protection. So we've got that going for us. Go Jags!
John: The line has had its issues pass protecting at times, but for the most part, it has not been a huge problem. Aside from when he has been hurt, for example, Eugene Monroe has played very well – the best he has played in his three-year career. Will Rackley also has played well in the last two games and Uche Nwaneri is playing well. You also have to give the line credit for run-blocking, which the Jaguars have done very, very well. The Jaguars' pass protection isn't perfect, and it must improve, but it has been good enough to allow the pass offense to function if everything else was operating at a high level.
Jamie from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
I know we have a struggling offense right now with a rookie quarterback and improvement needed from our wide receivers, but, shouldn't we be questioning our offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter? I mean it has been a while since we have had a top-ranking offense. Also, if you know you have a struggling rookie quarterback. Wouldn't you try to call some plays to help him out? Just wanted your thoughts on Dirk Koetter, and if you think he might be on the "hot seat?"
John: It's a performance-based business. The Jaguars are ranked 32nd in the NFL in passing offense and 32nd in overall offense. Anyone associated with the offense is feeling heat.
Bryan from Jacksonville:
So the new CBA prevents the players and the coaches practicing. Are the players allowed to conduct their own practices and if so have you heard of them planning any during the bye week?
John: They are allowed. I wouldn't lose sleep waiting for it to happen.
Jeff from Jacksonville:
It wasn't supposed to be this way, John. Not this year. We were a playoff contender, a team on the rise, with Pro-Bowl weapons on offense, a defensive line that is top-notch, an expected much improved secondary through free agency, an owner determined to make the playoffs. Then, the position that is the absolute single most important of the entire team, cut just days before the season starts. Tell me there were some conversations behind the curtain that reset the expectations of the year. I can accept that more than I can accept the thought that they actually believed, "Gabbert gives us the best chance to win."
John: Jack Del Rio and Gene Smith were very up front from the time they drafted Gabbert that they did not want Gabbert to start this season. He was not ready and an indication they didn't plan for him to start was training camp, when Garrard worked with the first team. That was said throughout the offseason – that Gabbert would sit to start the season and Garrard would be the starter. Garrard's preseason performance changed that.
John from Atlantic Beach, FL:
So are we not gonna talk about the F-bomb that Blaine dropped on Cushing? However inappropriate some might consider it I liked to see that fire and competitive spirit coming from Gabbert.
John: We're not not talking about it. I just wasn't sure what there was to say. He said it. He's a fiery guy. Want-to and competitiveness isn't an issue with the guy.
Evan from Ponte Vedra, FL:
Do you envision the Jaguars drafting more than one receiver in the upcoming draft if they are the best available players?
John: I do.
Clay from Houston, TX:
One bright spot I've noticed this season is we're getting pressure on opposing quarterbacks a whole lot better than the past two years. We're tied for sixth in the league with 22 sacks. Two years ago we had 14 the whole season. If there is one bright spot this season, it's our RUSHMEN wouldn't you say?
John: I would say the line is a bright spot. Actually, there are many bright sport. The entire defense. The running offense. Josh Scobee. The passing offense has brought a lot of things down with it, and with a better passing offense, the Jaguars are probably 4-4 at the bye, perhaps 5-3.
David from Jacksonville:
How do you think the morale of such players as Maurice Jones-Drew is affected due to the lack of offensive production put forth by the players around him? He is obviously the most talented offensive player on the team, and, frankly, it hurts to see a man play as hard as he does yet lose almost every game?
John: I actually saw Jones-Drew this week. He's doing cartwheels and dancing happy dances. Seriously, everyone on offense is disappointed, frustrated and even angry about the performance. They're professionals, so they continue to work and stay optimistic, but these are prideful guys. They want to win. They're competitive. They hate losing and failing. They'll keep working.
John from Elizabeth City, NC:
I'm going to say this knowing it's going to open a can of worms. I was sick and tired of hearing the Tebow has the drive and heart and all these intangibles. Yet all the media said that doesn't win in this league which it hasn't. Yet here we stand now Gabbert struggling and all I hear from the Jags is he has those same intangibles. Really rooting for Gabbert but what's the difference?
John: No can of worms. Gabbert can make the passes when he has time. Gabbert can read defenses. Gabbert has an NFL arm.
Andrew from Toledo, OH:
I am starting to think Del Rio made the wrong decision benching Luke McCown after one loss on the road. People obviously can't handle the facts about Gabbert and we may get this kid killed before he is given a chance. This season was meant for experience and development rather than a division crown and super bowl. Del Rio gave up on the season going with Gabbert and we need to be careful how we react to how the youngest QB in the NFL is playing right now. I hope he can handle this criticism.
John: I think he can handle it. He's a tough kid who's learning. He'll learn how to handle criticism, and he'll learn how to do all of the things an NFL quarterback needs to do.
Aaron from Jacksonville:
For God so loved the world he gave his one and only Terrell Owens that whosoever throweth the ball to him shall win every game. Tray from Jacksonville 3:16
John: Amen, Aaron. Amen.

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