Whew. Busy week for jaguars.com and the O-Zone.
I'm bound for Dallas this morning to cover the league meetings and to report on Shad Khan's expected approval as the Jaguars' new owner. I'm looking forward to that, as is everyone around the Jaguars. After that, we're headed to Atlanta Thursday morning.
High-flying, exciting times.
Let's get to it . . .
Mike from Marshall, MN:
The mark of any player in any sport, any league, anywhere is how they bounce back after a horrid performance. A lot of us can agree that second half Gabby had against San Diego was not outstanding by any means. The kid was able to bounce back this week against Tampa and lead the squad to victory. The way he played Sunday speaks more volumes to me than the way he played against SD. He was challenged and rose to the occasion. Have I been heard?
John: You have, and I like how you call him, "Gabby." A week ago, he was getting called a lot worse.
Phillip from Navarre, FL:
Are you as disappointed as I am that Gabbert wasn't nominated for Rookie Of The Week? Jake Locker was nominated, even though he completed under 50 percent of his passes and lost.
John: I would be disappointed – if I cared about Rookie or Player of the Week awards. I'm not being snide. It would have been nice for Gabbert to be nominated, but I just don't spend a lot of time thinking about the weekly awards. Most players don't, either.
Derek from Cedar Falls, IA:
One of the many things Vic taught us is that aggressive interceptions are not always a bad thing. Showing that you are willing to push the ball down the field can have legitimate effects on defenses, and keep the eighth (or in our case ninth) defender out of the box. Secondly, a long interception is not much different than a punt, as long as it was late in the down count. Reward outweighs the risk greatly. Thoughts.
John: I agree. You don't want to get in the habit of being careless with the ball, but being aggressive and intelligent in the passing game is the right combination.
Michael from Kentwood, MI:
Now that we've won a game, is there any real reason to keep winning? It does nothing but slide us down the draft board. We've got huge holes to fill and with so many injured players, who knows what kind of shape they will be in when they recover. Isn't it better we lose now to increase chances of landing higher picks to win more later? Didn't we lose out on drafting Revis because of a rather pointless win?
John: You play to win, and if you don't, at what point do you not? I seem to recall when I was in Indianapolis a situation near the end of a season when Jaguars fans and players were quite upset that the Colts opted to pull starters out of a game. The thought was that this went against the integrity of the game. Intentionally losing games for a draft pick is worse. You play to win and let the off-season happen when it happens.
Levi from Bloomington, IN:
With all the trouble with injuries at corner, why have we not seen our rookie, Rod Issac?
John: He's on injured reserve.
Todd from Philadelphia, PA:
I just want to point out Victor Cruz. In his rookie year he played in three games and zero catches. This year (his sophomore year) he has 1,150 yards and 7 TD's. Let's give Cecil Shorts another year.
John: He certainly is getting one, and he should. Wide receiver historically is a position that often takes a year or two to develop and reach a player's full potential. There are exceptions such as A.J. Green, but they are relatively rare. I use Pierre Garcon as an example. He played hardly at all for the Colts as a rookie in 2008 after playing collegiately at Mount Union, and in his second season he made a huge impact. But there are many examples of that, Cruz being another good one. Here's the thing to remember: the fans are the only ones not wanting to give Shorts time. The Jaguars will indeed give him time. That's the plan, and they remain confident he'll produce.
Sean from Ponte Vedra, FL:
What is the point of having a kicker on the practice squad?
John: The Jaguars signed Brandon Coutu to the practice squad Monday as insurance in case Josh Scobee can't play Thursday. If Scobee isn't ready by Wednesday, they can bring Coutu up. It's not a long-term situation.
Josh from Harrisburg, PA:
Not being overzealous here but curious question? Do you think 7-9 is a good possibility?
John: Only if they win all of their remaining games.
Jared from Banning, CA:
I'm still reeling at that amazing 41-point performance last week, but in all reality, what can we expect against a better D, on the road in a dome and with only a couple days rest Thursday?
John: It will be tougher, without question. The Falcons are in the playoff chase and they're not making mistakes at nearly the same pace as the Buccaneers. All of the factors you cite will make it difficult for the entire team, not just the offense. Offensively, what you want is to see the same things from Gabbert as you saw Sunday – smart decision-making for the most part, continued poise in the pocket and the willingness to take his shots when he has them. If that happens and the receivers make a few plays, Jacksonville can get points.
Charles from Midlothian, VA:
I'll give you that the offensive line has done a good job for MJD, but they (like our offense) to me seem one-dimensional. Great job opening holes for MJD, but they look horrid when protecting Gabbert. Am I wrong or does Gabbert not have enough time? Or is Gabbert still a skittish rookie, and losing those vital 1-2 seconds due to indecision which makes the line look bad?
John: It's a lot of things. Receivers not getting open enough. Gabbert being a rookie. A lack of continuity on the line. But the line hasn't been horrid pass blocking. That's too harsh.
Hunter from Duval, FL:
Hey O-dood, Sam from Jacksonville is my friend and I've just got to be honest. He's really not cool enough to make O-Zone. You should refrain from posting anything else by him from here on out.
Dustin from Jacksonville:
I may be wrong, but a team can have 80 total players signed with 53 being on the active roster. That leaves 27 spots. We have 26 or 27 players on IR (I've lost track). So from here out, if we put a player on IR, we are effectively taking a spot away from the game day roster. At this point, it seems like we've gone a bit overboard with this whole IR thing. Did I miss something?
John: The Jaguars have 22 players on injured reserve, five on the practice squad and 53 on the active roster. They have released several players from IR this season. I don't know about "overboard." You manage your roster the best you can in your situation using whatever tools are at your disposal.
Mike from Kissimmee, FL:
If a field-goal attempt is blocked. Does that count as a missed field goal for the kicker?
Clint from Auburn, AL:
Watching Mel Tucker's post-game speech, I came to the conclusion that Jacksonville really needs to consider keeping him as the next official head coach. Watch the video. You can see the respect the players have for him in their eyes, how they watch him. If the guy has been a respected assistant coach on this team for years, I see nothing wrong with seeing him as the head coach.
John: Neither do I. We'll see how it plays out. There's a long way to go in this process because in this process, three games is a long time. Tucker knows the score here, though. He knows the odds and he's doing it the right way – doing the best job he can now given his circumstances and controlling what he can control. No other way to do it.
Chris from Jacksonville:
I think MJD is a shoo- in for the Pro Bowl. What's your opinion on this?
John: If he's not, something's terribly wrong.
Andrew from St. Augustine, FL:
Is it possibly a good thing that we are in a very short week? Maybe the momentum of Sunday carries over a little easier??
John: It could. And if it does, that will be the storyline. If not, it will be about how difficult it is to travel and play on a short week.
Paul from Jacksonville:
As I watched Mojo rack up 4 touchdowns, that line from Back in Black came to mind....I got 9 lives...CAT SIZE...usin every one of em and runnin wild. All-Pro for sure.
John: He absolutely should be, and I . . . wait a minute – Cat Size?