Doing what it must do

Let's get to it . . . Jared from Pensacola, FL and Section 116:
I am really excited to see Blaine Gabbert play against the Saints with a beat-up line just to see how well he plays with added pressure. Do you think he can benefit from this since it's only preseason?
John: Considering the criticism Gabbert has taken, it might makes sense to think he would benefit from playing under pressure, but the reality is this is far more a creation of the media at this point than it is something concerning the Jaguars. Gabbert needs to develop this preseason, but he needs to do so within the framework of the Jaguars' offensive schemes. He needs work with the receivers running the team's offense. Pressure doesn't help this. I think Gabbert will benefit from having time to read defenses and develop timing with receivers far more than practicing getting hit.
Chad from Jacksonville:
Not bashing, but serious question. If Gabbert was a fifth-rounder, would he be the franchise quarterback?
John: If he was playing like he has since training camp, he'd be the starter. That's what he is now. That's what the Jaguars need him to be.
Mike from Jacksonville:
What are the walkthroughs in training camp?
John: Walkthroughs in the Jaguars' training camp were the afternoon practice. They are conducted in shorts with no helmets and are primarily for reviewing plays, and walking through special teams situations.
Kyle from Pensacola, FL:
In regards to Bob from PA's question, what about the tuck rule? I think that kind of changed the game in further handicapping the defense.
John: Not really. The tuck rule hardly ever comes into play, and certainly hasn't changed the dynamics of the NFL in any big-picture way.
Reed from Jacksonville:
Any news on Clint Session? Is he going to play this year? Haven't heard about him in forever.
John: Clint Session is on the Physically Unable to Perform list. As of early in training camp, he still had concussion symptoms from last season. It remains to be seen if he will come off the PUP list this season. There hasn't been update since early in camp because there hasn't been much to report.
Billy from East Northport, NY:
Hey, O'Man, why is it that under the current system of numbering in the NFL, No. 0 and No. 00 aren't allowed? If I remember right, Jim Otto of Raider fame actually wore the number for a while. I was just wondering as to why those numbers aren't in circulation anymore? Do you think they'll ever be recommissioned?
John: The NFL hasn't had No. 0 or 00 since changing the system in the 1970s. The idea was to establish consistency in numbering across the league. Ken Burrough of Jacksonville wore No. 00 for the Oilers, and as you mentioned, Raiders center Jim Otto famously wore it. As for allowing those numbers again, I doubt it. I miss it, too. I thought it added a fun element, but I've never heard much sentiment in the league to bringing it back.
Paul from Jacksonville:
I don't know about ALL quarterbacks, but certainly the ones who last long enough to have a career.
John: True.
The Grabster from Jacksonville and Section 216:
If Monroe can't go against the Saints, I would expect to see Bradfield at left tackle, Brewster at left guard, Meester at center, Nwaneri at right guard and Britton back at right tackle. Would you tend to agree, John?
John: I'd expect to see Bradfield at left tackle, Britton at left guard, Meester at center, Nwaneri at right guard and Daniel Baldridge at right tackle.
Scott from Chelsea, NY:
Where do they come up with this stuff? I've heard from a story on nfl.com that the only reason that our coach is donating $250 to charity after a touchdown that doesn't involve a celebration is to rub it in MJD's nose. The national media is just looking to find ways to say that this team is falling apart. But seriously, where on earth do they come up with this nonsense?
John: I have read many silly things. I'm not sure anything has topped this. Mike Mularkey actually instilled this idea when he was the head coach in Buffalo, and reintroduced it with the Jaguars before the first preseason game. I assume the article was a joke. If it wasn't, it's about as ignorant and short-sighted a thing as I've read about the Jaguars in . . . well, in a few days, anyway.
Patrick from Aiken, SC:
I have to disagree with the theory that MoJo wants more money. And please hear me out. While I agree with everything that has been discussed so far on this subject and I am sure that MoJo believes he deserves more money, I honestly don't think that is the driving force behind either side of the deal. MoJo isn't interested in his pay this year or next year. He makes plenty. What he wants, though, is long-term job security. Better receivers, an improved quarterback, a passing-minded coach and by all accounts a running game that is bigger and faster. MoJo knows all of this. Does he want more money? Sure. But don't you think that it's more about still making big money at 30 or 31 with a new contract than it is about how he stacks up with his peers today.
John: I think Maurice Jones-Drew wants more money.
Michael from Section 208:
How has Robinson looked in camp? Do you feel confident that he'll be an asset in this offense opposite Blackmon?
John: Laurent Robinson has looked exactly as I would have expected him to look. There were some timing issues and he had some drops early in camp, Mularkey spoke to him about pressing, and within a few days, Robinson was practicing and playing at a high level. He has looked increasingly better and his timing with Gabbert is improving by the day. I have seen free agents who have come in and immediately looked out of place, and it's not hard to see when a guy isn't working out. Robinson has the opposite look, and through two and a half weeks it appears he'll be a big part of the overall improvement of the passing offense.
Jerry from Tamarac, FL:
In order for MJD to be in game shape for the first game of the season when do you think he should report to the Jaguars? I worry that this is going to be another holdout where an injury occurs.
John: A little more than three weeks remain until the first regular-season game. Realistically, if Jones-Drew reported this week he might be close to 100 percent and ready for the regular season. If it's much later, he probably would be ready to play by the opener, but I don't know that he would be ready to carry a full load. I do know the Jaguars won't give him a full workload until he is 100 percent. Considering how Rashad Jennings has played, that's not the concern it might have seemed a month ago.
Terry from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
The offensive line appears to be getting to be dinged up pretty good so far this preseason. With all the progress that Gabbert has made, we may be in trouble if the offensive line can't protect him. Do we have enough depth on the offensive line to sustain these early injuries?
John: The offensive line indeed has sustained injuries this preseason. The injury to center John Estes is a major concern because if he's out for the season, the Jaguars will be thin at the position, at least early. Aside from that, the injuries appear short-term, and it appears the Jaguars could go into the season with Bradfield at right tackle, Nwaneri at right guard, Meester at center, Britton at left guard and Monroe at left tackle. The team definitely would like to get that group a game or two working together, but if that's the line and it can stay healthy, it has a chance to be very good.
Brian from Alabaster, AL:
Help me off the edge here, John. Every day when I need that quick hit of Jaguars news, I get bad news. Tell me it's not as bad as it appears.
John: I guess I'm seeing a different camp than those who are reporting and analyzing from afar. So far, the Jaguars have had one injury that seems long-term. That's Estes, and that's damaging because he's a quality backup center. Aside from that, the injuries are short-term, so I've definitely seen far worse injury bugs in a training camp. There also is the Jones-Drew holdout, but that's far more of a concern nationally that it is around here. People around this camp see a quarterback improving and a wide receiver corps that is doing the same. Those were the major things that needed to happen as camp began. As a whole, this team is doing what it must to prepare for the season, and things look to be headed in the right direction. This is not to say that every day has been roses, but to paint this is a camp with mainly bad news and negatives couldn't be further from the truth.

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