Last day for Jets talk.
Let's get to it . . . Rick from Jacksonville:
O-man, am I noticing a love fest between you and Chad Henne?? Blaine Gabbert has had the same issues with drops, receivers not getting open and the youthfulness of them. Why do you say that Henne didn't play all that bad, but were so critical of Gabbert??
John: No, no love fest, and if you read back over the O-Zone for the last year, you'll find many, many, many cases where I have written about Gabbert needing more help from receivers, and Gabbert needing time to develop, and all of the legitimate reasons that Gabbert has yet to play like a franchise NFL quarterback. All of that's still true. The point I have made in recent days and the last few weeks is that right now, Henne for the most part has played better than Gabbert did. He played better against Tennessee and Houston than Gabbert had played in the first nine games of the season, and for the most part, the offense has functioned a little better. I don't know that Henne is a franchise quarterback going forward. I don't even know if he's the starter entering next season; I don't know that anyone knows yet. He seems to be a guy you can win with if people are playing well around him. I think Gabbert has more upside potential, but the question remains how much time he can be given to develop. What's the answer to that question? We just don't yet know.
Ryan from Jacksonville:
Serious question, Mr. Osher: how does a team in today's NFL lose to an opponent that only has 100 yards passing?
John: You score 10 points, allow 17 and also allow 166 yards rushing. Thanks – John Oehser
Jim from Meridian, FL:
I'm not one of those guys who believes in being "trigger happy," but I do believe it's time to clean house. Lacking talent is one thing, but the lack of discipline and poor execution of fundamentals is on the staff. Clean house, and reevaluate the roster as well.
John: When you're 2-11, there is a lot of reevaluating to be done in a lot of places. Roster. Coaching. Front office. To hear Jaguars Owner Shad Khan tell it when he spoke in mid-November, evaluation is going on now. The time for decisions is approaching, too.
Brad from Orange Park, FL:
Sometimes I feel like there's not a girl in the world that can break my heart like the Jaguars do, O.
John: There are. It's what they do.
Jack from Jacksonville:
Records aside, are the Jags better this season than they were last year? I feel like there are more bright spots this season, especially on offense. Even last season, I thought the defense was overrated.
John: Good question. I feel like the Jaguars have been better this season than last season at times, and certainly they could be better than they are had a few breaks gone their way. If the Jaguars had won their three overtime games, and had Maurice Jones-Drew, Clint Session and Daryl Smith been healthy, 6-7 or 7-6 wouldn't be out of the realm of possibility. So, honestly, I don't know that there's a huge difference from last year to this year. Now, do I think the Jaguars would be a contending team if those players were healthy? Well, they'd be contending because their record would be better, but I don't know that they would be a legitimate threat to make the playoffs. Not yet.
Todd from La Jolla, CA:
You are what your record says you are, which means this is the worst team in franchise history. They're terribad, John.
John: No, it's not good. Despite what I said in my previous answer about 6-7 being possible, the straight truth is they're not. They're 2-11 and 2-11 is franchise-historically bad.
Aaron from Jacksonville:
Really, John? Are you trying to stay positive about Henne by saying "look at these wide receivers he had to work with?" The fact of the matter is neither Henne nor Gabbert are valid options at quarterback at this time. Here's one for you. The Jaguars had Matt Jones, Reggie Williams, Ernest Wilford, Dennis Northcutt, and Charles Sharon in 2007. With that receiving corps, David Garrard had the best statistical season of his career. Those WRs aren't exactly elite either. And considering the circumstances in 2007, I don't think Garrard played all that poorly. The quarterback is the difference.
John: Yes, the quarterback is the difference. I'm neither positive nor negative about Henne, but to be fair, outside of the top four or five guys in the NFL, I'm not sure what quarterback would have fared much better Sunday.
Sosa from Columbia, SC:
I guess we know now that JDR was calling the defense last year.
John: No, he was not.
Jim from St. Augustine, FL:
It ain't easy being a Jaguar fan.
John: No, it's not, but it's not supposed to be this hard.
Alexander from Newport Beach, FL:
How did Eben Britton play?
John: Inconsistently, and too often, not as well as you'd like.
Jeff from Starke, FL:
Anyone ask the coach if it was the game plan for Henne to throw 90 percent of his pass attempts to five-yard outs? Seemed like he wasn't allowing time for any other route to materialize. Maybe this was the plan based on his ability to make certain throws in Buffalo?
John: Young receivers and a struggling offensive line – that's a combination that often produces a lot of short passes. Short routes are higher percentage for the young receivers, and they can develop quickly behind a line that's struggling to protect the passer.
Casey from Los Osos, CA:
So O-man, how many seasons are going to fly by before we have a legitimate passing attack? Have we statistically been in the top 10 since 2002? 2006-2007 would be my best guess.
John: At least one more, apparently. That's not to be cute, but it's clearly too late for this year. One positive along these lines – two, actually. Cecil Shorts appears to be on his way to being a very good wide receiver. Justin Blackmon, while inconsistent, has done enough as a rookie to make you think if he builds on his strengths he can be productive, too. That makes the situation at receiver worlds better than it was this time last season.
Harry from Jonesboro, AR:
Is there still some upside to Tyson Alualu, or is what we're seeing now about the best we're going to get?
John: He had micro-fracture surgery on his knee in January. If he is able to rehab and get physically ready for next season, he may be able to enter next season healthy. If that happens, he could play better next season.
Josh from Jacksonville Beach and 106:
At least it wasn't 58-0. We got that going for us . . .
John: Sounds like you've taken a peek at this week's power rankings. Kidding aside, the Jaguars haven't completely gone off the tracks in the last weeks. That's not much solace, and it's not nearly enough, but it's a little something.
Kevin from Jacksonville:
I know the Jaguars' struggles with Henne at quarterback are not all his fault any more than they were all Gabbert's fault when he was at the helm earlier in the year. But if the Jags continue struggling to get something going, do you see any value in playing Jordan Palmer some in the last game or two to see what he can do? Or is the perceived talent drop-off between Henne and Palmer significant enough that there's no value in doing that?
John: I don't see Jordan Palmer starting at quarterback this season unless Chad Henne gets hurt.
Bill from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
John, I think you missed what I was trying to say last week in regards to "patience." What I referring to was Wayne Weaver being patient with Jack Del Rio, and look where that got us. Del Rio should have been fired in 2008, but Wayne Weaver was patient, and that led to another three years of bad football. The Jags' organization was "patient", and look where that got the franchise. Thanks for taking time to respond though.
John: Good point, and I can tell you this: I don't see Shad Khan being that "patient." I get that fans are frustrated, but you can't blame Khan for what Weaver did for nine seasons. Does that mean Khan's going to "clean house?" I don't know. I'm not sure anyone does, but I do believe Khan will get a system in place that will produce long-term success. What form that takes, and if it involves change, remains to be seen.
Lee from Duval County, FL:
In Gene Smith's defense, since its inception, this team has never drafted a franchise quarterback . . .
John: Well, the Jaguars have tried. Byron Leftwich didn't work out and there are still questions about Blaine Gabbert. To your point, though, when you don't draft one it makes a whole lot of things really, really difficult.
Zeleznoc from Jacksonville and Section 207:
Too many dropped passes and not just from Elliott. Also, far too many errant passes nowhere near a receiver. Why do you think there is such a disconnect between quarterback and receiver with these passes seemingly nowhere near a receiver? It has to be more than just young and inexperienced receivers. Doesn't seem to matter who is at quarterback, either.
John: Why does it have to be more than just young and inexperienced receivers? Young players make mistakes, and Chad Henne has worked no more than two or three weeks with pretty much everyone who was on the field Sunday. That's a formula for disconnect.