Let's get to it . . .
Jim from Gainesville, FL:
Why is Tyson Alualu not on the injured reserve yet? He is clearly playing on a bad knee, and he is not playing at a high level this year. I truly believe he will be a Pro Bowl player in the near future, but because of his injury he cannot perform on that level. Should he not be put on IR just so that his knee will not be further aggravated?
John: Not knowing the full extent of what's bothering Alualu's knee, it's impossible to answer. Is Alualu playing as well as he would be playing without a bothersome knee? Almost certainly not. Is he helping the Jaguars? Most certainly. The Jaguars are a Top-10 defense and that wouldn't be the case without quality defensive tackle play. I've heard nothing to indicate him playing is endangering him long-term, and I doubt the Jaguars would play him if that were the case.
John from Jacksonville:
How many Jaguars have the potential to be Pro Bowlers this season, besides MJD?
John: I'd say Paul Posluszny has a chance. Daryl Smith should have a chance, too. Terrance Knighton also could have a chance with a good second half of the season. And Greg Jones should get a lot of votes, as should Josh Scobee with a strong second half.
Keith from DeLeon Springs:
We know what has gone right. Can we give some of the guys who are stepping up some love on their bye week? Monroe, MJD, Scobee, Mincey, all DTs, Chick (where did this guy come from), Poz, Mathis, Cox. I think four guys deserve an extra pat on the back for their first half. MJD, Scobee are most obvious but Mr. Smith on D has been great and always get forgotten and what about Mel Tucker?
John: Consider them loved on the bye week – and deservedly so. Tucker certainly can't get enough credit. There were those who doubted his approach of keeping the defense simple before the season but to get the defense playing as well as it has with so many new faces isn't easy.
Robert from Jacksonville:
Why won't we sign T.O? We have NO big-time receiver, we don't have somebody to catch period. I think it's time to be critical here. Jack's job is on the line.
John: Yes, sign Terrell Owens. He worked out on NFL Network shirtless, so he'll do the trick. I'll email Gene. Let's do it.
Jared from Banning, CA:
Did I really see someone saying that a bye week is like a vacation and why should players practice? So what is the time from February to July? It's people's perspectives on NFL players like this that cause lockouts and players to think they are worked too hard and don't make enough. The bye week wasn't a full vacation. And in most years, the players typically work from mid-March through mid-June. The Jaguars practiced Tuesday and Wednesday and they are off Thursday through Sunday. League rules mandate they be off four days in succession.
John: People are up in arms because the players didn't stay in town to practice on their own? Be up in arms all you want. It's just not something that players from any team would have done.
Patrick from Dixon, CA:
Can we cut out the "what say you?" Isn't the point of writing in to ask for your opinion? That being said, what say you Oesh?
John: I say good idea.
Neo from The Matrix:
What's your favorite movie of all time?
John: Not yours. Then again, it sure ain't Eat Pray Love, either. I don't have an official favorite, but a quick list of those that are up there includes: Rainman, Usual Suspects, Christmas Vacation, Goodfellas, Shawshank Redemption, Best in Show, Zelig, Say Anything, Leaving Las Vegas, Reservoir Dogs and, of course, Chicken Run.
Julian from Fernandina Beach, FL:
This is something I have wondered since watching Graham Gano at FSU. He was a great kicker AND punter at FSU proving he could do both pretty well. How come you don't see GMs or personnel people find one guy who can kick field goals and punt? (I know they exist) You find a guy who can do both and now you have an extra roster spot, am I missing something?
John: They exist, but it's rare to find a guy who can do both well enough to be the best option for an NFL team at each position. You're right that it would be great to save the roster spot, but each is important enough that you don't want to have less production at one to save the roster spot.
Bill from Jacksonville:
"It's more likely that the Jaguars' passing offense will first improve by getting a lot more production out of several players – including a developing big-time receiver – than having one receiver come in and catch 1,500 yards worth of passes." So what you're saying is this team would be better with Demarcus Ware or Jared Allen than with Calvin Johnson or Mike Wallace? Sorry, I can't understand that logic. Go Jags!
John: I didn't do a great job answering that question. I was trying to say that a single pass rusher might have more impact than a single drafted wide receiver, because the single drafted wide receiver likely wouldn't be a 1,500-yard guy for a while. And I'm with you: when I read back on the answer, it doesn't seem very logical. Here's what I was trying to get at: the Jaguars probably need one big-time pass rusher on defense – possibly a ready-to-produce veteran – and a big-time wide receiver plus at least one other receiver on offense. That's my thought, anyway.
Jeff from Atlantic Beach, FL:
While I can't speak about Newton or Ponder, I've watched every single Bengals game this year. The main difference I see between Gabbert and Dalton is the players around them. Dalton makes many similar mistakes to Gabbert. The difference is that there are two-to-three times a game where a receiver will make a nice catch for Dalton. The pass is off target but they go and get it. All rookies have things to work on, isn't it the job of the veterans to help them out until they can fix those mistakes?
Verne from Des Moines, IA:
You could install a turnstile at right tackle and it would give up less pressure than Guy Whimper! Gene's track record is beginning to muddy. We should NOT need to turn around and draft O-Line again, and yet WE DO!! Screw receiver. GET LINEMEN WHO CAN BLOCK!! Have I been heard?
John: Not even remotely. Whimper wasn't drafted. He was acquired off waivers and moved into the lineup in training camp when Eben Britton was out with a back injury. He played pretty well for the first six games and has struggled in the last two. As for drafting offensive line, it's generally a good idea to focus on that area on Day One every two or three years to make sure you have depth replacing veterans, so you might see the Jaguars go that route in the next year or two, but the Jaguars do not need to focus heavily on the line in the draft. It's playing better than many believe.
Kevin from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
O-zoning until a blackout? Looks like you will get a break on November 27th with over 11,000 tickets left to sell, the UF-FSU game the day prior and a 4-6 team (at best) playing the Sunday after Thanksgiving. I will be at EverBank; just wonder who else will be.
John: I'll be there and while I'm there, I'll be gearing up to write every day for the foreseeable future. Don't give up hope, Kevin.
Lauren from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
As someone who's read this column for the past few years, I have to admit that I am disappointed in the direction it's taken. It seems like you're more interested in criticizing the fan rather than answering the questions. Why isn't it worth taking a look at why our O-Line is ranked so low? Or, if Alualu is playing hurt? Instead, let's avoid the question and slam the fan. How is that a good strategy for your column?
John: I honestly haven't meant to be critical. Some questions wear on you because people ask questions, and when I answer as best I can – based on conversations with people who know – readers don't like the answer. The offensive line questions have worn me out because offensive line rankings aren't always a true gauge of how the line is playing. And as for Alualu playing hurt, I've never avoided the question. He is and he's playing well despite that – not great, but not bad. My goal generally isn't to slam the fan and if it's coming off that way, you're probably right. We all need a bye week.
Pierre from Vienna, Austria:
So you are made of nails? Hard for me to come to J'ville but I try my best. Never saw that nails there are made of chocolate. Can´t figure you being made from steel. Let me give you a piece of advice: "Never sell your column." That's a quote from Dick Francis. Most likely not known to you. And let me add: if you do it, don´t make it so cheap, that´s what we call disgusting. Maybe too much beer??
John: I've apparently got some going to do until I'm as well-read, worldly and tough as Pierre. Here's hoping I make it someday.
Robert from Jacksonville:
Not necessarily a question, but rather a huge thank you. Magic Hat is a wonderful beer. Finally tried it and you were right. Maybe you do know something!
John: Not according to Pierre.
Gearing up for every day
Let's get to it . . .
Jim from Gainesville, FL: