Get the ice and grill

Let's get to it . . . Bewley from Jacksonville:
John, please bring me back down from Cloud Nine. I feel like I am way too hyped by that performance from Gabbert. Tell me we still have a ways to go, and it's not as awesome as it just looked.
John: "We still have a ways to go, and it's not as awesome as it just looked." But there was an awful lot of good Friday. What you want from a young quarterback is to see the things that will develop into better and better things. We are starting to see that. Far beyond a couple of touchdown passes, that's the reason it's OK to be optimistic about Gabbert.
Jonathan from Jacksonville:
What happened to the Jaguars' offense? Is this the same team from last year? From how the national media portrays it, Gabbert is supposed to be scared but he didn't look scared at all.
John: Coaching matters.
Garett from Jacksonville:
I don't know if it's because it is preseason, but I feel like our secondary still isn't up to par. I realize that we went up against one of the best quarterbacks in the league, but the throws he made seemed easy to complete. Is it just that our secondary doesn't have the players to do the job or is there a flaw in Mel Tucker's defense? Or, am I just too worried because it's preseason? I am a huge fan of Tucker and our defensive players but I'm just worried about how well the Saints played against us.
John: I need to check the facts, but I believe the Saints were a pretty good passing offense last season. Oh, that's right: Drew Brees set the NFL record for passing yards in a season. Seriously, the Saints are going to get yards on a defense. All good passing teams are going to get yards. The Jaguars allowed the Saints 10 points in the first half. Don't forget: the Jaguars also were without Derek Cox and Rashean Mathis. Those players make a difference.
Scott from Honolulu, HI:
Not sure exactly how good he'll be, but Andre Branch is a football player.
John: Yes, he is. The Jaguars have been cautiously optimistic about Branch for the last couple of months. That feeling grew during camp. I didn't emphasize Branch as much in Friday's jaguars.com coverage as I should have. That's because there was so much focus on the offense. But Branch looked good. Perhaps most notable was he continues to make plays against the run. The Jaguars believe he'll be a pass rusher. If he's an every-down player, so much the better.
Michael from St. Augustine, FL:
I posted on my Facebook tonight that everyone needs to watch the Jaguars because there was going to be a special game tonight. Immediately after I did it I thought, "What if I'm wrong? What if it goes terribly wrong?" Not tonight. There was a quarterback who made multiple throws while taking it on the chin. There was a wide receiver who refused to be denied, and there was a team who demanded attention, if not from the national media, then from its fans. I, for one, can say I am proud to be a Jacksonville Jaguar tonight. I will root for them through their lows and their highs, but tonight was different, it was an impass in the state of the franchise. I hope everyone is with me. Thanks for everything, buddy.
John: I'm glad you enjoyed the game.
John from St. Augustine, FL:
You mentioned Estes as our only significant injury this preseason. But I am really worried what we will do if Session can't return. Allen has hustle and has looked good in spots, but I also see him out of position or missing a tackle each game. If not Allen, then who?
John: The Giants are good. The Saints are good, too. If not Allen, no one. He's fine.
Ryan from Jacksonville:
I wonder what the critics will say about Blaine Gabbert now after watching him stand tall in the pocket, take hits, and still deliver the ball to his receivers accurately against the Saints.
John: They'll say it's just preseason, that the Saints' defense isn't very good and that he didn't . . . oh, I don't particularly care what they say, not that I ever really do. Gabbert looks improved. And more than that, he seems to be improving rapidly, which makes you wonder how much better he can be. Don't do backflips yet. There will be rough games. But forget the critics. He's doing what he's supposed to do in the preseason. And how about that live blog? Huh? Huh?!
Anthony from Jacksonville:
Johnny O, I'm watching SportsCenter on ESPN. Tim Hasselbeck is asked a question about Coach Mike Murlarkey not allowing touchdown dances by his players. Hasselbeck states Mularkey should be ecstatic when the Jags score, especially since Maurice Jones-Drew is not in camp. That Murlarkey should be focused on MJD and how to score a TD, not whether his players celebrate or not. Not one word about the growth of the team. Not one word about the donation to the Ronald McDonald House. I'm not one to hate on the national media, but they are going to call themselves the leader in sports, shouldn't they act like it??
John: Sure, they should, and it sounds as if Hasselbeck was indeed uninformed and missing the point of what Mularkey is doing. Mularkey hasn't disallowed touchdown dances. He's merely trying to establish an approach and a tone. It has nothing to do with Maurice Jones-Drew, and as for Mularkey being ecstatic to score a touchdown because Jones-Drew isn't in camp, they didn't score all that much last year when Jones-Drew was on the team. This seems just another instance where it's necessary to just know that Mularkey is doing the right thing, and to not worry about the inability of the national media to comprehend it. I know it gets old, but until there are results on the field, media won't spend enough time focused on the Jaguars to acknowledge the change. When the winning starts, so will the perception change.
Guy from San Antonio, TX:
What happens in the event that Maurice Jones-Drew doesn't get a new contract and continues to hold out during the season. Do fines still stack against him?
John: Yes.
Tim from Jacksonville:
I agree that '78 was big for the offense but you nailed it with the advent of FA being bigger, in my opinion. Let's take Manning as an example of the big quarterback contracts. Eventually they're going to price themselves off the team, which will make this model unsustainable don't you think?
John: No. As long as the salary cap goes up, quarterback salaries will, too. The franchise quarterbacks will have what seems like an inordinate amount of cap space, but for the good ones, it's worth it.
Shepherd from Huntsville, AL:
Mike and Mike two-a-days predictions: Mike Greenberg, 3-13; Marcellus Wiley, 6-10. Your thoughts?
John: I think everyone has a right to their incorrect opinion. People base predictions on last year and their perception of the team. Because Jones-Drew is not here, the perception nationally is that the Jaguars are somehow a mess. Those around the team see it differently. We'll see who's right.
Renzo from Katy, TX:
With all the moves across the O-line due to injuries, I get why they are taking a long look at Bradfield (and now Baldridge). What's the situation with Guy Whimper and Will Robinson? We have not heard much about them. I would imagine since they were re-signed in the offseason as depth that they would see action with the first unit. I'm thinking they may not be in the team's plans any longer. What's your take O-Man?
John: I think the next few weeks will determine the status of Whimper and Robinson, though certainly Whimper seems ahead of Robinson right now. Whimper did start at right tackle Friday, with Bradfield moving over to left tackle when Monroe was out. As for the "due to injuries" part of your first sentence, this is taking a long time to get through to people: Bradfield being at right tackle is not because of injuries. Bradfield appears right now to possibly have the best long-term future at right tackle of anyone on the roster. It may not play out that way, but the Jaguars are trying to find out over the coming weeks if that's true. He would be there if the Jaguars hadn't sustained a single offensive line injury in training camp.
Rob from Section 224:
If Session is to miss significant time, do you think we'll sign a veteran for depth or compete with Russell Allen?
John: At this point, I think the approach has to be that anything the team gets out of Session this season is a bonus. He hasn't practiced yet and hasn't been seen much around the facility. I suppose there's a chance the team could look at a veteran when teams make roster moves late in the preseason, but that would be for depth and not to compete with Russell Allen.
Roger from Section 204 and Cherryville, NC:
John: Well, Let's just sit back and enjoy it....It's us against the world and that's great. Now we'll just get ready, MOJO or not, fire up the tailgate grill, ice down the beer and watch the underdog KICK SOME BUTT. God bless America and watch out, doubters. The Jaguars are coming of age!
John: You've got it.

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