An angry in-box, as might be expected. Oh, well.
Let's get to it . . .
Michael from Fruit Cove, FL:
Our offense looked better this week, right? It seemed like the offensive line had its best day pass protecting this year. This led to Gabbert stepping up in the pocket more and making good decisions and the receivers got more separation from the extra time in their routes.
John: Somewhat lost in the disappointment of the loss is just what you mentioned, that all elements offensively looked improved Sunday. It obviously wasn't improved enough, because 10 points by definition isn't enough, but you saw a lot of good things from Gabbert and a lot of parts of the offense. Again, it wasn't perfect, but if you're looking for progress, I don't see how you say it wasn't there.
Todd from Philadelphia, PA:
Man did we miss Pot Roast.
John: Yes, and Rashean Mathis, too.
John from San Antonio, TX:
Please tell me why they decided to punt at the end of the first half with 15 seconds remaining. That was absolutely Scobee range. If they had missed the kick it would have been 10, nine seconds left in the half. Instead they elect to punt it with seven seconds left in the half. Had they kicked and made that field goal, Scobee could have won it at the end of the game. Horrible call by Jack.
John: I thought the same thing at first. Upon reflection, throughout the game, punts in that direction sailed noticeably short, meaning there was a pretty strong crosswind from that direction. Usually, it would have been in Scobee's range, but on Sunday, evidence suggested it wasn't. You could make the argument that the Browns wouldn't have had enough time to score anyway, but if the elements made it unmake-able, it probably wasn't worth the risk. Jack Del Rio has been pretty consistent this year in letting Scobee kick it when he has a chance to make it. You can't force what's not there and on Sunday, it apparently wasn't there. On the flip side, there seemed to be a lot of confusion about it and you would have liked to have seen the Jaguars using the time they did have on that last drive more efficiently.
Rob from Green Cove Springs, FL:
I trust you'll get a lot of comments today regarding the final play call and clock management at the end of the game, but I'll point out something that seems to be overlooked... Jason Hill has to catch that ball. That's your game-winner right there and it hit him in the chest. Despite the loss though, I come away hopeful because for the first time this season, the passing game looked... competent?
John: No argument here. It would have been a tough catch, but such plays get made a lot in the NFL. And you're correct to have hope. Look, if the development of Gabbert isn't the most important element of this season long-term for this team, then I don't know what is and I think everyone knew coming in there were going to be ups and downs to the process. Everyone involved knew Gabbert was going to take a while to reach a high level, and to reach that level, you need to make steps. On Sunday, he did that. He wasn't perfect, but he made a lot of good decisions and started to look more confident. Big picture, that's a good sign. It has to keep getting better, but there were positives there.
John from Jacksonville:
John, Ric used to file his pre-game report video for away games from the opposing team's field. You do not. Why is that?
John: The reason we changed was logistical. Shooting the video on Sunday gave the viewer the feel from the opposing stadium, and that was good, but the limited time they were on the site before the game limited the number of people who watched them. We post them on Friday now with the idea that more people will be able to see them.
Dane from Jacksonville:
What a beautiful final drive led by Gabbert, only to be ruined by our horrendous wide receivers. We had that game won and Jason Hill dropped it. Such an incredibly disappointing finish to the game, but I am very encouraged to see Gabbert starting to put together some long drives, especially at crunch time.
John: That's the right way to see Sunday's game. There still is a lot going wrong with the passing offense, and the immediate reaction to a loss – especially one that essentially ends playoff hopes – must be disappointment. But Gabbert showed good things. And that's a good thing.
Hal from Jacksonville:
What is up with Session? This guy knocks himself out of every game?
John: Every game? Session played very well the last three games, plays with aggressiveness and gets a concussion making a hit and we criticize? Well, OK.
Josh from Harrisburg, PA:
Have you ever sported a mullet?
John: No, but I am proud to say I went Flock of Seagulls and General Public swoop for a time in the 80s. It worked for me. At least that's how I choose to remember it.
Hill from Northridge, CA:
Something that both continues to amaze me and is something that the best teams in the league seem to do FAR better than those who struggle is manage the clock well at crunch time. Why on earth did the Jaguars not call time out after the run where Jones-Drew got the first down with close to :35 left instead of waiting to run one more play and call it with :08 left? Rookie mistakes and even having receivers who don't get enough separation are clearly areas where the team is experiencing growing pains, but to be completely incompetent at how to manage the clock when the last few seconds of the game are ticking away is completely unacceptable, cannot happen, and cost us at the very minimum a play or two on the final drive, if not the game.
John: Many are criticizing the use of timeouts, but if the Jaguars call timeout before 1st-and-goal on the 2, they have none remaining. I've heard the argument that using the timeout at 30 seconds ensures four plays, and that's one that appeals to me as a believer in the passing game, but the Jaguars are a running team. Using the timeout then would essentially eliminate the possibility of running Jones-Drew on any of the remaining plays. Whether or not they used him wasn't the point, but your odds of scoring or getting a first down are dramatically decreased if the Browns know you're going to pass. It was disconcerting seeing the time run off, but the Jaguars had time to run four plays had they hurried to the line and gotten in position at a reasonable pace. That's the argument for what the Jaguars did: do you want a chance to throw four times or a chance to run several plays with at least the option of one running play? Therein was the dilemma.
Jason from Newport Richey, FL:
John, we got robbed. Provided that the tipped pass call was made properly and the Browns made a field goal we would be sitting here, with a win 13-10 because instead of having to score the TD we would have simply kicked a field goal with Scobee. The Refs have fat pockets after this game.
John: I don't disagree. The tip looked pretty conclusive, but apparently the referee saw it differently. The referees didn't do it intentionally, but it was a play that cost the Jaguars pretty significantly for all of the reasons you state.
Chris from Vero Beach, FL:
One question. How do you not give the ball to Jones-Drew on the 1 yard line?
John: I addressed this pretty heavily in Sunday's editorial. People didn't like the answer then and won't now, but here goes. It was the right decision to throw on 2nd-and-goal from the 1 with eight seconds remaining, because if you run and don't get in, the game's over. On 3rd-and-goal, I get the argument for running because Jones-Drew is indeed your best player. But the Jaguars haven't been fantastic on short-yardage this season -- they had just gained one yards on the previous play -- and you could see why the Browns would be expecting a run in that situation. Bottom line: whatever you call in that situation you're a genius if it works and an idiot if it doesn't. A final point to emphasize: I've had a lot of questions about not using Jones-Drew twice from the one-yard line. There was no way to use him twice. With no time outs, he either scores on the first try or the game is over.
Eddie from Jacksonville:
College coaches get smoking hot coeds. You have Ryan Robinson. Either you are not very smart or not very fortunate.
John: Obviously you never have seen Ryan Robinson. To paraphrase Lou Gehrig, I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth.
Aaron from Carbondale, IL:
Only ten more months until football season starts. I can't wait.
John: Even in dark times, funny is funny and that was funny.