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In praise of my genius


ChrisCharlesJax from Jacksonville:
What's up with Mike Thomas? 30 targets and only 15 receptions...that has to get better.
John: The targeting statistic is a new one and not always fair to wide receivers. Thomas has dropped a few passes this season, but he has not dropped 15. Just because a player is targeted doesn't mean it's a good pass. Thomas hasn't played perfectly, but he's not the problem in the Jaguars' receiving corps.
Thomas from Lawrenceville, GA:
I drove 3.5 hours to go to the game Sunday, sat in the downpour without so much as a poncho, cheered like crazy the whole game, got sick to my stomach from nervousness in the closing minutes, sat in the parking lot for an hour waiting for traffic to clear, drove home, then watched the game on DVR Monday Night. Should I seek psychological treatment?
John: You sound very normal to me.
Paul from Panama City, FL:
Gene Smith set out to change the defense and make it a top defense in the league. Which he has succeeded in doing to some extent. Now, it's time for him to make our offense a top offense. My question is how long do you think that might take?
John: As long as it takes Blaine Gabbert to become a top quarterback – and as long as it takes for the Jaguars receiving corps to improve.
Evan from Ponte Vedra, FL:
Why do our receivers have so many more dropped balls compared to receivers on other teams? Is this a fundamental that needs to be stressed more or does it relate more to talent?
John: Yes and yes.
Chris from Jacksonville:
What are some of your favorite bands? And how do we go about requesting some different music played during the games? Like many other intelligent people, I get tired of hearing the same old AC/DC and Skynyrd songs coupled with the same stupid pop songs (soulja boy, yung whoever, and lil anyone). When can we hear some Coheed and Cambria and Cold War Kids coupled with some Rage against the Machine and old school Metallica.
John: Lately in my iPod, there's been a steady diet of R.E.M., my favorite college band that recently called it a career. Most people wouldn't want to hear my favorite bands on game day as I show my age and lean pretty heavy to an bent: Drive-By Truckers, Steve Earle, Warren Zevon, Alejandro Escovedo, Liz Phair, Son Volt, Ramones, Elvis Costello, Clash, Connells, Housemartins, Tom Waits . . . and of course, I'm from Jacksonville, so what the heck is wrong with Skynyrd?
E.J. from Islip, N.Y.:
In next year's draft, do you feel the Jags should go for the "can't miss" player (based on the percentanges) rather than the surprise pick? Thanks.
John: Without question they should go for the player that can't miss. I'm all for it.
Keith from Jacksonville:
Your response to Lee is right on. Just look at Tennessee, they are currently trying to bring in a WR to replace Britt. It'll be interesting to see who that is and what kind of impact they'll actually have. Hopefully it'll quiet the "We need a Big Time Receiver" crowd.
John: Ah, 'tis to dream.
Ben from Jacksonville:
Mike Sims-Walker: 10 catches for 133 yards so far this year. Monumental mistake? Better than Mike Thomas? John, I wasn't even aware that Mike Sims-Walker had fans in Jacksonville until we let him go.
John: Players looking better to fans after their departure is not a phenomenon exclusive to Mike Sims-Walker.
Abe from Orange Park, FL:
Why do you bash David Garrard so much? This is your first year here. You don't really even know the guy. He did a lot for the community and gave the Jags a lot of memories. So I'd appreciate it if you'd stop bashing him. Okay? Thanks.
John: If it's perceived that I'm bashing Garrard, I haven't meant to. What I have tried to do is offer fans some perspective on why he is no longer with the team. As you said, I don't know David all that well, but on the occasions we spoke he was nothing but classy. My responses regarding Garrard have been meant to explain that there is no reason to think the Jaguars would be a better team right now if he was on the roster.
Dave from Jacksonville:
Alualu's knee? This was an issue last year and his play deteriorated. Is this a concern?
John: Well, it sure ain't ideal.
Byrd from Eastside Jacksonville:
John my friend, you are a genius. You called it. First, everyone wanted Garrard gone. They got it. Second, they wanted Luke benched after four interceptions (Ok, understandable). They got it. Next, everyone wanted Sunshine in. Voila! Wish granted. Now they're calling for Garrard to come back. At what point will people realize good/elite QB's don't grow on trees? Blaine is now the man, the future. Sit back, relax, grab a drink and watch my jags grow. Keep up the good work John O.
John: You had me at, "You're a genius."
Ray from North Augusta, SC:
When a rookie quarterback starts his NFL career, it's like he never has played good football before. He was one of the best while in college so why is he now so unpolished? In college he ran two-minute drills and managed clocks very well.
John: It is, in many respects, a different game. Faster, with more complex offenses. There are rare occasions when a player can come in and play at a high level, but the details of the game often happen at such a pace that there is going to be a learning curve. Also, the clock stops with a first down in college where it does not in the NFL. That makes the NFL two-minute drill a much different proposition.
John from Jacksonville:
After the long lockout over the summer, the coaches must be scratching their heads. It's difficult to plan that your starter would perform less than expected in camp, your backup would buckle under pressure on his second start, and your long-term solution quarterback would be thrown in the ring as early as the third game. With all of this said, I think many can agree that pre-season expectations might have been 2-1 at this point instead of 1-2 and that a one-game shift doesn't cause much concern under these circumstances. The defense is solid with impressive rankings in the NFL, the special teams needs some minor adjustments, and the offense WILL get going quickly now that Blaine has that first game behind him. I think we will have one of the best teams by late season but can we get to a level of consistent winning early enough to stay in the playoff race?
John: Much of that will depend on Gabbert's development. The schedule is not easy in the coming weeks, and it's very possible that Gabbert could improve, develop and learn and the Jaguars still struggle against teams such as Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Houston and, of course, New Orleans. One thing I keep thinking about, though, is this: the Jaguars to me don't look like they're as far from being competitive against really good teams as many might believe. The one thing missing is productivity from the passing offense. I'm not sure they need to reach a passing-productivity level of the Patriots or Packers. It seems just being OK would do. Considering what we've seen from Gabbert, OK doesn't seem an unreachable goal – even for a rookie.
Matt from West Covina, CA:
I've notice Chris Prosinski has been getting some playing time on defense. What progress has been made with him? Can you tell me what is holding Rod Issac back from playing? During the draft it sounded like he was going to be a lock at nickel corner. What is he struggling with?
John: After missing most of training camp, Chris Prosinski is making progress about as you'd expect from a rookie. Issac isn't playing much because there are better players on the roster.
Brock from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
I think we will see just how good our defense is this week. Keeping Brees and the Saints under 300 yards total offense will be difficult to do this week. The keys to victory this week are simple. We must create at least four turnovers and Blaine must play an outstanding game. MJD running over 100 yards wouldn't hurt either. I'm a very optimistic Jags fan that will not write off any game before it's played but we must have those two things occur if we are to win. What do you think, John?
John: I think I'm not worried about the Jaguars holding the Saints under 300 yards, because I don't think doing so is a key to victory. The Saints are going to get yards. The key, as you said, is creating turnovers, then taking advantage of those turnovers when they are created.
Mike from Jacksonville:
When are the Jaguars going to get a better offense going? We need a big-name receiver. Do you see us getting that, or adding more receivers?
John: Wayne Weaver . . . hire this man!!

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