Let's get to it . . .
Kyle from Orange Park, FL:
Did Gene Smith make any effort to enter trade talks with Denver for Brandon Lloyd? It just seems like there was no effort made according to the Associated press and ESPN.
John: The reports, in this case, are correct.
Eric From Tampa, FL:
It's safe to say our offense is the weak spot of this team. I don't expect Gabbert to light it up out there, but wouldn't getting Brandon Lloyd help?
John: OK, I'll try to answer this the best I can. First, no one disputes the Jaguars are weak at receiver, and no one disputes the need for a No. 1 big-time wide out. As for Brandon Lloyd, the Jaguars did not make an attempt to trade for him. A glance at his resume reveals why. He is in his ninth season, and has had one year in which he has been a productive player. The Rams are also his fifth team. But the biggest reason for not trying to acquire him is this: he had a huge year for the Broncos last season and they are not exactly teeming with experienced, big-time receivers. The Broncos not only opted not to try to re-sign him, they let him go for a sixth – possibly a fifth-round – draft pick. Complain all you want about the Jaguars not trying to win because they didn't try to acquire this guy. There were a lot of reasons they didn't want him, and the trade was never going to happen.
Brendon from Austin, TX:
A CBSSports.com story (http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/story/15736612/need-help-evaluating-talent-ask-packers-ravens) a few days ago pegged the Jaguars as having a top five scouting department. Fans are impatient, but a more astute eye sees that this team is meticulously digging itself out of the hole that bad drafting before Smith has put itself in. What I have to ask is, why is Gene Smith in the final year of his contract? I want to see this team commit to Smith. Especially for small-market teams, I feel the way to winning is to have an "architect" and give him the time and leeway to play the long game, instead of forcing him onto the win-now treadmill. Smith should be this franchise's Ron Wolf.
John: You have been heard.
Frank from Fernandina Beach, FL:
Not a question, just an observation. A certain WR everyone was so mad the Jags let go just got released from a winless team. I'm not a personnel expert by any means but that kinda validates GM Gene's perspective on the position a little doesn't it? For all the sudden haters out there. Just sayin'.....!
John: I'm shocked. Word was the Jaguars released Sims-Walker because they didn't want to spend the money for the letters to put him in the Ring of Honor.
James from Orange Park, FL:
I know our receiver corps is lacking, but is Mike Sims-Walker being released and David Garrard still out of the mix of things a tell-tale sign that GM Gene knows what he is doing?
John: Nah. It's a sign that he got lucky, that the Jaguars were flying blind and that all the personnel people on every NFL team are walking, talking idiots when it came to these players.
Bill from Jacksonville:
"The offensive line has not been dominant but I can certainly say I've seen lines worse this season" You've seen lines worse? So basically you are saying "Hey at least the Jags aren't as awful as those other teams" Yeah because that's a good way to look at things.
John: That's not what I was saying. The email said the Jaguars were the worst line in the NFL. I was saying they weren't.
Tim from Tucson, AZ:
Frustrating to keep losing but I agree the foundation is there. Two observations that I'd appreciate your thoughts on: (1) We always seem to play Cover 2 and never make opposing offenses adjust, just seems like the good ones take advantage too easily, (2) We don't give Gabbert enough "easy" throws (curls, dump to RB, etc) and count on him hitting WR's down field on the run too much. Might help him get/keep rhythm, get Lewis involved, and keep us out of 3rd and long. What say you?
John: I get the point with the Cover 2, but don't really agree. Good defense is about rushing the passer and stopping the run. When you do it, you have success and when you don't, you don't. The Jaguars didn't do much exotic on defense Sunday in either half. They played better in the second half and therefore had success. They actually played more Cover 2 in the second half and improved while doing it. I'm not saying there's never a time to adjust or mix things up, but I've seen a lot of teams outthink themselves and I think a lot of adjustments are overblown or overdone. As far as the offense, I'd say the biggest issue is being in third and long. When you're throwing into difficult down and distances, it's progressively more difficult to put your quarterback in situations where easy throws are effective.
Jason from Jacksonville:
I heard Adam Schefter mention before the game that one trade that should happen but won't is trading Rashean Mathis to a team who needed corner help for some future round picks. Not sure if he mentioned a specific team. If there is someone who would accept this trade do you think the Jags would pull the trigger? As a fan and season ticket holder I would be 100 percent behind this move.
John: A team is always willing to listen to a trade proposition. The question is what value would be worth trading Mathis – and, of course, whether anyone is seeking to trade for him.
Bill from Jacksonville:
The worst thing this team/fan base can do is think we are simply a good wide receiver or defensive end away from being a playoff team. This is not a good football team, and it runs much deeper than a wide receiver or defensive end.
John: I agree that you can't fool yourself as a team into believing you are one good player at a position or two from being a playoff team. The NFL never is that simple. I do believe that having an impact player and improvement at those two spots are the major needs, and that along with the development of Gabbert, those will be the major off-season storylines. But to say they're not close, or bereft of talent, is just, plain wrong.
Steve from Brunswick, GA:
What is the problem with our receivers giving up on routes? I saw it in the last two home games from Hill and Shorts, and believe I saw it yesterday from Thomas. Guys, don't let up until the whistle blows. Anything else in inexcusable.
John: Yes, it is.
Brad from Hampton, VA:
Thought I'd give you a break from the "I am a fan and I demand the team does this to get better" and ask something different. With the exception of the quarterback, when players are learning the playbook, do they focus on their specific route/job or are they expected to learn all of the other players' routes/jobs as well as their own? Do they also get tested on their knowledge by the coaches?
John: The first step is learning their jobs. After that, the great, dedicated players often learn the jobs of others so they can grasp how everything fits together. The tests come in practice and the exams come in the game. A lack of knowledge is pretty obvious pretty quickly.
Jim from Gainesville, FL:
I am concerned with the development of Blaine Gabbert. In comparison to other rookie quarterbacks he has looked underwhelming. Cam Newton, Andy Dalton, and even Christian Ponder yesterday have looked more poised and ready to be good NFL quarterbacks. Blaine Gabbert has looked uncomfortable under duress and has not been able to thrown his receivers open consistently. Why are the fans supposed to have hope that he will turn out to be a good NFL quarterback, and not just another Jaguar quarterback disappointment?
John: Cam Newton threw three interceptions Sunday and Ponder played in mop-up time. I've said from Day One this is going to be a process, and the steps of a process are not always pretty. Gabbert has talent, and the desire to improve. He is showing flashes and growing. He's going to have stretches where he struggles. Perhaps the other quarterbacks you mention are not having such stretches, but I don't think that's the case.
Tommy from Jacksonville:
It's a dead horse, I know; but it's tough to complete passes when receivers don't catch the ball. I've always been of the mindset that if it hits your hands, you better catch the ball. Is Gabbert putting too much on the throws, or do they just need to make plays? It's a bit simplistic to say you have to catch everything you touch, but it's not ridiculous to think the Jaguars' receivers need to make more plays.
John: Absolutely they do.
Dave from Jacksonville:
I'm sure you won't answer this, but I'll ask anyway. What's your favorite color?
John: That's it. You're banned, Dave. Everyone's banned. Garrard is banned! Sims-Walker is banned. And Brandon Lloyd is darned sure banned. No more! No more! No . . . .!!!!
No more! No more! No more!
Let's get to it . . .
Kyle from Orange Park, FL: