Let's get to it . . .
Daniel from Johnston, IA:
The Jaguars' position has been they should be able to pressure the quarterback with four down linemen. Through five games, we can all see this simply isn't happening. At what point do you stop repeating the same thing and try something different? If you can't get to the quarterback with four, when do you bring a blitz package?
John: You're not the only one who has asked, but there seems to be a misconception about this. People seem to think the Jaguars never blitz, which just isn't true. They do blitz, but they are not a blitz-oriented defense and at this point, I can't see them changing to a philosophy where they become significantly more dependent on the blitz. So, the answer to your question, "When do you bring a blitz package" remains, "When you think it will work."
Roger from Jacksonville:
Any chance Mr. Khan will be submitting a bid to host the Super Bowl in the near future? I would think that would go hand in hand with his desire to promote Jacksonville's growth.
John: I'd be surprised if it happens in the near future. Khan has stated he wants to grow the team's brand internationally and regionally, with the idea that that will help the city have a more international presence. In turn, the team and city should grow. Once that sort of dual growth takes place, then down the road, it might be time to consider a Super Bowl bid. One step at a time.
Tery from Jacksonville:
In your opinion, how early is too early to take a pass rushing defensive end in the first round? In today's game, I feel like a sack machine is almost as important as a prolific quarterback.
John: It's never too early to take a pass-rushing defensive end in the first round. If you think you have found a dominant player at the spot, you take him. They're too valuable to pass up.
Mr. Sir from Orlando, FL:
John, have you ever written the O-zone drunk, or half asleep?
John: There's another way?
Scott from Kings Bay, GA:
Silly proposition, and one that would cause a whole lot of drama, but if the Gabbert situation is still undecided at the end of the season, why not draft a quarterback next spring? Gabbert would start another year, while the rookie acted as backup, and if it turns out Gabbert is 'the guy' then recoup some of the value lost by trading the rookie. And, obviously if the rookie is likely better, then keep him! Obviously, the fans would be drama queens over this whenever Gabbert made even a small mistake, and maybe it could be detrimental to Gabbert's confidence, bUT it would be nice to have an insurance policy, because as I've heard, it's all about 'the guy'.
John: My hope is to not spend the rest of the season breaking down every scenario about what happens if the Jaguars struggle and if Gabbert does, too. Here's the scenario: if things don't improve, there's not much that won't be reevaluated. The team has struggled mightily for some time and teams that struggle mightily face the possibility of change. That could mean drafting any position, including quarterback. There's plenty of time remaining in this season. If things get better, it probably means Gabbert is playing better, then conversations like this don't happen. If things don't get better, conversations like this keep happening. It's the nature of professional sports.
Eric from Boise, ID:
Will the Jaguars make any trades by the deadline?
John: If they do, it almost certainly won't be anything significant. The NFL is not Major League Baseball, and it's not the NBA. You don't dramatically change your team midseason.
John from Orlando, FL:
From the inaugural 1995 season through 2011, the Jaguars' three worst home losses over a 17-year span were by a combined 76 points. The first three home losses this year by the Jaguars were by a combined 75 points. During the first 17 seasons don't you think that the Jaguars had serious injuries, difficult schedules, coaching changes, new playbooks and rookies at key positions that they were able to overcome and field a competitive team? This franchise has hit a hit a 17-year low. Why can't you see it?
John: Of course, the first three home games were awful. Statistically, they absolutely were a low point. The games were over midway through the fourth quarter and nothing looked pretty. I'm not sure I ever denied as much, so I'm not sure what you believe I'm not seeing that I'm supposed to see. I also know that just because things look very, very bad one month doesn't mean it has to stay that way. If the season plays out over 16 games as it has for five games, then it's probably a historical thing and not in a good way. It's not my job to assume that will take place. It's my job to discuss what has happened, answer questions about it and at times, try to be entertaining. Within that, it's also my job to point out reasons things happen and reasons why things have a chance to improve because in the NFL, things do sometimes improve. And in the NFL, sometimes things look worse than they are. The sky may be falling, or it may not be. I'll try to present both sides best I can.
Colin from Orlando, FL:
In the offseason a point was made to get Terrance Knighton's weight down. As I understand it, he succeeded in doing that. Now he's not in the starting lineup, is there any chance there's a correlation?
John: Perhaps, but I tend to think not. Knighton played very, very well against the Vikings in the opener, and hasn't played as well since. I don't know why, but I'm not sure that it can be attributed to the lost weight. In the past, he often has played better the better his conditioning, so that would point to the answer being, "No." Whatever the answer, it needs to change. The Jaguars' defense needs Knighton playing at a high level, something he has shown in past years he can do.
Greg from Atlantic Beach, FL:
The old adage is play to your strengths and protect your weaknesses. The Jaguars have the best running back in the NFL and the lowest-rated quarterback. If you want to win football games why would you try to out pass the opponents?
John: You do it because in the past you tried to outrun them and it hasn't worked. Jones-Drew, remember, led the NFL in rushing last season and the team finished 5-11. At some point in the NFL, you have to be able to throw effectively to win.
Kevin from Farmington, MO:
The general manager doesn't seem to follow his own philosophies. If you plan on hitting singles wouldn't you want more at-bats? So why would you trade picks critical to your way of doing business? We've given up too much for a small return. If you are drafting your future quarterback based on upside potential and sitting and learning, you don't trade up to get him.
John: I don't know that the Jaguars planned to have Gabbert sit and learn for more than a year behind Garrard, but your point is a valid one. The Jaguars have had a limited number of draft selections in recent years, and you ideally would like to have more. I didn't have a philosophical problem with trading up to get Gabbert, though. If you think you've targeted your franchise quarterback, you only have so many chances to do that, so sometimes you have to go get him. Obviously, it remains to be seen whether Gabbert is indeed that guy, but from a strategy standpoint, trading up was hardly an irresponsible move.
Bryan from Jacksonville:
With a record of 1-4 is it about time some people are going to have to start playing for their jobs?
John: In the NFL, players are always playing for their jobs.
John from Jacksonville:
For all the people who can't stand when Gabbert plays it safe and doesn't take chances down the field: Look at what Philip Rivers did on Monday night against the Broncos. They were up 24-0 at halftime, and because of his fumble and three picks, they lose that game. The Eagles have a league-leading 17 turnovers this year. It was only a matter of time before they started losing games because of it. Give this coaching staff and offense some time to gel a little bit, and I have few doubts of how efficient this offense is going to become.
John: I tend to agree. I once was a big advocate of the idea that a quarterback had to take chances and risk interceptions for a passing offense to be productive. Then, I watched Peyton Manning dramatically limit his interceptions and still take shots downfield. It was then and only then that the Colts during his time there became a consistent 12-victory team. Could Gabbert throw downfield more? Yes. Does he need to? Almost certainly. But throwing downfield doesn't have to mean taking chances. If a quarterback makes the right read and the proper throw, throwing downfield doesn't have to mean huge gambles. What Gabbert needs to do is be more patient and trust his offensive line more. When he does that, coaches believe he can start making plays downfield.
Michael from Jacksonville:
"The Jaguars treat road games like a business trip." John, I've yet to go on a "good" business trip that didn't involve running straight to the hotel bar immediately at 5 p.m.
John: What keeps taking you so long?
Let's get to it . . .
Daniel from Johnston, IA: