The countdown continues. A little more than 24 hours until Gabbert time.
Let's get to it . . .
Steve from Woodbine, GA:
At least Vic would answer my questions. You have not answered me once. My question to you again is why do we continue to have to watch Mathis play on this team? I make it a point to watch him on most defensive series and he is a joke! He almost always shows up at the end of the play looking like he wanted to help!
John: When I started with the Jaguars in February, I read many articles by my predecessor and of all of the readers who submitted questions, I chose to not answer questions from you. I did this mainly out of spite and pettiness, but a little, too, just to make myself snicker each morning. As for Mathis, all of the questions about him from many readers just sort of wear me out a little. We watch Mathis at cornerback because despite criticism of fans, he is a veteran capable of playing at a starter's level at the position. I've watched him, too, and although he does give up some plays, I've also seen him make what I consider some quality plays and I just don't think he's playing as poorly as many readers believe.
Jack from Jacksonville:
Save the whale? Huh? Feed the bloody cat!
John: I like that.
Tudor from Saint Augustine, FL:
Why do all the NFL.com writers keep saying the Jags defense got torn up by the Jets? Are they all really that ignorant? Albert Breer fine, but Brian Billick, the former coach of the Ravens, saying our defense got "shredded" by the Jets? What game was he watching? The Jets didn't even move the ball 300 yards! I get what you mean by writer's opinion, but these statements are not opinion, they are pure stupidity. Jets turned the ball over twice, had no running game, and were held to under 300 yard by our defense. How does any of that equate to the Jaguars defense getting "shredded"?! Sports journalism is getting out of control. I motion for some serious editorial checks and balances to be put into place. I am grateful that at least you and Vic still retain accuracy and intelligence in your writings. Save the sports journalism whale!
John: For fans, reading and listening to national opinions will usually beget nothing but frustration. Many times such opinions are gleaned from watching the highlights and looking at the score, and what the highlights showed against the Jets was a defense worn out from being on the field too long allowing a couple of late touchdowns. I'm not necessarily a believer that the Jaguars' defense is a Top 5 unit yet and I don't know that it's dominant, but I also don't believe it was in any way shredded by either of its first two opponents.
Richard from Jacksonville:
Instead of forehead I always refer to a certain QB in Indy as fivehead. (Psst, it's big) A good nickname for your quarterback is crucial to success in the NFL. (Ask Joe Namath) Let's put this Sunshine nickname to rest. No quarterback in his right mind wants the name Sunshine. Yo Gabbert Gabbert, (That's right you heard it here first) should be Blaine's nickname. I see a clothing line, an endorsement deal/promotional tie-in, dolls brought to the game ala Chucky Dolls in Tampa. Cute Florida girls will wear children's clothing. (It's small) The stadium could yell Yo Gabbert Gabbert during introductions or when the offense takes the field. The possibilities are endless. What say you John?
John: I say you've put much more thought into this than I have – and a case can be made that the results don't justify your time invested.
Andrew from Statesboro, GA:
I go to Georgia Southern University. My roommate is a diehard Auburn fan and I've been a diehard Jags fan since Day One. We made a bet that if Cam Newton throws for 400 on the Jags defense that I'll buy him a case of beer and if not he will buy me one. Should I be worried?
John: I'd worry a little, only because the Panthers seem to be focused entirely on throwing and teams that want to throw for big yards usually can. There is, however, a difference between throwing for big yards and winning. I don't think Newton will reach 400, but he'll probably throw for a lot of yards. That doesn't in any way mean the Panthers will necessarily win.
Miguel from Jacksonville:
I was just thinking about how the Panthers and the Jaguars came into the NFL at the same time and now they just happened to draft (hopefully) franchise quarterbacks in the same year. Do you think this could re-spark a rivalry? What is the series record?
John: The Jaguars lead the series 3-1. It will spark comparisons this week, but not a rivalry. The teams play once every four seasons. That's not enough to create a rivalry.
Patrick from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
If you were the Colts and you finished with the worst record who would you take No. 1? How bad will the Steelers beat them? I can see the Steelers blitzing every down.
John: The Steelers won't blitz every down, but when they do, it probably will be very effective and no, I don't think Steelers-Colts will be pretty. As for who they should take No. 1, if Andrew Luck is as good as he looks and is indeed the best player available, I'd take him. You can't go wrong selecting a franchise quarterback. That's not saying that Manning is done, necessarily. It's just far and away the best value move.
Charles from Midlothian, VA:
Gene is (as Ric always pointed out) BIG on BAP. Gabbert going in to the 2010 draft wasn't a NEED. It was a BAP. As have been a lot of Gene's picks. When he started the NEED was virtually the whole team. From what I have seen teams with the BAP approach stay on the road to always improving and not having glaring holes in their teams (Steelers, for instance). I think we are on the road to building a well built long term contender. It simply takes time and patience to build a team using BAP. What don't these Jag fans understand about that?
John: It's not the fans' jobs to have patience. It's their jobs to want to win and win now, while sort of understanding deep, deep down that things are headed in the right direction. A 32-3 loss in Week 2 does not lend itself to patience and that's why fans were understandably upset. I do believe you have accurately assessed the Jaguars' situation. The talent is building and the team is more solid throughout the roster than it was a couple of years ago and it does take time and patience. Being patient isn't fun. If it was, everyone would do it.
Rob from Yulee, FL:
Do you detect a sort of revived sense of pride in the team with Sunshine being named the starter? I personally do as I have not personally sensed this since the 1999 and maybe the 2007 seasons because we now have something to look forward to with a bright future ahead of us. With a breath of fresh air considering Sunshine was scouted by MANY other teams during the draft period as well as us, as being a top rated QB coming out of college. Thanks again and keep up the good work!
John: I do sense an excitement from the fans, which is expected. Young, highly drafted quarterbacks generate excitement.
Limo from Neptune Beach, FL:
Who is our third-string QB? Todd Bowman or David Garrard?
John: In your scenario, Bouman.
Dave from Jacksonville:
If wide receiver is the team's weakness, why not run more two tight-end sets? If the running game is our strength, why not run more play action? McCown's two interceptions over the middle were empty backfields and the linebackers dropped deep into coverage because there was no threat of the run. Play to your strengths!
John: One reason they haven't run more two tight-end sets is that Zach Miller has had trouble staying healthy. If players aren't practicing, it's hard to build schemes around their strengths. As for play-action passing, I suspect you'll see more of it as the season goes on. I've said throughout the week the better Gabbert plays the better for Maurice Jones-Drew. Obviously, the reverse is true as well.
Brian from Long Island, NY:
It seems that people referring to starting Gabbert refer to him in two ways: Gabbert is starting because the Jaguars feel he is ready to start or they are hoping he will be ready. What do you think? Because there's a big difference between them.
John: I think they feel he could be ready and really hope he is.