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O-Zone: A good fit

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Nicholas from Camp Casey, Korea:
When I saw Luke Joeckel go down last week I kind of got the feeling this would be the beginning of the end for him as a Jaguar - perceived lack of effectiveness, injuries and him approaching the end of his initial contract. Does the injury he sustained last week have anything to do with the injury in his rookie year?
John: Wow, all of that from one rolled ankle in a regular-season opener? Look, I don't know what the long-term future holds for Joeckel – and I'm not sure anyone does. The Jaguars by no stretch of the imagination have given up on him. Still, he clearly needs to keep improving. If that improvement doesn't happen there's obviously no guarantee he will be here after this contract, but that contract does have a year remaining after this season. Long story short: This thing has yet to play out any more than it had played out in Week 1 of the regular season. As far as his health, there's no indication that this ankle sprain is long term or connected with his rookie injury. He rolled an ankle. I expect him to be back in the lineup sooner rather than later. And after that, we can start obsessively overanalyzing and overreacting to his every move again.
Jeremy from Wise, VA:
I really do think the Jags are better. The loss on Sunday bothered everyone because the game was VERY winnable, but the Jags' mistakes beat them. It wasn't the other team mauling them. It hurt because they beat themselves. I still have enthusiasm for this season because it's still early and we're still in it! MOODACHAY! #DTWD
John: #DTWD
Michael from Jacksonville:
On all three drops Sunday the wide receivers left their feet when there was no need to as if they were trying to catch it with their body. Am I the only one who saw this or has it been addressed?
John: You're not the only one who saw it. Your observation is pretty spot on. Yes, it has been addressed – as it is pretty much all the time. As to why they approached it that way, well … life's full of mysteries. Sometimes players do quick-reaction things in games that you don't expect and the solution is to not do those things again. Do I expect it to happen that way again? No. Is it something to watch? Absolutely.
Steve from Denver, CO:
O- Can I be the exclusive distributor in the Mountain Time Zone to sell John Oehser fatheads?
John: In the Mountain Time Zone? Yes. Yes, that's fine.
Blake comparing us to kindergarteners is A) Accurate and B) Hilarious. I seriously love that kid.
John: You're right, but expecting everyone to "get" the joke and not overreact in the viral social media age is A) Impossible and B) Foolish to expect.
EJ from Jacksonville:
Professor O: A general football question. I think the automatic first down on defensive holding is the most unfair penalty in the book. I understand pass interference as it presumes the receiver would have made the catch and advanced but when defensive holding is away from the play, why is the offense rewarded with a first down? What's the logic? Educate me please.
John: The logic is defensive holding as often as not takes away the ability for a first down, with the theory being if a defensive player is caught holding he is doing so to prevent a receiver from getting away for a bigger play. From an overarching point of view, the league penalizes defensive holding severely because to do otherwise could promote defenses to hold as a general practice to limit big plays. That would make for a pretty ugly brand of football in a hurry.
andy from kinder garden:
mistor jon, i wuz wunderen wen blake wil stop throwen 2 the uthor teem
John: Well played, Andrew.
Austin from Jacksonville:
At least with Sam Young starting at left tackle we know how we are going to lose. Now, it's just a matter of by how much, wouldn't you say?
John: Well, no. Look, Sam Young struggled on Sunday against Carolina. No doubt about it. I expect him to play better Sunday. When a player struggles in a fill-in role one week and is forced to start the following week, as often as not he plays better with a week of preparation. That's the hope anyway. I wouldn't call left tackle a strength entering the game, but I believe it will be better than many expect.
Thad from Jacksonville:
These next two weeks we may just as well forfeit. Miami's defense is going to get 10-plus sacks on us and that is being conservative with how terrible Sam Young is. And why should we even bother going to deflate-land? Brady can throw five TDs on us with a fully inflated ball, if he gets to use a deflated one we will lose by 50.
John: Are you ready for some FOO-OO-OO-OOTBALL!???
Ryan from Charlotte, NC:
People need to calm down about the Bortles kindergarten comments. That's not what he meant and even if it was it wouldn't be wrong.
John: Well, yeah … there's that.
David from Oviedo, FL:
O-zone … nobody fears our receivers, so defenses are stacking the line. This is making our offensive line look bad when in reality they are just outnumbered. What are your thoughts?
John: Rarely in football is The Issue just One Thing, but you make a valid point. If defenses don't fear a passing game can beat them it's easier to crowd the line of scrimmage. The same is true the other way. It's why balance matters in the NFL.
Wallace from Jacksonville:
Tom from Jacksonville just may have it right. The Jaguars' woes are most likely related to the curse of Tebow. Would he be a downgrade from Captain Chad?
John: Posted without comment.
Nick from Orlando, FL:
Hey John, I agree that a No. 1 receiver makes a huge difference in the NFL. Is that because he can take over a game with his talent/skill, or because defenses have to game plan specifically for him/her? Follow up question: Is Julius Thomas this kind of player?
John: A No. 1 receiver makes a huge difference for both reasons. First, he can get you points, yards and field position by producing. Second – and perhaps equally important – he does force defenses to game plan and commit defenders to him. When that happens, it's far easier for a coordinator to game plan because there are certain things you know a defense is going to do to take away the main guy – and if they don't do those things, the main guy can beat you himself. That's a simplistic version, but there's a huge element of truth. Is Julius Thomas that kind of guy? We'll see. We have to see him play more than a few plays for the Jaguars first.
Bill from Jacksonville:
"The worst thing a coach can do is change and not be true to himself. Players sense that right away and the results are rarely positive." Tom Coughlin changed ... and won two Super Bowls. Wouldn't this show sometimes people need to change, John? Thanks! Go Jags!
John: The "be-true-to-himself" was included in my response for a reason. I can't speak personally to how much or exactly how Coughlin changed with the Giants, but from everything I've read and heard he very much stayed true to himself. I can't imagine Coughlin changing any other way. People who want Bradley to suddenly change his relationship with players and reel off a stream of tirades and tantrums are missing the point. Bradley does get mad at players. He does emphasize the importance of winning. Mistakes do have consequences. He just chooses not to do the Tirade Thing in a public forum – on the sidelines or in front of the media. For him to do so simply because people want him to act in a clichéd fashion of a football coach would be asking him to not be true to himself – and the results of that are rarely positive.
Khris from Richmond, VA:
OK, I get Julius Thomas and the Jags thought it was going to heal before surgery … it didn't. Then, it was Week 4, now Gus is being quoted saying 6-to-8 weeks. What gives? When is our prized tight end going to see the field?
John: You're referring to Julius Thomas' ongoing issue with his hand. Honestly, it sounds as if this is a wait-and-see situation. Right now, the plan is for Thomas to be reevaluated in two weeks, which would be the week leading into Week 4 in Indianapolis. As for the results of that reevaluation, that's the wait-and-see.
Brandon from Duval:
John, I think Blake made a good point on the kindergartners comment. The reaction from some seemed to be, "He called me a kindergartner, so now I'm going to act like one." #iftheshoefits
John: You said that; I didn't.

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