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O-Zone: A little quirky

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Mike from Section 238:
Since Philip Rivers' strength is staying in the pocket and he's not the most mobile guy, I'm going to let the cat out of the bag and say [Jaguars defensive coordinator] Todd Wash will try to move him off the spot to force him to throw on the run. But don't fret: No one in San Diego will notice since I didn't use all caps.
John: Yes, yes, yes indeed … smart move on no capital letters – and excellent job avoiding exclamation points, too. That should keep things adequately on the down low. And psst: between you and me (and based on everything Wash said publicly this week), it indeed sounds as if the Jaguars will take a dramatically different approach to rushing Philip Rivers and the Chargers than they did with Aaron Rodgers and the Packers last Sunday in the regular-season opener. Whereas they tried to contain Rodgers in the pocket it sounds as if an all-out approach is more likely Sunday. And yes, Rivers' relative lack of mobility is one reason. The other is that Rivers is phenomenally good at the line of scrimmage before the snap and in the pocket; if you're going to affect him, the best way to do it is by pressuring quickly.
Komil from Novi, MI:
One fer Jason Myers. That's all.
John: You know what? You're right.
Frankie from London, UK:
Mr. O, what exactly was the issue with rushing last weekend? I feel like it was a mix of T.J. Yeldon petering out mixed with almost naivety in his direction of running - seemingly straight into the Packers defense. I feel like we absolutely need Chris Ivory's more powerful running style as well as that experience and sharing of snaps. Also - looking forward to a big year from Julius Thomas, he looks more like the Thomas from Denver - and that's a scary thing for the division.
John: Issues with running game almost are always spread between the backs and the line. One can't succeed without the other. But for the most part, no … Yeldon wasn't petering out Sunday and his direction for the most part was fine. He ran well and got most of the yards that were there. The line must block better.
GM for hire from Jacksonville:
It seems pretty apparent to anyone who has two eyes and a brain that Tink should be on the defensive line. He can still bring his special level of toughness to the long-snapper position but we need a mean streak on that D line getting in Rivers' face.
John: The idea has merit. I'll check into this.
Preston from Oakville, CT:
John, one of the reasons Rivers has carved us up has been poor defensive play. I didn't think the defense was awful last week and I also think Green Bay's offense is significantly better than San Diego's. With that said, if our defense gives a similar performance as it did against the Packers, what kind of outcome would you expect?
John: I expect the Jaguars to cover well Sunday, although cornerback Prince Amukamara's absence is not a good sign. I also expect the pass rush to be more effective disrupting Rivers because it will be a more all-out approach than against Rodgers and Green Bay. I expect the Jaguars to win the game.
Travis from High Springs, FL:
Hi John, when we signed Tashaun Gipson there was a lot of talk about Johnathan Cyprian playing a role as an in-the-box safety. Could you please explain what role an "in-the-box" safety plays? I know that he plays closer to the line of scrimmage, but is that just to help out more in run defense?
John: Yes, the primary difference in Cyprien's role this season is that with the addition of Gipson he can play closer to the line of scrimmage more often – and therefore, be more focused on run support in many situations. This does not mean he is never in coverage, but the idea would be that he has fewer downfield coverage responsibilities and certainly plays less of a "centerfield" role in passing situations.
Augie from Section 148 and Jacksonville Beach, FL:
O Man, what do you think? Chris Ivory's medical condition could be the best thing, so far, to happen. Get Jonas Gray involved in the offense, let D-Rob return kicks.
John: I don't think Ivory's medical condition is in any way a good thing for the Jaguars. Jonas Gray is no longer on the Jaguars, and I don't see that changing before Sunday. I also don't see Denard Robinson returning kickoffs so long as Corey Grant remains healthy.
Keith from the Toughest Little Redneck Town in Florida:
Without a pass rush and a rushing attack, do you really think we are going to beat the Chargers in San Diego?
John: No, I absolutely don't believe the Jaguars will beat the Chargers if they rush the passer poorly and run ineffectively. I think both areas will be more productive than last week. I think the running game will get at least marginally better push and therefore create more of a threat throughout the game, and I think the pass rush will be more aggressive than it was in the opener and therefore more productive.
Ed from Ponte Vedra, FL:
I'm very mad at myself for being mad. Last Saturday I told everyone I knew that if the Jaguars would play well and not get beat by 14 points I'd be happy. Well, I lied. I'm not happy. A win in San Diego will cure this hangover. Have a great trip.
John: Thank you. Enjoy your fanning.
Benjamin from Jacksonville:
Players like Julius Thomas, Malik Jackson, Telvin Smith, Jalen Ramsey and many others on this team came from a winning college program or NFL team. That winning culture has been discussed quite a bit and seems very important. Given how many small school players Gene Smith drafted, do you believe that lack of past success played a big part in the Jaguars losing culture during his tenure as GM?
John: No, because a lot of those players played at small schools that had won a lot of games. The Jaguars didn't lose a lot of games in recent seasons because small-school players didn't know how to win. They lost a lot of games because they players they had regardless of school size weren't good enough.
Brian from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
The Jaguars will win four in a row starting in San Diego.
John: Well, good for them. They'll enjoy that.
Scott from Section 137:
Why do the Jaguars seem to call a run play on first down the majority of the time? I was at the Packers' game with my 18-year old son who reliably predicted their play call from the formation nearly 80 percent of the time. It seems to me that if he can do that, then the opposing team can do it even more frequently. I am not blaming the play calling, but it really seems to be the same style year after year after year. It's time to mix it up some and use the pass to open up the running game and not vice versa. This is what the Super Bowl-winning teams do. Also, it seems it's a waste of first down and we are typically backed up on second down. Your thoughts?
John: My thoughts are plays that are executed well are difficult to stop and that plays that are executed poorly are easy to stop, and my other thought is the main variable in this is the quality of players playing defense trying to stop those plays. The Jaguars' offense threw 39 times with three sacks for 42 passing plays Sunday and ran 26 times against Green Bay. I'd like to see a little more running, if anything. And remember: if teams don't think there is at least some chance of a running play it becomes very, very difficult to pass protect. This is a team that has given up a ton of sacks the last two seasons. I don't think people want to see that again.
Robert from Van Nuys, CA:
You know how I know our Jaguars are getting better? people are telling me "your Jaguars man, they should have won. What a sick ass game!" when back then they used to say "man, your Jaguars suck! I feel bad for you guys." people are starting to take notice and be a little bit scared..... I like that! whatcha think troop?
John: I think the people you hang around aren't very nice.
TYLER from JAYcksonville:
Has anyone ever asked Gus Bradley why he says JAY-GWIRES and JAYGS? A speech impediment is one thing; I am not trying to pick on people for saying things in a weird way... But John, can't you have Tinker, Shadrick, and Roy Miller corner him and force him to watch the Letter People episode on Ms. A' choo? Do you A-B-C-D Follow me?
John: It's called an accent. My wife has one. Whenever she says my name, for instance, it comes out less like "John" and more like "Thank you for ruining my life." It's a little quirky, but I love her for it.

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