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O-Zone: A simple(?) plan

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Greg from Section 122 and Jacksonville:
If not now, then when, John? You said the job security is not an issue right now. So, is it safe to say if we are 1-6 at the bye week this is cause for at least examining where the team is at?
John: I feel certain that Jaguars Owner Shad Khan and General Manager David Caldwell examine "where the team is at" on a regular basis. I don't believe there will be a change made in head coaching or management during the season because I don't believe that sort of change has much long-term benefit – and because I have no reason at this point to believe that Khan believes such a change is the right thing. Is he frustrated? Yes, that's very possible. That would be normal. Did he realize before this process began in 2013 that it was a long road ahead? Yes, he did. That's not to say improvement doesn't need to continue, but it is to say he had a grasp of the enormity of the task. As far as what happens after this season and how things will be viewed … there are 11 games remaining in this season. That's a long time in a league in which things change week to week.
Scott from Aurora, IL:
OK. I've calmed down. Let's go get Houston. Moodachay. And on the defensive side, Stopdachay.
John: OKachay.
Mike from Mikesville:
O, when Gus mentions missed tackles, how does the league/teams determine this statistic? Does a defender have to totally miss on a full wrap? Or does just a brush of a jersey or slight touch of an ankle during a dive attempt even fall into this category? Where's the bar set for this?
John: There is no official "missed-tackle" statistical category in the NFL, and how it is determined varies from team to team and even coach to coach. This is true at pretty much at all levels of football. Bradley said coaches determined that the Jaguars missed 23 tackles on Sunday, but others might have had it at 15 or 20. The definition is best described as a tackle that should have been made, but what that means is up to the observer/grader. That's pretty much why it's not kept as an official statistic.
Jordan from Little Valley:
Why do the Jaguars not have a fullback on the roster? How can you be a run-first offense without having a fullback to clear the way?
John: The Jaguars are one of many NFL teams that have gone away from having a fullback on the roster. It has become a de-emphasized position in the NFL even on teams that run the ball well. Most use a mammoth "lead blocker" out of the backfield only in short-yardage situations and many teams – including the Jaguars – employ players from other positions to act as a blocking back in those situations.
Austin from Atlanta, GA:
John, has there been a player who has surpassed where you thought they would be at this point in their career? Is there a player you don't think has developed to where you thought they should be? For me, Hurns, A-Rob, and Skuta look much better than I thought they would at this point in their careers. For the other side I have to go with Beadles and Cyprien. Your take?
John: Blake Bortles, Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns are further along than I anticipated at this point, and I honestly never expected Denard Robinson to develop to this extent as a running back. I'm surprised Marqise Lee hasn't contributed more, but that is far more an injury issue than a talent issue. Cyprien hasn't performed as well as I anticipated, though he has been better than many fans believe. As far as Skuta, the Jaguars signed him as an unrestricted free agent. I expected him to be very good based on his body of experience and his skill set. He indeed has been very good.
Sean from Arlington, VA:
I haven't heard much talk about Bryan Walters but he has exceeded expectations. He's fifth in the NFL with 80 percent of his catches resulting in first downs. If the Jags had won in Tampa, he would have been one of the unsung heroes. Could he have a long-term future here, or is he just a patch?
John: Good points – and a good question. I always hesitate to predict a player who wasn't acquired via the draft or unrestricted free agency will have a long-term future with any team. The odds are against it. But Walters for this season – and possibly for a year or so out – has played well enough that he certainly has a chance to be more than a patch.
CC from Duval:
Zane Beadles looks like he is struggling to me. Is this a fair assessment? If so, why isn't anybody holding him accountable?
John: I do believe that's a fair assessment. As far as nobody holding him accountable, I don't know that we know that to be true. If benching or calling a player out publicly is the only way to hold a player accountable, then, no, no Jaguars player appears to have been "held accountable." If focus on an area and attempting to improve mistakes/technique is holding accountable, then certainly that has been done. Benching players isn't always the wisest move in the NFL. It's really only a wise move if there is a better alternative.
Jeff from Jacksonville:
The Jags scored 30 points last week. Even though they lost, they are putting more points on the scoreboard than they have in a long time. I guess this means that the offense is starting to show signs that they can work together better than last year. Time will tell.
John: The Jaguars have been moving offensively more this season than they have in the last several. Until last week, they hadn't scored significantly more. That changed against the Buccaneers. If it continues, then it indeed is significant progress. So far, the signs are good. And yes, time will tell.
Adam from St. Johns, FL:
I am sick and tired of the Jaguars media making excuse after excuse. If it's not the coach, you're saying it's the GM, no? Or is it that fans are too stupid to really understand what's going on? We've bought in but the team doesn't care or want fans, it seems. So tired of the same old BS. They want us to quit being fans to move them to England, I guess.
John: The team cares and values its fans. What you want is someone to blame. That's understandable, and so is frustration. Most likely what you want more than blame is victories and consistent winning, and that's what the Jaguars are working toward.
Bill from Jacksonville:
John, I saw something in the game two weeks ago I feel speaks to some of the larger issues on the team. There was a play where Marcedes Lewis lined up incorrectly and Allen Hurns had to come over and tell him where to go. John, why is a second-year undrafted wide receiver having to correct a 10-year veteran tight end on where to line up? It should be the other way around, shouldn't it? If 10-year veterans need second-year players to help them with the simple things, we have some serious problems, no? Thanks! Go Jags!
John: I can't speak to the specific play to which you're referring, and bear in mind: a player helping another player one time on one play may not be indicative of a larger issue. Also remember, the Jaguars are in the first season running Greg Olson's offense, so it's not as if Lewis has years more experience in this offense than Hurns. But in a general sense, yes … one thing I believe that hurts the Jaguars at least somewhat is a lack of veterans at various positions who have been around the system/franchise and can be examples/leaders. There's a legitimate reason the Jaguars don't have those things: they're running third- and first-year systems on offense and defense and there hasn't been time for many players to develop an "institutional memory." Those things take time, but those things do matter.
Jim from Jacksonville:
How does a GM leave us with two gunners who are undrafted free agents and a backup middle linebacker who is a rookie UDFA? Is Dave looking too far into the future and not looking at this season? If we had cap problems I would understand, but we have more cap room than wins.
John: A general manager must constantly balance the future and the present. Ideally, you would like to have more experienced, drafted players at those positions and I would expect the Jaguars will as time moves forward. Could the depth have been better across the linebacker position? Yes, I think an argument could be made there. At the same time, it's not wise to pay backup linebackers starter money. Developing reliable depth across position groups takes time and multiple drafts, and that process is still continuing.
Will from Winning:
Winning, it's just that simple! Win. Win. Win. Win. Win.
John: If only it were …

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