JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it . . . **
Vincent from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
I think Dave Caldwell is well on his way to building a quality team. The more I think about the quarterback competition and the way Gabbert was hurt, the more I think we have the wrong guy for a head coach. If Gus Bradley has to create fake quarterback battles to get the best out of his players, then obviously, we have the wrong coach. I don't see anything positive that came from that fiasco and actually a lot of negative came out of it with Gabbert's injury.
John:This was one of the strangest emails I've received in a while. I don't have a problem with someone who doesn't like Gus Bradley's approach with competition. I can't figure how competition is a negative during an NFL preseason, especially with a new head coach and a team with a rebuilt roster, but if someone doesn't like the concept, that's fine: we're all entitled to our wrong opinions. What I don't quite grasp is how Gabbert's injury stemmed from the quarterback competition. First, to have Gabbert and Chad Henne compete made sense considering neither firmly established themselves last season. Second, Gabbert was injured while playing in the middle of the second quarter of the second preseason game. I watched a then-clearly-established-as-the-starter Peyton Manning for years play pretty much the same amount of reps in the second week of preseason as Gabbert played that night, so with or without the quarterback competition, Gabbert had about the same chance of being injured.
John from Jacksonville:
A gifted horse staring the Jaguars in the face and they refuse to take it. Tebow had better stats than Gabbert in preseason and would be the best bet anywhere. VY and Tebow sound better than Gabbert and Henne on any depth chart.
Josh from Jacksonville:
The play of Ace Sanders and Dwayne Gratz in the preseason is what's exciting. It has been awhile since we've seen immediate production from guys drafted in the middle rounds. I know this is a work in progress but results and hits like them make you think that the captain of the ship knows where he's steering.
John:Those selections do bode well for the future under General Manager David Caldwell. It's always necessary to wait until the regular season to see how a player is truly going to develop, but all signs from those players are positive. It also seems rookies such as Demetrius McCray and LaRoy Reynolds have a chance to contribute, not to mention Luke Joeckel, Denard Robinson and Johnathan Cyprien. I don't know that all of the aforementioned players will be as good as they have looked so far. It actually stands to reason they won't, but if even half develop into long-term contributors, that's a very good draft and a solid foundation.
Mark from Jacksonville:
The reason Gus wants Blaine to play Sunday despite his fractured thumb is because he knows if Henne goes out and plays well against KC, which he probably will, then Henne will have to stay the starter because you play to win the game not to develop a player. Also, don't even try to claim that Baline gives the Jags the best chance to win. No one who watches or plays the game would ever believe that.
John:I don't know who the heck this Baline guy is, but if he's the best guy, I say play him.
Shane from Pensacola, FL:
Do you believe the heat and humidity will play a big role on the Chiefs' defense this Sunday?
John:It could. While trying to figure out whether to start Chad, Blaine or Baline on Sunday, Bradley on Wednesday was asked about this topic. He said he didn't like to tell players it was going to be an advantage, mainly because at some point if he was playing on the road against a team from a warmer climate he would have to tell them he was at a disadvantage. But it will be factor, because anyone who has adjusted from Midwest heat to Florida summer heat will tell you it's just, plain different – and it's real. And let me tell you: I was on the practice field for 15 minutes before my afternoon nap on Wednesday, and if you're not used to that heat, it darned sure can make you sleepy.
Ryan from Clyde, OH:
Cut in front of a kid in line for a ride at Disney world. #shadricksightings
Ron from Asheville, NC:
I personally think starting Gabbert with a thumb that hasn't fully healed is taking a major unnecessary risk. The Jags must be fully aware that the Chiefs will target that thumb, and Gabbert would then be lost for a significant amount of time. Why do the Jags feel it's so important to start Gabbert knowing the major risk involved?
John:Let's not jump to conclusions. The Jaguars haven't started Gabbert yet, and nothing has happened to indicate they would put him at risk. If he can play and have a reasonable chance to protect himself, he'll start. If not, Henne will start.
Dan from San Antonio, TX:
In a public pool, surrounded by blue dye. #shadricksightings
Ed from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
Excluding the quarterbacks and Mojo, who is the highest paid player we have on our current roster? P.S. Getting my Moodachay shirt today.
John:There are many ways to answer "highest-paid," but these days people seem to talk in terms of total guaranteed money. By that measure, the highest-paid player is Eugene Monroe, whose rookie contract signed in 2009 guaranteed him $25 million. As for your shirt, congratulations: you'll feel better about yourself for a while and then you won't.
Chris from Jacksonville:
Now I have confirmation: God is there, and he loves us. My prayers for more O-Zone Mailbags have been answered! Thanks John, and thanks God!
John:You're welcome, but I can only speak for one of us.
Steve from Nashville:
How is the Kansas City Front Four? Will be able to protect Gabbert with just five guys and allow our tight ends and backs to participate in the passing game rather than staying in to block?
John:That's certainly the hope. The Chiefs run a 3-4, so the main concerns as far as pass rusher for the Jaguars are Kansas City's two outside linebackers, Tamba Hali and Justin Houston. They combined for 19 sacks last season. The Jaguars' offensive tackles, Eugene Monroe and Luke Joeckel, indeed will need to be able to handle those two one-on-one situations a lot of the time in order for the tight ends and backs to be in routes.
Alex from Madison, WU:
With turnovers playing a huge part in determining every single game every Sunday, I feel like it would be a decent risk/reward to go for the ball more often on defense. I'm not implying that defenses don't try to force turnovers, but it should be Priority No. 1. Forcing multiple turnovers a game drastically improves your chances of winning each week. Thoughts?
John:Yes, it does, and Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley agrees. Forcing turnovers was the biggest priority for the Jaguars' defense throughout the offseason, and it's the No. 1 thing the defense discusses during the regular season. No doubt it's a factor in winning and losing. It's pretty much a basic.
Andy from #, #:
@johnoehser, #why do #you #hashtag so many of #youranswers in the #ozone? It's not #like the #ozone is linked directly #to #Twitter, it's a #web page.
John:I know it doesn't. I like doing it. It's probably juvenile, random, irresponsible and slightly off point. Then again, so am I.
Chris from Boring, OR:
So Rome calls his listeners "clones". What do you call your readers, John?
John:In private or public?
Matt from Tampa:
I just had a custom-made Jags jersey with your name on the back that I plan on wearing this year to the games I go to. It says "O-Man" If you spot me in the crowd will you give me a shout out the next day? Maybe even give me Jaxson De Ville's autograph?
John:If I spot you in a crowd wearing a jersey with my name on it, I'm running the other way. Fast.
Steve from Nashville, TN:
I am looking forward to the Oakland game to see where we are in our progress. If we can't beat Oakland then not much progress has been made.
John:I'm not big on singling out one game to gauge progress in the NFL. What if the Jaguars win three of their first four games, with the only loss to Oakland? Even poor teams can beat good teams in the NFL. I understand your point, and on paper, many see that as a winnable game, but you just can't measure progress on one game in the NFL.
Erock from Orlando, FL:
John what are the odds Jr. Oehser makes it to the NFL someday?
John:About as long as possible. Tennis is Junior O's chosen sport, and while he probably ain't playing the U.S. Open any time soon, he ain't bad, either.
John from Section 105:
Who on the Jaguars would you least like to get tackled by?
John:** Josh Scobee. Other guys can hit harder, but I've watched the last few Kickin' it With Scobee's and I just can't take any more of the guy's schtick.