JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Greg from Section122:
I need your help. I have lost faith in this team. Everyone seems oblivious to the fact we are performing worse than we did last year. When does the competition start? Just because Bortles is starting doesn't fix all of the other really broken pieces of this team. When is it going to get better O-Man? Please tell me!!
John: First off, I don't know that anyone's oblivious to anything. The fans are concerned and rightly so, and the team, coaches and players are working hard to improve. There is certainly an awareness that the results thus far this season aren't good enough. Second, regarding Blake Bortles – that's the intriguing question about Sunday. I believe Bortles being in the lineup has a chance to help other facets of the team. His presence and the threat of his mobility could help open some holes in the running game. The same could be true of his ability to see the second- and third level of the defense. And, of course, if the offense is better, the defense could be on the field less and help that side of the ball. Of course, you have to counter that with the mistakes he inevitably will make – and the calls and reads that almost certainly will be missed because of his inexperience. And that theory aside, it is obvious improvement needs to be made in a lot of areas. Bortles won't be the cure-all. How much he can cure is the pressing question.
Daniel from Hanna:
Why is Alfie not high on Branch? By my calculations, he has eight sacks in the last nine games.
John: What's an "Alfie?"
Tim from Newton, PA:
What's the better option: Sam Young with two functioning hands or Austin Pasztor with one? I've never been a fan of an o-lineman playing with a club on their hand. Seems like if greatly reduces their effectiveness.
John: Pasztor has worked full in practice the last two weeks with a club on his hand, but he did not play against the Colts. Although he switched to a less restrictive device Friday, it doesn't seem likely he will play Sunday. Apparently, the Jaguars believe two-handed Sam Young beats one-handed-and-one-clubbed Austin Pasztor.
Dave from Jacksonville:
Thanks for posting my question, John! Now do I get some sort of commemorative plaque - or at least a high-five?
Chris from Ponte Vedra, FL:
What's up with Marqise Lee? Before the injury it seemed like the coaches were not impressed with him and now he's injured. What do you think the overall impression has been of Lee?
John: Coaches were impressed enough with Lee to have him in the starting lineup and the Jaguars absolutely believe he is going to be very good. They would like to see him play more consistently with more consistent focus, awareness and more attention to detail, which makes him like a whole lot of NFL rookies.
Sean from Fleming Island, FL:
Why does Knighton have is own tire commercial?
John: Because a tire company wanted it that way.
Frank from Knoxville, TN:
Is it officially time to be concerned that this may be a lost season for Marqise Lee? Even if he wasn't going to be a breakout star this season, it would be nice for he and Blake, Allen and Cecil to learn and grow together this year and be ready to rock it out in 2015. But hammies are lingering injuries and tend to not get better quickly. Do the coaches seem like their patience with him is wearing thin?
John: How long hamstring injuries linger depend on the severity of the injury. Allen Robinson took about five weeks to recover from the one he re-injured early in training camp and Cecil Shorts III battled his for about five weeks then a few more. Lee has been out a couple of weeks, so if he's back in a week or two – no, I wouldn't say that's a lost season. And no, patience is not wearing this. He's a rookie and rookie receivers develop at different paces. He has shown a ton of potential and there's every indication he will be good. That's what you want from him at this stage.
Paul from Orange Park, FL:
In terms of NFL defenses, what constitutes a 'missed assignment?"
John: Not doing what the defense dictates you do.
Befuddled from Jacksonville:
How do the Jaguars lead the league (with the Redskins) in sacks with 10, as well as have the most combined tackles with 239, yet have given up the most points?
John: They got five sacks in one dominant half against Philadelphia and five in five not-so-dominant halves since, and tackles by themselves tell nothing about the quality of your defense.
Jayme from Bel Aire, KS:
O-Zone! How do you expect the Jaguars' offense to look now that we have the B2 Bomber under center?
John: I expect there to be a lot more throws downfield and a lot more hold-your-breath-wow-look-at-that plays. I also expect there to be more read-option. Lastly, I expect there to be a lot more mistakes, with a lot more reward for the risk.
Patrick from Merced, CA:
Getting Ace back next week should make an even bigger impact with Bortles … right?
Casey from Needles, CA:
I know it's early in the season, but is it reasonable to think the Jaguars will draft a home run hitter at the running back position, such as Todd Gurley out of Georgia? It seems like the current stable we have is more potential than actual ability.
John: If you're projecting the Jaguars to select in the Top 10 I'd be surprised if the Jaguars select a running back – if they're selecting that early.
Ed from Ponte Vedra, FL:
In your opinion, was Cyprien at 100 percent last Sunday or is he still recovering?
John: Yes, or he wouldn't have been playing.
Tim from Jacksonville and Section 213:
Will we ever see the Jaguars offensive line be able to produce a 100-yd rushing game? Do you think that could happen this year, and against which opponent?
John: Yes. Yes, and I don't know.
Albert from Wayne, NJ:
With all the issues surrounding our offensive line, we could have really benefitted from Cleveland not matching Alex Mack's offer sheet. How much do you think his addition would have improved the offensive line?
John: Quite a bit. Mack is an elite, Pro Bowl center who has years of experience starting. Luke Bowanko has started one NFL game. The Jaguars like Bowanko, but to say the interior of the line wouldn't be helped by Mack in the short-term wouldn't be correct.
Quinton Fernandina Beach, FL:
Now that Blake Bortles has been named the starter do you see the Jags' offense running more of the pistol read option?
Rob from Orange Park, FL:
The coaches and players are saying the defense is bad because of missed assignments. Do you agree with this or do you think it is a personal match-up issue? If the assignments were not missed do you think the defense would have matched up better?
John: I think a lot of it is missed assignments. You're going to lose some one-on-one match-ups in the NFL, but when you have receivers running wide open and players getting to plays late, that indicates that it's more missed assignments than physical ability.
Skipper from Jacksonville:
John, I'm interested in the decision-making process. Who decided at halftime to play Bortles? Was it Gus Bradley, David Caldwell, Shad Khan or any combination of those three?
John: It was Gus Bradley. Shad Khan hired David Caldwell and Gus Bradley to run the football side of the organization, and Caldwell hired Bradley to coach the team.
Wiggle Man from Orlando, FL:
As the season progresses, and in light of Gus's "get better" mantra, do you feel like you've improved on your Circle-up speed and/or technique? You looked good in DC.
John: It was ai-ight.
Jordan from Little Valley, NY:
I'd be interested to see a breakdown of stats on drives that the Jaguars went three and out how many points the following drive the Jaguars gave up points. If you have a stat guy to do this, that would be awesome.
John: You're right. That would be awesome.
O-Zone: Awesome idea
JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Greg from Section122: