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O-Zone: Back to work

JACKSONVILLE – Sigh. All right. We did this once late last night. Let's do it again.

Let's get to it … Jeremy from Wise, VA:
Coach Bradley's motto is GET BETTER. That didn't seem to happen this week. This game was a huge disappointment. Several blown assignments, missed tackles and being physically beaten. They did not get better this week. That said, a new week starts Monday.
John: There is truth in everything you say. I said it a couple of times in O-Zone Late Night on Sunday night, and it's worth saying again this morning. No, the Jaguars did not get better against the Redskins Sunday – not to the naked eye, not statistically and not in any way. And Bradley was pretty obviously disappointed in the performance. He specifically said the performance was not the Jaguars getting better and not performing to their best. His message was pretty consistent that you can't just talk about getting better and you can't just talk about playing in such a way as to maximize performance. You have to do it and he said without question it is difficult process. The Jaguars showed just how difficult it can be Sunday. They played poorly in many areas Sunday. If you're looking for an argument on that point, you won't get it here.
Adam from Dallas, TX:
Brace yourself O-Man......
John: Yeah, I know …
John from Savannah, GA:
Is this defense without Johnathan Cyprien starting to look like the Indianapolis Colts defense without Bob Sanders?
John: Well, that defense also had Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis, but I get your point. That defense was different with Sanders and without him. The Jaguars' defense was good with Cyprien in the lineup for a half and it has not been good since, but to be honest, the Jaguars' side of this discussion is a pretty small sample size. That makes it too early paint so black-and-white a picture that it's all Cyprien, but his absence does hurt.
David from Jacksonville:
John: Good question.
Tom from Jacksonville:
Our lack of talented players is unbelievable. The Jags are the laughingstock of the NFL once again. I see the No. 1 pick next year!
John: I see why you would say that. I don't agree, but I can't argue that the Jaguars would have beaten anyone in the NFL Sunday. I don't think that will be true often this season, but it was Sunday.
Leethal from North Jacksonville:
The Jaguars are totally one-dimensional. I knew Gerhart was a reach, but with no other option at running back and the worst offensive line in football, why should we expect any more than we witnessed on Sunday?
John: If the line doesn't improve, you won't see much different. That's why it's imperative the area gets better. The Redskins clearly game-planned with the idea that they could be effective pressuring the Jaguars with run and pass blitzes because they didn't believe the Jaguars' line could handle it. On Sunday, they were right.
Jacob from Fernandina Beach, FL:
That was horrid.
John: Yes.
Brosnan from Jacksonville:
This city deserves better! When will we get better?
John: You're right. It does deserve better and so do the fans. I still believe you'll see improvement this season. You didn't Sunday, but I believe you will.
Kevin from Orange Park, FL:
Embarrassing and absolutely unacceptable! Now go ahead and tell us in your normal sarcastic and condescending way how anything about this team is worth spending our hard-earned money to watch. Not even Chad "efficient" Henne who gives us the best chance to win. At least that's what you experts tell us ignorant fans.
John: Yes, it was embarrassing and unacceptable. Now's not the time to go through my style or lack thereof with a fine-tooth comb, but I will say I've never called fans ignorant. I have said teams can't make decisions based on fan opinions. That's still true in good times and bad.
Michael from Jacksonville:
How many three-and-outs do we have to watch before we get to see the kid play?
John: I don't know, but I think there will be more urgency to the questions this week than before.
MrPadre from Kingsland, GA:
We know how you feel about fans being upset about what "others" say about our team. You say it shouldn't matter when we are repeatedly made fun of. But we DO care! We're so tired of being embarrassed and criticized. The halftime hosts were talking about Cousins' numbers and said..."well they 'are' playing the Jaguars!"...... We are sick and tired of being the laughingstock of the league! We invest our time, money, and heart for this team! We need something positive John.....when might we see it? Couldn't the top quarterback taken in the draft actually getting on the field be a positive? Is the current quarterback really giving us our "best chance to win"? This was the Redskins!
John: I don't know how soon we'll see Bortles. My gut instinct after Sunday is it may be sooner than I originally thought, and that it wouldn't stun me if it happens in the next couple of weeks. I still believe Henne will start Sunday against Indianapolis, but I'm less sure of that than at any point since the draft. As far as fans being upset at what others say, I get it. I do. And it's never my intention to diminish what fans feel. My point in saying to not worry about it is that there is nothing to be gained my being concerned. But to say the fans shouldn't dislike being a "laughingstock …" no, I wouldn't say that. I know it's tough, and I hate that it's tough because this team has darned good fans. Darned good.
Jeremy from Andover, KS:
Go ahead and find some positives in that.
John: You go first.
Chad from Yulee, FL:
Blake Bortles. Blake Bortles. Blake Bortles, Blake Bortles. Blake Bortles.
John: What?
David from Jacksonville:
It seems we have a bunch of hurt players OVER YEARS that always keep us from progressing. Marcedes Lewis is the latest. We really can't afford to lose many more starters (looking long-term). From your experience, is the training different in Jacksonville than it was in Indianapolis? Thank you for your time.
John: Players get hurt playing professional football. Colts players got hurt when I worked in Indianapolis, and Jaguars players get hurt. A quick study of the league indicates to me that it happens everywhere.
Greg from Fort Wayne, IN:
Hey John, lemme guess: we're seeing progress, Henne is efficiently playing fast, and Gus liked the late-game effort!
John: Not Sunday, no and not really, no.
Pradeep from Bangalore, India:
There was a lot of talk about improved defense. Two games into the regular season that does not appear so. Defense is poorer than it was last year. Just being positive does not add any value until the performance improves.
John: This is not a day for staunchly defending much about what happened Sunday. It's not a day for staunchly defending the Jaguars' defense, either. The Jaguars still believe they will be an improved defense. I thought they looked improved for the most part against Philadelphia. I did not think they looked improved in Washington. The tackling was poor and there were way too many holes along the line. Is that the real Jaguars' defense? Evidence would still suggest that it's not, but I can't get angry if you feel differently.
Cade from Orlando, FL:
In your most honest opinion, do you think it is just a discipline issue with the young players on defense? It's genuinely hard to watch the missed tackles....
John: It appeared at first glance that had a great deal to do with it Sunday. I have not watched the replay or the All-22, but from the press box it appeared that there was some overenthusiasm, overpursuit and overrunning going on.
Mark from Orange Park, FL:
Please tell me Andre Branch did not do the windmill dance at the end of the game for a sack. A sack by the way he had nothing to do with! They should make him watch that over and over until he cries and says he sorry for being a idiot!
John: I doubt he'll cry, but no, it wasn't great form.
Daniel from Howell, MI:
Were the last few plays, regardless of the outcome (Hurns getting hurt), worth the risk of injury?
John: No, but it's a damned-if-you-do-damned-if-you-don't deal. If the Jaguars run or kneel there, people call them quitters; if a player gets hurt, then it was stupid to be passing. But it's not so much any concern over what people say that prompted the decision to keep passing there. You just don't kneel when trailing in the NFL.
Jonathan from Section 215:
Well... now what???
John: Now you go back to work. It won't be much fun on Monday, but that's what you do.

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