JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … DUVAL DOOM from Section 217:
I have waited for something to be addressed here, and it hasn't. Not once. I was extremely angry and disappointed Sunday. I booed. We've waited eight years to be a functional team and the frustration just got to me. To have Telvin Smith tell us as a fan base to either believe in them or go find another team to root for? That REALLY made me mad. We've been here, watching this putrid version of a football team year in and year out since Telvin was in grade school, and when we weren't here we were made to feel guilty – and that the team might be taken away from us because of it. We put up with losing a home game every year because we're told we aren't good enough to support the team financially although I kind of wonder if the revenue wouldn't improve if the team did – but what do I know? WE are this team and have been for a LONG time. Whew. Yeah. Suffice to say I didn't appreciate his comments at all. Hope you are willing to print this one. I think it needs to be stated this fan base deserves a little more respect, whether we booed or not.
John: I absolutely will run this, Doom, because you're unquestionably right. I got caught up in the avalanche of other emails/issues in the inbox, but it should have been addressed here early in the week. Fans without question have EVERY right to boo – and Jaguars fans had EVERY right to boo Sunday. You know how serious I am about this because I twice used CAPITAL LETTERS in a sentence (I sensed your seriousness on the topic because you twice used them in your email). I kid about the capital letters, but I don't kid about the topic. Fans have every right to boo during a loss. They also have every right to boo during a victory if they choose to do so. Shoot, if the Jaguars won the AFC Championship Game and struggled to run the ball fans could choose to boo the offensive line – because fans can do what they want. The fact that the team isn't performing to expectations makes Sunday's booing far more reasonable and understandable than the ridiculous scenario I just laid out, but the point remains. And you're absolutely right about this fan base, too. I consider it the most underrated fan base in the NFL, and I always have said the fan base is remarkable in its passion, loyalty and support for a product that has been difficult to support for a long time. As for Smith's comments, remember: as disappointed and angry as you were Sunday, he and other players were equally disappointed and angry in the aftermath of that game. They indeed work hard and give everything they have to what they're doing, and to be booed by the home crowd surely is hurtful and emotional. That doesn't mean Smith was right, because he wasn't. Players never gain anything from criticizing fans for booing, and I don't agree with what he said. But that perhaps helps explain why a player who appreciates the fans – as Smith certainly does – might say what he said about Sunday's booing.
Greg from Jacksonville:
What do you think the chances are we see Jack get out there finally?
John: If you're asking if you're going to see Myles Jack in the starting lineup Sunday, I don't think so.
Jordan from Little Valley, NY:
With the offensive line underperforming wouldn't it be a smart decision to switch up coaches at that spot? The Jaguars could set records with how bad they are running the ball.
John: The Jaguars are also pass-blocking bit better than last season, so would switching up coaches change that, too?
Ryan from Apopka, FL:
Blake is 6-5! He cannot have this many passes batted down at the line of scrimmage.
John: Apparently he can.
Chad from Jacksonville:
#BecauseJaguars. When is enough, enough?
John: Apparently not yet.
Bob from Blackshear, GA:
Everybody has an idea what is wrong with Blake Bortles' play. I agree with some of it, but I watched his face and body language after every bad play on Sunday and to me this is a quarterback who has lost his confidence. What do you think?
John: It wouldn't be abnormal for Bortles to be struggling with confidence. He has struggled this season enough that it would be natural for that to be the case. As far as body language and his confidence level and all of the whys and why nots … we're probably to the point of overanalyzing Bortles a little bit. He has had a couple of bad games and his body language hasn't been great. He has to get better on the field. As to just where his confidence level is and all of the whys and why notes … we'll see. We'll see.
Steve from Nashville, TN:
Good teams find ways to win games in the fourth quarter. Not-so-good teams find ways to lose games in the last period.
John: True. Teams also sometimes to learn how to win games in the fourth quarter. Perhaps the Jaguars are a bad team or perhaps they are a team learning how to win. We'll see.
Alex from Annandale, VA:
When will Myles Jack be starting? And would he start over Dan Skuta?
John: I don't know. No.
Ryan from Apopka, FL:
So, it's look-ahead time. So let's look ahead to the Colts and our team's trip to London. What is the schedule? When does the team fly out? Practice schedule? I know it has been different for the past three years.
John: The Jaguars will leave for London Thursday afternoon and arrive Friday morning London time. They will practice Friday afternoon London time. It is relatively the same schedule as last season as opposed to the first two games at Wembley Stadium when the team left on the Monday and Sunday before the game, respectively.
Daniel from Urbandale, IA:
Unfortunately, I don't get to see a lot of the games in Iowa but maybe you can clarify. Does it look like the teams are playing Bortles a little differently than last season? I thought he looked great in the game against Green Bay, seemed to be quick and decisive with the football. Did San Diego and Baltimore do something different?
John: Teams generally speaking seem to be playing the Jaguars and Bortles to defend against the deep ball, which means dropping safeties back to defend over the top. That's particularly true in how they're defending wide receiver Allen Robinson. This isn't the case on every play, but it does seem to be a general approach. It's also a smart approach. Much of the Jaguars' offensive production last season came on deep balls to Robinson. Teams are going to take that away and make Bortles beat them on intermediate and shorter routes with accurate passes until he proves he can win that way.
Tim from Atlantic Beach, FL:
John, I know that a lot of teams have moved away from using a fullback, but with our current o-line situation would the addition of a fullback help or be irrelevant (in your opinion)?
John: It would be irrelevant in most situations, because you're not usually going to play a fullback in normal down-and-distance situations. It takes a receiver off the field and tips the defense that you're going to run. It might help in short yardage, but the question becomes whether that roster spot is worth the benefit of having a fullback for short yardage.
Rich from Chicago, IL:
I've heard that offensive linemen would rather run block than pass block. So what's the problem? Because we started out as more of a passing team have they forgotten how to block, or has the system changed?
John: The Jaguars' offensive line entered the season comparatively new – with Brandon Linder starting for the first time at center, Luke Joeckel starting for the first time at left guard and Kelvin Beachum starting for the first time with the Jaguars at left tackle. There were times during the first two games when the running game showed signs of life. Those signs weren't enough against Green Bay to get the running game fully established and the Jaguars fell behind too far too early to run much against San Diego. The run was ineffective against Baltimore with two first-time starters: Tyler Shatley at center and Chris Reed at guard. Considering that run blocking often takes longer to come together as a unit, it's not uncommon that the Jaguars would be struggling early to run with so much newness and so much early uncertainty. This area absolutely needs to improve. It's probably second only to Bortles' play in terms of what's hurting the Jaguars early in the season. But there have been enough signs early that it's not unreasonable to think improvement in the running game will happen.
Jerell from Columbia, S.C.:
Do you believe this roster is better? If so, why does it look worse than last year?
John: I do believe the roster absolutely is better. It looks worse because the quarterback isn't playing as well as he did last season.
O-Zone: Bottom line
JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … DUVAL DOOM from Section 217: