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O-Zone: Controlling share

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Chris from Crestview, FL:
An NFL player for most positions matures and reaches his peak in Year … . This peak lasts around six years. If you look to our roster and see the players in the prime years of their career we simply don't have enough. This is the result of the last regime's drafts. We nailed a quarterback, found a steal of a wide receiver in an undrafted free agent as well as several other up-and-coming stars … What do you think of that assessment, John?
John: You left out the year an NFL player reaches a peak, but I'll assume it's three or four. That being assumed, you couldn't be more dead-on. When I talk about rookies needing time to develop and not being players upon whom you can usually depend to make you significantly better, this is the point I'm making. It's not that they can't contribute and make big plays on occasion, but it's hard for them to be consistently reliable throughout the course of a 16-game season. It's simply difficult to win and be competitive week-to-week with a roster of kids. That's why there were sure to be lean times with this big of a building process. So, what do I think of your assessment? I couldn't agree more – that's what I think.
Dude from Jacksonville:
If you could be in any band...?
John: Wham! What else?
Chris from Mandarin, FL:
With added emphasis on challenging routes this week, do you expect the secondary to give up a lot of pass interference, illegal contact and defensive holding penalties? I mean, they are still rather young and inexperienced. It seems it could be hard for young players to bridge the gap between the two, a.k.a. aggressiveness and within the rules (even if recently changed).
John: Yes, it could be difficult. And it stands to reason that challenging routes more might lead to an illegal contact penalty or two. But while you can't commit so many penalties that it allows opponents to drive up and down the field, a penalty or two is superior to routinely allowing touchdowns of 25 or more yards.
Rick from Callaway:
Saying the Jags lost to a better team is weak IMO. Any Given Sunday. I doubt there is that much difference between the best team and the worst team. Maybe coaching.
John: OK.
Redmond from Jacksonville:
Can you tell me why we drafted and developed Eugene Monroe, and Terrance Knighton just to get rid of them? I think the only reason we didn't sign Monroe is because Caldwell wanted "His Guy" at left tackle. Monroe didn't even cost the Ravens but $8 million a year.
John: I think we've kinda sorta, maybe covered this more than a few times, but we'll give it another whirl. The Jaguars didn't want to re-sign Eugene Monroe because they didn't want to invest in him what they anticipated it would cost to re-sign him. I also don't know that the offensive line would be significantly better with Monroe than without him. As for Knighton, I always liked him as a player. I thought he had potential to play at the level he's playing in Denver, though – as was the case with running back Rashad Jennings – he didn't show that level late in his time in Jacksonville. Should the Jaguars have re-signed him? Perhaps, though again I don't know that the play of the defensive tackles is the most pressing issue facing this team right now.
Nicholas from Fort Hood, TX:
Instead of a know-your-opponent video segment can we have a "know-your-defensive-assignment" video segment?
John: Cute. And yeah, a little funny.
Brian from Round Rock, TX:
Do you think fans that read a team website daily should be knowledgeable about football? The questions you received Friday are depressing. I guess you are getting readership from a lot of new casual fans, if that makes sense. Maybe they'll learn something...
John: People who read a team website daily can be whatever they want to be so long as they read. People have questions and I try to answer while occasionally mixing in some insight and fun. Some people don't know as much as we do, Brian. Then again, not everyone's as smart as us. I suppose it's the burden we bear.
Johnny from Tallahassee, FL:
Do you think that Justin Blackmon's decision to seek rehab may have been a result of watching Blake Bortles and thinking "He is way better than Gabbert. I need to shape up because this guy can make some throws!"
John: No. Absolutely not. A thousand times no. Look, Blackmon's decision to seek rehab appears to be a result of him truly wanting to address his off-field issues. If so – and there's no reason to believe it's not – then to think it's based on who's playing quarterback is to significantly minimize the importance of what he's trying to do.
Jarin from Chicago, IL:
Winston Guy was a strong safety. The position is totally different than a free safety. Should the defensive coordinator be at fault for this decision? Yes, Guy had an opportunity to play last season, but even this year when he was benched for Evans, he became the backup strong safety to Johnathan Cyprien. Seems like NFL coaches scout like crazy, and should have been able to see that Guy does not cover space well, and only looks to make bone crushing hits (a strong safety).
John: Guy indeed was more suited to being a strong safety physically. The Jaguars' issue this past offseason was that Josh Evans was coming back from a foot injury. Guy had played adequately at the free safety spot late last season, but regardless of position, Guy's issue wasn't as much his ability or inability to cover space as much as his struggling to carry out assignments. At first glance, it indeed seems like a miss. Let's see how Josh Evans the rest of the season before calling it a miss of epic proportions.
Scott from Honolulu, HI:
The most exciting thing to me about Blake is his eyes; they never drop, no matter what's going on around him, even when he's pulling a Barry Sanders spin move leaving two defenders in the dust, his eyes stay up and down field and THAT is special.
John: Yes, it is.
Chris from Daytona Beach, FL:
How do you evaluate a player's performance? Will you assess the performance of our rookie class after one quarter of the season?
John: I'd say through four games the rookie class has shown you a lot to like. Blake Bortles, Allen Robinson, Brandon Linder and Luke Bowanko are all starting and appear to have a chance to develop. Marqise Lee showed flashes, and many rookie receivers show flashes without the accompanying consistency. So through four games … pretty good. That said, four games is far, far too early to come to anything close to a final evaluation on any NFL rookie.
John from Savannah, GA:
You have a choice. (No gun involved). Draft all offensive linemen in next year's draft and sign all defensive players in free agency, or draft all defense and sign as many offensive linemen in free agency as you can. Which scenario do you choose?
John: Since there's no gun involved, I would choose neither. I don't foresee the Jaguars entering next offseason facing a scenario in which they are trying to revamp the entire offensive line. Could they be looking for a piece or two? Perhaps, but I wouldn't say that's guaranteed, either. This group has shown some signs of improvement through four games. It hasn't been dramatic improvement, and some of it is the result of Blake Bortles' pocket presence … but … whatever. If the line continues to develop at the pace it has developed so far this season, then that's a good start. A really good start.
John from Canton, GA:
Where does it say you have to be historically bad while doing a rebuild? I'm pretty sure we are not the first team to ever rebuild its roster. I am not as much frustrated by the losses as I am how we are not even competitive. Last year we only had one loss that was by less than seven points. This year, the closest we have been is 17 points. At what point do we stop using the rebuild excuse and start blaming the general manager and head coach?
John: It doesn't say anywhere that you have to be historically bad, but when the cupboard is bare, it's bare. The Jaguars started from a very low point at the beginning of last season. They are building out of that. They overhauled the offense this past offseason and as a result, they have a slew of rookies on offense. They are talented, but they are rookies nonetheless. I wish that weren't the case, but it is. I wish for your sake the Jaguars were 4-0 and winning by 10 points. They aren't. As for when you start blaming the general manager and head coach, it sounds as if you already have. Enjoy.
Travis from Boynton Beach, FL:
Should Bradley have more control over the D? C'mon I know you want to answer this one.
John: Gus Bradley is the head coach. How much more control can he have than that?

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