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O-Zone: Eager and happy

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Ryan from Northville, MI:
John, let's assume the Jags go on a roll after the break and finish 7-9; under that hypothetical, would you rather make the playoffs but end up with a draft pick in the mid-20s – or miss the playoffs and draft in the mid-teens?
John: I'd always rather make the playoffs. If you make the playoffs, you have a chance to win the first game. If you win the first game, you have a chance to win the second game. If you win that game, you have a chance to win the third game. If you were a wild-card team, you then have a chance to win a fourth game. The fourth game in that scenario is the Super Bowl. If you don't make the playoffs, you don't have chance to do any of that. Besides, I don't believe in playing for draft positioning. Improving it guarantees nothing, particularly if you're selecting in either the mid-teens or twenties.
Jordan from Jacksonville:
The bye week is here. Crazy. Who has been your offensive/defensive player of the year so far?
John: Allen Robinson/Telvin Smith.
Mike from St. Mary's, GA:
Interesting points about the core players from the 2014 draft. I'm seeing the Pro Bowl potential there now. Maybe if a few of the 2015 class show up like this next year, it will be enough to overcome the 2013 decisions.
John: There already are signs that players from the Jaguars' 2015 draft will be good. Running back T.J. Yeldon and guard A.J. Cann are showing real signs as starters, and the team likes wide receiver Rashad Greene and safety James Sample very much. That's not even including defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. As for the 2013 draft, while it is vogue among Jaguars fans to write off Luke Joeckel and Johnathan Cyprien, the '13 class overall was quite weak around the entire league. The Jaguars aren't getting the production from that class as they are from the '14 class, but few teams are getting significant production the '13 class.
Spence O Matic from Jacksonville:
Hey, John: This team withstood a 28-point surge by another team and still won. That's good, right?
John: Yes.
Ryan from Apopka, FL:
So, when the Pats played the Jets, they ran the ball with their running back five times and just threw it all game. Could you see the Jags using a game plan like that coming off a bye?
John: The Patriots' game plan against the New York Jets last Sunday that called for almost no running and pretty much all passing was executed by one of the great quarterbacks in NFL history. Blake Bortles is a good, young improving quarterback. It wouldn't surprise me to see the Jaguars use a pass-heavy game plan against the Jets; it would stun me to see a game plan very similar to the one the Patriots used.
Aaron from Chantilly:
John - I noticed Bortles has the worst completion percentage for passes completed in the league which is causes us to go three and out a lot. Despite this, our secondary and LB are making up for the whole team excluding T.J., that's impressive!! If Bortles could learn the playbook we could be dangerous!!??
John: I noticed you were trying to make a point about Bortles' completion percentage, which indeed could improve. I also noticed you said something about the secondary and the linebackers, which to be honest I couldn't quite understand. I also noticed you seem to close your email with what I guess was a shot at Bortles not knowing the offense, which frankly was silly enough I wasn't sure how to answer.
Jeff from Jacksonville:
Some fans are really, really, really hard to please. If we lose, they get upset we lose. If we win, they get upset because there will probably be only one AFC South team not drafting in the Top 10 next year, and that is whoever gets the divisional championship.
John: Yeah, fans gonna fan – thank goodness.
Jeff from Section 215:
As I passed through the electronics section at work I saw the typical "Top 5 Plays." I was shocked to see that not only did the Jaguars debut on a positive note (they were on the negative side of a Patriots play a few weeks ago), but it was the No. 1 play: Bortles to Hurns for the game-winning touchdown. In five years, I think that's the first I've seen the Jags on there with a good play. Despite all the heartache, it's a good time to be a Jags fan.
John: It's an OK time. From the looks of things, it has a chance to be a lot better time pretty soon.
Ivan from Hollywood, CA:
Through Game 7, the 2015 free-agent additions look to be contributors but not game-changers. Do you agree?
John: Yes, but that's not a shock. Three of the more high-profile free-agent signees last offseason – defensive end Jared Odrick, linebacker Dan Skuta and right tackle Jermey Parnell – play positions where they're unlikely to be game-changers, with Parnell being an offensive lineman and Odrick/Skuta not playing big sack positions. Center Stefen Wisniewski is … well … a center, and cornerback Davon House was expected to start but not necessarily immediately be a Pro Bowl-level corner. Those players collectively have improved the talent level, and it's important to note that there's not a bust in the bunch. As for tight end Julius Thomas, he hasn't been a game-changer yet, but he has a touchdown while playing two games at full strength. I wouldn't remotely close the book on him being a game-changer.
Kyan from Cedar Falls:
The Jaguars have not had a 1,000-yard receiver since Jimmy Smith in 2005, I believe. Seven games into this season, we have two receivers over 500 yards in Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns. What are the chances that not only do we break this streak, but that we have two players who break it?
John: If Robinson and Hurns stay healthy I'd be surprised if they both don't surpass 1,000 yards receiving this season.
Shawn from Here:
I just watched the Bills/Jags highlights. We finished, and we're not finished. This team has some real potential. It's shown its face, and the arrow is definitely up. Telvin Smith deserves a Pro Bowl nod. Maybe including a receiver or two by the time it's all said and done. #DTWD
John: #DTWD
Scott from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
With all of the football players graduating college including Division III schools, why is it so hard to find a good reliable kicker coming out of college? It makes no sense to me with all of the schools out there we cannot pick up one. Can you please enlighten me?
John: It's the same answer to why the question of why it's so hard to find good players at any position. There are usually fewer than 32 people on the planet who are really, really good – NFL elite level – at the skills needed to play a particular position in the NFL. That's true of kickers and quarterbacks and running backs and …
Randy from Jacksonville:
I went to the Zoo after the game. They said they don't have an albino tiger.
John: They're rare.
Scott from Aurora, IL:
Speaking of getting Denard the ball, does he throw well enough for the NFL possible run a variant where the Jags can run the Pistol with him? I believe the answer is no, but I thought I'd ask.
John: Robinson throws well enough to be an emergency option at quarterback, and he probably could run some sort of trick-play version of the pistol. But I can't imagine you'll see anything close to a regular use of Robinson at quarterback. The Jaguars have a young quarterback and they have a young offense. Let those things develop before we get too deep into any shenanigans.
Andrew from Tehachapi, CA:
In regards to the idea of a developing kicker, I remember many years ago when the Jags had another kicker who struggled in his first year. That was Josh Scobee. That being said, Myers really needs to step it up after the bye.
John: Yes, he does.
Jerell from Columbia, SC:
John, why is it that Blake has the ability to be clutch at times, but will also make some boneheaded plays like he did at the end of the Bills game? I like the guy as the quarterback, but I am scared of him in the clutch, because it seems as if he can be good and bad in those situations.
John: Blake Bortles is a young quarterback in the NFL. Young quarterbacks make boneheaded plays some games and they are clutch in some games. That describes a lot of experienced quarterbacks, too. Bortles has a lot of maturing to do, but some of the things he has done so far make you think clutch could outweigh boneheaded more and more as time continues.
Loe from Tildonk, Belgium:
John, how did you survive those pints of English beer?
John: Eagerly. Happily. Thirstily.

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