JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Tommy from Jacksonville :
I bet the defense would have been better if they weren't 21 points down before they knew it. It must be tough as a defensive player thinking that even if you get a stop that your offense is going to give the ball right back 90 percent of the time.
John: I usually would agree with you, because I'm usually a big believer that a struggling offense can quickly wear down a quality defense. But in the case of last Sunday … not so much. Yes, the offense really struggled early, but the defense in the first half didn't give the team a chance to stay in the game. It was right to expect more from this defense this season than that.
Jesse from Jacksonville:
Hey John, I understand sitting Bortles until he's ready, but why don't we have a backup quarterback who comes into blowouts to keep Henne from getting injured or to take him out when he's struggling? If Henne is the best quarterback on the team (I trust the experts), why were we sending him out there to potentially get hurt in a blowout?
John: This is at least partly a function of numbers. The Jaguars right now are carrying two quarterbacks. Even if General Manager David Caldwell and Head Coach Gus Bradley were inclined to carry more, that would mean releasing a player at another position. Considering the injuries and depth at other spots, that would be a tall order.
Jason from North Pole, AK:
"Stretch" or outside zone is a compliment to inside zone. You need both to run an effective zone offense. An outside zone play is designed to hit any gap from play-side D to play-side B depending on the running backs keys. Point being that you don't have to have blazing speed to run it like you would a true toss play. Gerhart can run stretch, we just have to block it better.
Bruce from Gotham:
If David Caldwell and Gus Bradley are so good at evaluating talent, then what happened to their evaluation of the offensive line? We were assured repeatedly that it was fine. In fact Mr. Caldwell in a couple of interviews said he was not worried about that group. Now, two of the starters have been cut. Does this maybe explain the troubles in the other areas?
John: Center Mike Brewster indeed was a starter in the offseason. Right tackle Cameron Bradfield was not, but I understand your point. With a new offensive line featuring a lot of young players, there are going to be rough games early. I didn't expect a game quite so rough as Sunday's, and few others around the Jaguars did, either. It's still very early to write this group off as a disaster. Let's give it a larger sample size and see where we are.
Scott from Honolulu, HI:
I'm not an offensive coordinator, although my wife does at times find me offensive. It seems that if Gerhart's strength is as a bruising tackle breaker that maybe they should try to establish him BETWEEN the tackles BEFORE trying to run him off tackle. I totally agree you want the defense to defend the whole field and I understand last week the total rushing attempts was low because of the score, it just seems to me they're doing it backwards or they have the wrong back to fit their philosophy.
John: I don't know that Gerhart's strengths are limited to being a "bruising tackle-breaker." This is not Christian Okoye or Earl Campbell we're discussing. Gerhart is bigger, but he is plenty fast and agile enough to run the stretch play or the inside zone. It must be blocked better.
Dwayne from Sunrise, FL:
In reference to... "Paul from Jacksonville: Two drafts, two rounds of free agency and another year of double digit losses. What gives? John: What gives is this was going to be a process, and it is." Please quit with the "rebuilding," "this is a process" talk. It feels like we've been hearing this since '07. How bout we stop "rebuilding" and just win some games.
John: This is a place where people ask questions and where I try to answer best as possible. That sometimes means saying things that fans don't want to hear. It is indeed a process, and the Jaguars are building. I understand the frustration because fans have been through this a lot, but from the perspective of Bradley and Caldwell, they are 18 games into this thing. Something you have heard a couple of times this week regarding the offense is that the Jaguars made a choice to go this direction. What that means is a "young, building" direction. That's why there are three rookies playing receiver, and it's why right now only Luke Joeckel and Austin Pasztor remain in the lineup from last year on the offensive line. You don't skew that young that quickly and that completely and enter a season functioning at a high level. It would be awesome if you could, but …
Sam from Jacksonville:
I think we should trade away EVERY draft pick we have. This "building through the draft" strategy is STUPID!!!! What have we done in the last 10 years in the draft? NOTHING!!!! We have picked up a bunch of inexperienced and over-hyped losers that get us to constant losing record. Any wide receiver we draft becomes a druggy or a baby that can't play for more than one game a year. Anyone drafted on the offensive line plays more for our opponents than for us. And the defensive players don't become superstars until they leave here to go to another team (Knighton, Sensabaugh, Durant, etc). I say we cut every player we drafted and start fresh with a group of well-groomed and talented veterans so we can start actually WINNING some games. Does it really take 10 years to figure out that the youngest team to ever have a winning season had an average roster age of 28 not 19?
Cornel from Santa Maria, CA:
What is the difference between a bubble screen pass and just a screen pass?
John: A bubble screen is a quick pass to a wide receiver that depends on linemen getting out quickly and blocking defensive backs. A traditional screen is slower to develop and depends on linemen allowing defenders to begin pursuit to the quarterback, then having the screen pass go downfield past those pursuing linemen to get the back into the defensive backfield with fewer defenders there.
Steve from Nashville, TN:
Do you see the Jags spending some early round picks in the 2015 draft on the offensive line?
John: It depends on the final 14 games of the 2014 regular season.
Brett from Atlanta, GA:
If you're going to go young as Caldwell chose to do, you cannot give him a free pass if the players do not play well. How many times over the last seven years have we heard this team is young and building for the future. This excuse gets old after a while don't you think?
John: I don't know what "free pass" means, and I'm sure the excuse gets old. What I can tell is that if you're going to play young players, you're going to experience growing pains. The Jaguars from Caldwell to Bradley to Shad Khan knew this was a building process, and they knew when they skewed so young offensively this season there were going to be some tough times on that side of the ball. They're trying to manage the transition best as possible by having experienced players in a few positions while young players play. It's difficult to do on the fly, as evidenced by the difficulties of the first two weeks.
A Rod from Denver:
We can blame a lot of offensive problems on the line, but I'm pretty sure Chad Henne could have done some things better. So, if this Sunday at home he fails to perform and the fans start chanting for Bortles and even possibly, booing Henne, do you think that'll have any effect into pushing Gus Bradley into changing his quarterback?
Dakota from Dupree, SD:
O-man, the defense has given up a lot of big runs so far. From what I have seen, a lot of those runs have developed from a hole being plugged and a running back cutting back against defensive linemen crashing the hole. Is there such a thing as too much aggressiveness?
John: If it leads to over-pursuit, yes.
Tucky from Nashville, TN:
Hey John, How much playoff talk you hearing now about the Jags? My over/under for Jag wins was five this year.
John: Not much. Thanks.
Stefanie from Richmond, VA:
How many times a day do you cringe when you open your email?
John: Never. I get your point, and there's little question that people have been very angry this week, but that's to be expected. No one likes double-digit losses, and despite an internal knowledge that the team is still early in this building process, fans were expecting more after the excitement of the offseason. But questions – even angry ones – are OK. People care about this team, and this is a forum to express that however people may choose.
O-Zone: Express yourself
JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Tommy from Jacksonville :