Jaguars News | Jacksonville Jaguars -

O-Zone: Fashion sense

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Redmond from Jacksonville:
So, before the season all we heard is Toby Gerhart was signed to be the Bell Cow Back; he will get 15 to 20 carries. Jump forward to last week: you stated Gerhart will remain the starter and now you're saying the Jags are trying to find his role in the offense. What happened and does Gerhart take any blame for it?
John: This topic has fast moved to the forefront in Jaguar Land, and I am struck by the vehemence and even anger toward Gerhart and the Jaguars over this. I have gotten questions about the Jaguars being stubborn with Gerhart and people swearing it was an awful signing. Gerhart has started since Week 1, but while the running game has struggled it's not as if the Jaguars have stubbornly continued to start Gerhart at the expense of other backs. Denard Robinson split carries with Gerhart for a couple of games, and this past week, the Jaguars went backfield-by-committee with Gerhart, Robinson, Jordan Todman and Storm Johnson. What happened? Gerhart has not been as productive as hoped, and while I never have understood the need/rush by some to assign "blame," it is safe to say he hasn't been as quick to hit holes as the other backs. He has been effective at times, particularly on third downs. I expect the Jaguars to continue to search for a productive running back combination, and it seems the Jaguars want to see more of Johnson. I expect Gerhart to continue to have a role. Whether that's as a long-term starter remains to be seen.
Jonathan from Jacksonville:
I'm upset we got beat again, but I saw improvement on the defense by only allowing 10 points. Offense gotta score a touchdown not a field goal when you're in the red zone and these receivers need to catch the damn ball!
John: Yes.
Jordan from Jacksonville:
Losing sucks. No doubt. But the big picture tells me everything is going to be OK. We have a great owner. I think we have a great general manager and head coach. And I think we have our franchise quarterback. I get how people get upset about the week to week, but the big picture is more important. We're on the rise.
John: It has been a slow rise and things are still at a pretty low point. That would be the argument of many fans right now, and they would be right. But I, too, see the past two weeks as perhaps the first tangible signs of progress this season. With the offense this young, there will be hiccups, but the start of the foundation seems to be getting into place.
Toby from Ankeny, IA:
Can you please provide a weekly update on the race for the first pick in the 2015 draft?
John: It's pretty easy to look at the NFL standings, so, no, I probably won't be doing that.
Jon from Ocala, FL:
I know not many want to look at it this way, but we are 0-2 with Bortles as the starter and the team is getting better.
John: No, many don't want to see it that way, and that's understandable. I'm starting to look at the season through that lens, and it's true that if you separate the last two games from the first three games there are significantly better things in the last two. Only time will tell if that's a trend. If it is, then this season as a whole will be seen in a different light than the first month.
Emil from Tallahassee, FL:
The past four weeks I was disappointed the Jaguars did not compete. On Sunday, I was disappointed they didn't win. Being disappointed can be disappointing, but you have to be able to look at that as objective progress.
John: You know what? You're right.
Greg from Jacksonville:
Rex Ryan apologized to the fan base. Isn't it time Gus took a page out of his book and did the same?
John: I don't see that happening, and don't see a need for it. I suppose if Bradley thought players were giving less than their best, or underachieving or not improving, then he might say something like that. But I don't get the impression he sees things that way. He could be disingenuous or do something for the sake of showmanship, but that's not really Bradley's way.
Scott from Atlantic Beach, FL:
John, acknowledge the season is over. Do I have to resort to, "I know you won't print this?"
John: Over? Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Goodness, no. There are 11 games left and a young offense to watch develop, not to mention a rookie quarterback to watch grow. Over? Over?!!!! I'll TELL YOU WHEN IT'S OVER.
AP from Section 436:
When does "improvement" turn into winning? I can see the improvement, but it seems to be an excruciatingly slow process...
John: Yeah, it ain't quick. I don't have the date. If I did, I'd be in Vegas. I'd still be answering everyone's questions, because you people are really, really "awesome," but I'd be doing it in Vegas.
Brian from New Hampshire:
Is Allen Robinson our No. 1 regardless when Cecil Shorts III and Marqise Lee come back? He has been the most consistent so far and targeted more than anyone else.
John: I wouldn't dust Robinson off and put his statue on the No. 1 Receiver shelf quite just yet, but considering Shorts' inability to get on the field, and considering Lee's relative inconsistency, yes, I'd say Robinson's as good a choice as the No. 1 receiver as any. He isn't a true No. 1 receiver yet, but he's showing signs of being very productive for a very long time.
Marcus from New York City via Jacksonville:
Any chance we see Gratz taking snaps at the nickel spot in the near future? Seems they are playing lots of nickel and Will Blackmon hasn't been exactly stellar out there.
John: I wouldn't rule it out.
Mark from High Springs:
I keep hearing Bortles "needs a better supporting cast" around him. I also hear "he's playing with a lot of rookies," which is ironic since the announcers seem to forget he's a rookie himself. Be honest, is it that the current group of rookies need to become veterans, or should we expect a churn of his current supporting cast next season? I know "help is not on the way," but is it coming next year, or is it already there and just needs a few years to grow?
John: I doubt you'll see a complete churn of the supporting cast, though it's not realistic to think that every one of the rookies playing a key role will turn into a front-line core player. That would be an incredible percentage of "hits" for one rookie class, and I can pretty much promise you it won't happen. Realistically, the Jaguars will finish this season with a very good feeling that four or five of these rookies have a chance to be really good, with maybe two or three having a chance to be long-term core players. If one of those two or three is Bortles – and if the feeling is that he has a chance to be elite – then that's a heckuva rookie class.
Aaron from Duval:
One thing I couldn't help think is how much this team misses having a solid veteran receiver that a young quarterback can look to on those third-down conversions and know he will give him a good look. Bortles drew a tough card coming in without Shorts and Lewis in the lineup. He looks like he will be a very good quarterback, but the youth of the receivers seems to make those key, drive sustaining plays, much more difficult to come by.
John: Good eye.
Jay from Compton:
Can you honestly say that this team is better than last year with our 0-5 record? What record do you think is doable? And lastly when will Gus Bradley be officially on the "hot" seat?????
John: I think by the end of the season this team will be better than last year's team, and if you just look at the last two games … then yes, I think an argument can be made that it is already better than last year's team. I wrote during the offseason that I believed this team could be better than last year without having a better record. The reason for that was the team had won four close games last season to get its four victories and a lot of the losses were one-sided. It stood to reason that there was still quite a bit of improving to do. That's still the case, but the losses to San Diego and Pittsburgh were far more in line with what I anticipated from this season – i.e., a competitive team not quite yet ready to win consistently. The biggest reason it's better this season than last is there is a quarterback who looks like a potential franchise guy. Don't underestimate that. As far as a doable record, I have no idea, nor do I know when Bradley officially will be on the "hot seat." There is no official hot seat, and Shad Khan's opinion is the only one that matters. I don't get the idea this is a hint of an issue for him yet.
Shannon from Brunswick, GA:
Six rookies on the field on the offense. I know we are 0-5, but I believe the future is bright.
John: #DTWD
Hunter from Jacksonville:
Denim in the pool. #DTWD
John: #DTWD

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content