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O-Zone: Gonna be great

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Jared from O-Town:
Hey, John-O: I remember you saying the defense will get better as the season progresses. With all the recent chatter about Myles Jack not playing much, I'm going to go out on a limb and infer that him needing time to learn the NFL system – and in turn getting more playing time as the season goes on – plays a big part of your statement (along with Jalen Ramsey's growth and the new members learning to play with each other). Am I hitting close to the head of the nail? Or just bashing thumbs?
John: I do believe Myles Jack will have a bigger role defensively as the season goes on, and I believe he will improve within that role. But that's a comparatively small part of the reason I believe the Jaguars' defense overall will improve as the season continues. The biggest is this defense has played very, very few snaps together. A lot of the key players – defensive tackle Malik Jackson, safety Tashaun Gipson and cornerback Prince Amukamara – never played a regular-season game with the Jaguars before Week 1, and a bunch more never played in the NFL before Week 1. That "bunch more" includes defensive tackle Sheldon Day, cornerback Jalen Ramsey, defensive end Dante Fowler Jr., defensive end Yannick Ngakoue and Jack. That's a staggering amount of newness to go along with a new defensive coordinator, Todd Wash. Considering how little the group had played together I thought the Week 1 performance against Green Bay was very good – and there's no reason to think the unit won't improve.
Sara from St. Augustine, FL:
So, should fans use the 24-hour rule as well? We have 24 hours to get over a loss? I'm struggling here; it has been four days and I'm still mad. I don't know how to not be mad or disappointed anymore.
John: Nah, the 24-hour rule doesn't apply to fans. Be mad as long as you want. Yell at your family – or better yet: write mean things to me. You won't be alone.
Paul from Jacksonville:
There are two basic types of plays an offense can run from scrimmage: run, or pass. In my time watching football as an amateur observer of limited intellect, I've noticed the plays look tremendously more creative on the downs when big yardage is gained. As our offensive line gels, I'd be just fine seeing the Jaguars run on most or all of their first downs if it resulted in second-and-short most of the time. I don't care about style points, just be effective!
John: Plays that work are awesome and are good plays. Fans like them. Plays that don't work … well, not so much.
Tommy from Pensacola, FL:
Just a comment regarding the idea of predictability. John Wooden, perhaps the greatest coach of all time regardless of sport, had an interesting take on this. His philosophy was that it didn't matter if the other team knew their plays; they still had to stop them from executing them. They were pretty good if I remember correctly. Just saying predictability isn't always a bad thing.
John: Plays that work are awesome and are good plays. Fans like them. Plays that don't work … well, not so much.
Neal from New Jersey:
With Prince Amukamara showing up, where does that leave the cornerback position? Who is the three and four when Colvin comes back? Thanks.
John: This is perhaps one of the tougher Jaguars-related questions right now, because the answer is pretty fluid. Prince Amukamara, Jalen Ramsey and Davon House are all playing well and if all three are healthy the starters could well be Amukamara and Ramsey – but House would be a strong consideration, too. Colvin is currently suspended but he was outstanding in training camp and preseason and it wouldn't be a reach for him to be one of the top two corners sometime this season once he returns to full speed. Ramsey and Colvin could well be starting by season's end if both are healthy. We'll see.
Donny from Heathrow, FL and Section 102:
The answer to the question of why Jack isn't playing defense yet is right in front us if you're paying attention. Fowler is playing but not always starting, seems confused at times, and clearly must work on his techniques and knowledge of his opponents (which the coaches have pointed out recently). Why is Fowler playing, even though he doesn't appear to be ready yet, and Jack isn't? Simple … there isn't a clear Leo option over Fowler and the Jags NEED him to play now. They have Poz at the Mike and Telvin at the Will playing well and don't HAVE to play Jack until he's more prepared ... it's not complicated or some conspiracy.
John: Wish I'd said that …
John from Boynton Beach, FL:
Do you think the Jaguars are better than the Chargers? I think I kind of do and I hope it proves to be true in the all-important win column on Sunday. Moodachay.
John: I think the Jaguars should win in San Diego Sunday.
Joel from Jacksonville:
We (and everyone else) seem to chew up timeouts because of the play clock running down, wrong alignment, etc. John Madden wrote in one of his books that he considered timeouts precious. You can always get the five yards back with good play execution but you can't get the timeout back. Why do teams burn the timeouts like that?
John: No one wants to burn timeouts. Teams use them to stop momentum or to stop a play when they feel their team is in bad position. Blake Bortles has called a lot of them to get out of bad plays and the Jaguars give him the freedom to do that, but no question: for the most part the more experienced and well-tuned a team, the more often it will have three timeouts at the end of halves and games.
Rob from Miami, FL:
Hey John, I was happy to see Bortles say "Losing is not acceptable" and that this year is different from last year where guys on team were like, "Here we go again." Is this because of pressure from the owner and fan base, confidence in their maturation and talent level, or new leaders? All of the above?
John: The Jaguars believe losing is not acceptable because the team has reached a point in its development – maturity, continuity and talent level – that they now should be winning.
Rob from Miami, FL:
Dear John, when asked about not having a timeout, Blake Bortles said Green Bay took a timeout after seeing Jaguars formation. Bortles said the Jaguars did not change their play during the timeout. While he did say it is the jobs of the players to execute any play called, he also said there were 500 other plays that could have been called. With Rivers on deck, how much longer before Blake is allowed to audible more freely? I bet he is quite comfortable with the current offense and personnel.
John: Bortles is being given more and more responsibility at the line of scrimmage, and will be given more and more on top of that as time goes on. This is not an overnight process where one morning Greg Olson sips his coffee, slicks back those flowing locks and says with a smile, "Blake, call the whole offense at the line of scrimmage … channel Philip Rivers … go for it, kiddo!!!!" Right now, Bortles often is given run-pass options at the line of scrimmage where he can choose which option to run. As time goes on, he will become more adept at getting in and out of plays and directing traffic before the snap, and as that continues you'll see him check in and out of plays and audible more and more.
Ryan from Chapel Hill, NC:
It hasn't been talked about here, but there are a lot of opinions flying around about Jalen Ramsey, his demeanor and his post-game comments. Just wanted to give one fer Jalen. For years people have talked about wanting a defender with some attitude and now we've got one. Three or four times I watched him lay out a Packers receiver. Dude's gonna be great.
John: It's funny: I've received almost zero questions about Ramsey's demeanor. I have taken that to mean one of three things – that no one cares about my opinion on Ramsey, that people are too busy obsessing over Myles Jack to ask or that people generally like what they see. The first option is very possible and even likely, and the second topic has threatened to sap most of the server space. Still, I suspect the biggest reason I have heard few questions about Ramsey's demeanor and post-game comments is most people like what they see in Ramsey. With reason. He shows every sign of developing into an elite corner and he has the potential to become one of the best defensive players in franchise history. The demeanor stuff? The post-game comments? It's pretty harmless so far. The dude does seem like he's gonna be great, and as long as he backs up what he says, who really cares?

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