JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
AJ from Jacksonville:
I'm tired of supporting this team for the past five-plus years with my season tickets only to get made fun of by the opposing team's fans. "Do you have to watch this every Sunday?" I heard this from at least 10 'Fins fans. Each time I had to respond with, "Yes." They then asked, "Why?" Starting to feel the same way. It's brutal feeling this way every Sunday with a win mixed in here and there. What can I do, Mr. O?
John: I include this question because I often am accused of not grasping the frustration of fans. I do grasp the frustration. The people running this franchise grasp the frustration. Their grasp of that frustration – along with the obvious desire to win – is why this team has made the decisions it has made in recent seasons. It's why Shad Khan hired David Caldwell and Gus Bradley and it's why they have added the players they have added. The goal is to win, and to build a sustainable team that can win over a long period. The build started early last season at a very low spot, but by any measure the team has improved dramatically since midway through last season. Shoot, it has even improved dramatically since early this season. The defense is good. The offense is moving the ball, but making errors as it gets closer to the red zone. That's frustrating, but they're errors of youth rather than inability. Those errors have kept the team from winning in recent weeks when winning was indeed attainable. What's the point of saying all this? You asked, "What can I do, Mr. O?" and I don't know what you can do about the immediate frustration. I can't fix that. I can point out that there are clear signs of the franchise moving in a good direction, and right now that's my best answer.
Adam from Leicester, UK:
Wow, a rookie quarterback throwing picks. I take when people said they would put up with the growing pains they actually meant, "He better come straight out the box and look like Brady?"
John: Well, yeah … there's a little of that.
Asa from Jacksonville and Section 214:
My question is about the long pass down the sideline for the Dolphins that was "ruled" a catch when everyone in the stadium could see on the multimillion dollar video boards that the receiver CLEARLY didn't get two feet in bounds. How could the coaches not see the same thing we could see? That was the real momentum-changer to me. . . . I just don't get it.
John: Gus Bradley didn't challenge the play because the officials made the correct call. Dolphins wide receiver Mike Wallace came down with possession and a knee in bounds. A receiver by rule must get two feet in bounds with possession for the play to be ruled a catch. But in that scenario, one knee equals two feet, so Wallace in fact had possession for the 50-yard catch.
Rob from Fleming Island, FL:
When can we start seeing interviews with David Caldwell about next year's draft?
Keith from Jacksonville and Section 436:
So exactly what do you see in B-squared that leads you to believe he will have a bright future? I see small flashes, and he is better than Blaine, but he's not looking like he will ever develop into a superstar like Brady, Manning, or Rodgers.
John: First, having a bright future does not necessarily mean developing to the level of Tom Brady, Peyton Manning or Aaron Rodgers. They're playing at a level few quarterbacks reach, and I expect all will be in the Hall of Fame. This is not to say Bortles will never be in the Hall of Fame, but he can have a bright future without getting there. Second, it's really tough to say that Bortles isn't looking like those players at similar stages of development. He's eight games into his rookie season. Neither Brady nor Rodgers had started a game to that point, and Manning was 1-7 as a starter with 11 touchdowns and 14 interceptions.
Matt from Bradford, England:
Interesting that the linebacking corps seemed better without Poz. Is he maybe not the best fit for the scheme as he's not particularly fast or athletic and since our scheme is similar to Seattle's and they're renowned for fast and athletic linebackers?
John: I didn't think the Jaguars' linebackers missed Posluszny much Sunday. At the same time, I didn't see them being significantly better than they had been the past few weeks, either. The Jaguars' linebackers and the defense as a whole played well Sunday. Let's see how the whole season plays before we judge just who matters and who doesn't.
Tyler from Jacksonville:
I want to say I'm shocked by the ignorance of people hating on our rookie quarterback for throwing interceptions, but I have lived in Jacksonville my whole life …
Cole from Homertown, FL:
The defense is good. I like them. And Denard is getting stronger it seems like. What did he do in the offseason to correct his tendency to fumble the ball?
John: The defense is good – and there seems to be a lot to like. Robinson's hand healed to the point where he has a lot more feeling in it. It enabled him to grasp the ball properly, something he couldn't do in his rookie season.
Bryan from Portland, OR:
John, my dad died suddenly Saturday morning. When I was thirteen and the city was up for an expansion team, no one in my family but me thought we'd get a team. I made a bet with my dad that if we got the team, we'd get season tickets. Throughout my teen years, 10 Sundays a year were spent with my dad in then-Alltel Stadium. My last conversation with him was the Sunday after the Jags won their first game of the year. We laughed and shared our thoughts on Bortles, the young receiving corps, our stud rookie linebacker, and hopes for the rest of the season. It was just like I was 13 again, sharing passion for the Jaguars with my dad. As we watch the rest of the year, let's remember that we all share something special here: a chance to connect with each other as one big Jaguar family.
John: Good stuff, and true stuff. RIP, dad.
Rameses from Norfolk, VA:
Do you still think we draft defense early and often? All things considered, they look like they are figuring it out. Side note J.T Thomas is a ball player!
John: Yes, I think the Jaguars still need to draft defense. The defense has been very, very good, and the players are playing with effort. But that side of the ball still could use an elite-level pass rusher, and there are still areas where it could get faster and better.
Brian from Neptune Beach, FL:
I wasn't a fan of Chad. That being said, if Chad started and went 18 for 34 with a fumble and two pick sixes, he would have been benched, if not crucified. Part of me thinks Gus should have sat Blake. Growing pains are one thing but this clearly was not his day. Plus I think it sets the precedent that this is unacceptable. Thoughts?
Dave from Oviedo, FL:
Kudos to Caldwell for not throwing the challenge flag on the Mike Wallace play down the sideline. I believe that shows that our coach has learned from his mistakes
John: I'm sure David Caldwell appreciates the support. I'll pass it along.
Shane from Jacksonville:
The first two plays Robinson carries twice has 45 yards, next fourteen plays Robinson gets two carries. Brilliant!
John: I thought maybe the Jaguars got a little too far away from the run a little too soon, too. At the same time, you have to call plays that you think are the best based on what the defense is showing. The easiest thing to do is to criticize play-calling after a loss, and overall, I thought Fisch's play-calling was pretty creative Sunday given the circumstances.
James from Destin, FL:
The reason this team is better is because I don't leave the stadium at halftime shaking my head. Even down 11 points in the third quarter, we still have a shot. We are moving the ball. I didn't like the final score however I am enjoying watching the team.
John: Yeah, there's that, too.
Bobby from Salt Lake City, UT:
I want to see Blake Bortles start getting angry. I want to see him yell, slam things around. I want to see him take his receivers by the face mask and yell at them for dropping a pass. I just want him to take control of the offense, realize this is his team and lead them. He is acting too soft after a mistake. He needs to get his emotions into play. I think once he does that then the team will respond and he will play with a lot of confidence.
John: Yes. Absolutely. I don't think there's any question that a quarterback showing anger is far more important than making the right reads and reducing turnovers. Should he start a locker-room fight, too? Then we might really know he is indeed the right guy.
JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
AJ from Jacksonville: