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O-Zone: Holiday wishes

JACKSONVILLE – Halloween O-Zone. Boo!

Let's get to it . . . Jeff from Atlantic Beach, FL:
This isn't meant to come across as sarcastic. I keep hearing the right people are in place to make this franchise successful. I agree the plan to build through the draft is sound, but what have you seen that shows we have the "right people" to make that plan work?
John: It's more what I've heard than what I've seen. I've heard David Caldwell talk about building through the draft while supplementing it intelligently through veteran free agency, and more importantly, I've heard him do that in unwavering fashion. I also haven't seen him come off of that plan. I've heard Gus Bradley speak about his core philosophies of improving through competition, and far more importantly, I've heard him also do that in unwavering fashion. If I had heard them speak, then and change their stance, it would worry me. You have to have the conviction to stick to a plan, and the Jaguars' decision-makers and leaders appear to have that.
Andy from Roswell, GA:
One of the more frustrating things is there is no one "thing" the Jaguars are good at. It would make me feel better to watch the game and say "Yeah, they aren't that good overall, but they can do 'X' really well." Do you think that is a good way to build a team...start doing one thing really well, then keep adding, or is that even possible (or too linear)?
John: There's nothing wrong with it, though the reality in the NFL is it's difficult to do one thing really, really well if parts around it aren't functioning. For instance, it's tough to be a dominant running game if your pass offense can't function, because teams can load up to stop the run. It's tough to be great defensively if your offense can't keep opponents off the field at least a little.
Tudor from St. Augustine, FL:
If both Tampa and Jacksonville finish 0-16, who gets the first pick? The team with the stronger or weaker schedule?
John: First, I doubt either team finishes 0-16. It's the team with the weaker schedule. Right now, that's Tampa Bay, though that could theoretically change by season's end.
Tudor from St. Augustine, FL:
Should have traded MJD. We're not going to pay him what he wants, so why not get SOMETHING for him instead of letting him walk free?
John: The Jaguars received no interest from teams about a player this season other than Eugene Monroe. To what team would you suggested the Jaguars have traded Jones-Drew?
Erik from Monticello, FL:
Would it be safe to say if Blaine doesn't start the week after the bye that barring an injury to Chad Henne, we're not going to see him start a game again this season?
John: The NFL is such a week-to-week league that it's difficult to say what's "safe to say." Right now, Henne is the starter. It appears the Jaguars are going to come out of the bye trying to keep some continuity on offense. Could Gabbert get another opportunity of the offense sputters? Perhaps, though I doubt it happens if Henne plays well.
Scott from Jacksonville:
I keep reading about how important a good quarterback is for today's NFL. On that topic, do you think the 2000 Baltimore Ravens that won a Super Bowl with Trent Dilfer could do that again today? Has the game changed that much in the last 13 years?
John: The game has changed some, but not dramatically in 13 years. The Ravens were exceptionally good on defense that season and were able to win the Super Bowl without an elite quarterback. Remember, though, while those Ravens teams were consistently good, they didn't start consistently winning postseason games until drafting Joe Flacco in 2008. Between 2000 and 2008, they won just one postseason games, that coming in 2001.
John from St. Augustine, FL:
Say the Jags have the No. 1 pick in the draft. I would hope we lean toward taking Clowney and a quarterback with the first pick in the second round or trading up late in the first round. I still believe after watching the Jags play, we need a pass rush more than anything. What do you think?
John: I think to be consistently competitive in the NFL you need an elite quarterback.
Eddie from Jacksonville and Section 104:
Being a season-ticket holder and fan on this side of the pond has been tough this week. I am tired of seeing all the videos on showing the fans over in London. When do you plan on opening the Inside the Jaguars video with some stateside fans? We have been tailgating in Lot K for years. The guys in the Bold City Brigade have a big group that are diehard fans. We have been showing every Sunday for 2-14 and now 0-8 it gets a little tiring seeing you guys showing these guys in the UK as the real fans of the team.
John: No one around here doubts or ignores the passion or dedication of the Jaguars' fans in Jacksonville, and in no way, shape or form have we ever showed UK fans as the "real" fans of the Jaguars. I think the Bold City Brigade folks would tell you that we at are big Bold City Brigade supporters. We at also do what we can to bring the events around the team to people reading and viewing the website. Last week, the events around the team were in London, and that's what we brought the readers and viewers – noting, incidentally, that there were Jaguars fans from Europe and from the Bold City Brigade attending the game and enjoying the experience together.
Marcus from Jacksonville:
You're quick to discount Brunell's comments because he isn't privy to information about the future of the franchise? Are you privy to such information? Why should we trust you more than him?
John: I'm actually not quick to discount. My discounting comes from two-plus years of seeing Shad Khan's actions and hearing his words. Trust who you want, but know that while Brunell is indeed around the team at times, people far more informed and in touch and who are around the team FAR more have a far different view than the one he offered on ESPN this week.
Adam from Jacksonville:
You've been adamant about saying, "No" to the 0-16 crowd and I understand your position because it's statistically very difficult to lose all of your games even if you're very, very bad. However, we are now only THREE games away from being 0-16 in our last 16 games stretching back to last season. Gracious, this is downright embarrassing.
John: It hasn't been good.
Phil from Boynton Beach:
There are many examples of coordinators getting their first head coaching jobs and failing in recent years. Could you give a few reasons why you think Gus will be different and transition into a successful NFL head coach?
John: There are examples of coordinators failing in their first jobs throughout NFL history, and there are examples of head coaches failing in their second jobs throughout NFL history. Far more coaches fail than are successful because successful coaches stay in their jobs while unsuccessful ones are replaced. As for why Gus Bradley has a chance to be different, see the above answer.
Redmond from Jacksonville:
Maybe part of the reason our team has been playing poorly against the run is because our general manager didn't re-sign Terrence Knighton, who has been having a better year than anybody playing for our defensive line. Do you believe that was a mistake not to resign him?
John: Knighton is one of my favorite Jaguars players among those I have covered in the last two and a half seasons, but the Jaguars weren't exactly the 2001 Ravens against the run last season. He hadn't been consistent the last two years, and had issues with his weight. The Jaguars didn't want to build around that going forward.
Stephen from Tampa:
I'm confused by the league's stance on the Jags this week. I read many articles quoting Goodell praising Khan's commitment to spreading the NFL's brand by playing four games in London and then the flagship international game isn't played on national television. I know we are terrible, but how many years have we watched Detroit get stomped on Thanksgiving?
John: It's different. The networks control what games they televise to what markets on Sunday. Detroit being on television on Thanksgiving is a separate tradition that's not going to change any time soon.
Carter from Orange Park, FL:
With all of the talk on here about moving the Jags to London, am I so far off base to say it isn't logistically possible to move a team to London until other cities in Europe are ready for teams? I mean, flying back and forth on a weekly basis would be really hard on any player playing a 16 game schedule.
John: That's part of it. There's much, much more, but that's a big part of it.
David from the Island:
I'm looking forward to the day when your Fabulous Four articles don't say anything about the quarterbacks.
John: Me, too.

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