JACKSONVILLE – Preseason Week 2 O-Zone Late Night.
Let's get to it …
Keith from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
Four penalties in the first five minutes? C'mon, man.
John: That number was correct – and yeah, it was an issue early. It continued as an issue late in the game Saturday – just as it was an issue in the preseason opener. Penalties on linebacker Telvin Smith and safety Johnathan Cyprien helped the Buccaneers' first drive, which ended with a missed field goal. The Jaguars were then penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct for the coaches being on the field after being warned about it. That start came after the Jaguars were penalized 12 times for 132 yards against the Jets in the preseason opener. Head Coach Gus Bradley's teams haven't been penalized too much in his first three seasons, so this isn't a front-burner issue. At the same time, you don't want it to turn into one.
Joe from Jacksonville:
Jalen Ramsey has some personality. I always thought the Jags could use some personality. The question will be, what does he do in the face of adversity? Stay tuned ...
John: That's pretty much the question with any young player, isn't it? Ramsey looks like he can play at a high level in the league that represents the highest level of football. I see no reason he won't handle adversity well, too, but if you want to worry about it … feel free.
Jerell from Columbia, SC:
Did I mention the defense sucked last week? ... They still do. Long season on that side of the ball.
John: This was the much-anticipated, much-ballyhooed, mega-anticipated first email from the game. It was again from Jerell. #Consistency
Brian from Dunwoody, GA:
Too many penalties, not enough pass rush ...
John: Did you watch the game with Jerell? Look, the pass rush could be better, but remember: this is the preseason. The pass rush isn't showing ANYTHING that it will show during the regular season. No games up front. No stunts. No … well, no anything. Judge the pass rush a few weeks into the regular season. As for the penalties … yeah, the Jaguars must clean them up. I see no reason they won't, but it does have to happen.
Mike from Des Moines, IA:
This offense seems like it could be very good. The running backs are picking up yardage. Allen Robinson looks difficult to stop. Allen Hurns caught a 24-yard touchdown. TJ Yeldon caught a touchdown out of the backfield. If Julius Thomas starts catching touchdowns, look out. I'm definitely on the optimistic side on the offense. What do you think?
John: I think the offense has looked good for all of the reasons you cite. The first unit is running much better than it has at any time in the last three seasons, and that has helped the offense dictate tempo. I said after the preseason opener I was surprised the offense looked as good as it did against the Jets. I thought it had maturing to do, and I thought Bortles specifically had maturing to do. I also didn't expect the offense to run so efficiently so quickly. I don't know that two preseason games means this is a mature elite-level offense, but it sure looks more like one than I anticipated before the preseason.
Bob from Fernandina Beach, FL:
We still can't generate a pass rush … but we can't win with the gross amount of penalties we are getting each week. Winning teams don't get excessive penalties! This is a coaching issue.
John: I agree there have been too many preseason penalties, but this hasn't been an over-penalized team in Bradley's three previous seasons. If it's an issue during the regular season … yeah, blame coaching. Until then, I wouldn't stress over it too, too much.
MrPadre from Kingsland, GA:
Was really looking forward to watching the first-team defense … I guess I shouldn't have missed the first half of the first quarter! What gives?
John: The Jaguars practiced twice against the Bucs this week and the first team defenses and offenses got a lot of work against one another. I was a little surprised the first-team defense played just two series Saturday, but I expect it will play a half or more Sunday against the Bengals. (Viewing tip: watch that half).
Mike from Navarre, OH:
Six for 105 and no interceptions and 8-85-2 with NO INTERCEPTIONS and 75 percent on third downs this week. Starting fast and making it look easy. This offense is looking scary good. Can you ask Blake to bring this version of himself to the regular season? He's truly the future of this franchise.
John: Yes, the offense looks good. Yes, Bortles looks good. The first two preseason games couldn't have gone better for that side of the ball. I tweeted in the second quarter Saturday that I wasn't sure I wanted to see anymore of Allen Robinson for the preseason. I could have said the same thing about Bortles. I was kidding. I was exaggerating. But not very much. The first-team offense looks good, a lot better than I anticipated. That's as good a sign as you can imagine for this team right now.