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O-Zone Late Night: Fitting fashion

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Dave from Jacksonville:
Hey, John … I know what the Jags need in the first round of the 2015 draft. An NFL-caliber starting left tackle. Joeckel a No. 2 overall pick?!? C'mon man!!
John: We may as well get the topic rolling here in O-Zone Late Night, because it's sure to be a monthly, weekly daily topic between now and the draft. First, I don't see the Jaguars going that way in the first round. I've been wrong before, but I doubt I'm wrong on this one. Second, the Jaguars haven't given up on Luke Joeckel as their left tackle. I wouldn't be so dim as to say he had a great year, but I also don't think he's a lost cause. Know this about Joeckel, too: he knows the issues and knows the urgency. I spoke to him for about two minutes in the locker room after the game; without prompting, he talked about needing to gain strength, needing to improve his technique and needing to use this offseason to do both. That's his mission: We'll see how it plays out, but the guess is he's starting at left tackle for the Jaguars next season.
Lance from Jacksonville:
Fire Gus Bradley.
John: Not happening.
Jeremy from Wise, VA:
Do you remember GROUNDHOG DAY? Missed tackles and dropped passes. Same thing every game. Has anybody ever seen SCANNERS? (Head explodes!)
John: This was the much-discussed, much-anticipated First Email of the Game. Jeremy's sentiment was not wrong, and he was not alone. As I read it, I worried about a pending explosion and waited worriedly to see if we would hear from Jeremy again.
Thomas from Madison, WI:
The offensive line is AWFUL. Stop sugarcoating it. We can't handle a blitz to save our lives and Marcedes Lewis isn't helping. This performance is embarrassing. We need a new center, right guard and right tackle. No more excuses. We have so much potential at wide receiver, quarterback and running back but they can't be utilized with an atrocious offensive line. Find a new right side and tight end.
John: There's no question the Jaguars must upgrade right tackle. Sam Young started there late in the season, and the Jaguars need to be better there. Center Luke Bowanko also needs to get stronger, and handling the blitz should improve as young players – and a young quarterback – gain experience. But your argument loses strength when you say the Jaguars need a new right guard. Brandon Linder played at a high level this season, extraordinarily so for a rookie.
Bruce from Gotham:
Last year, the season ended with some renewed sense of optimism. This year, it seems to be ending with questions and concerns. This will be the make-it or-break-it-off season for this regime. Agree?
John: The Jaguars have to win more in 2015. No doubt. I don't know what they number will be, but it's higher than three and higher than four and I imagine it's higher than six. Whatever. There's time for that. I can't say I agree about the feeling at the end of the past two seasons, though. I suppose fans may be more skeptical because the Jaguars finished 3-13 compared to 4-12. But in terms of the product on the field I sense a lot more optimism and confidence that a foundation is established than at the end of last season. Last season there was a knowledge that the offense had to be overhauled; this year there's a knowledge that more growth is needed. That's a step in the right direction.
Jerell from Columbia, SC:
Jags need to trade for Case Keenum. He is clearly better than what we have at quarterback right now.
John: As game's end approached, we hadn't heard from Jeremy or his exploding head, but Jerell had checked in. That was nice. It gave me a comfortable, familiar feeling, but did little to ease my concern over Jeremy. There was more to come from Jerell, so we'll just let this happen to close out the evening …
Jerell from Columbia, SC:
Hey iam just going to say it Bortles suck. Please draft a competent QB please.
John: … The roll begins …
Jerell from Columbia, SC:
Two years and same result . Time for a change at the top down.
John: … He's free-forming now, like a jazz guitarist …
Jerell from Columbia, SC:
Why is it Blake can't hit passes I see most good qbs hit on the regular?
John: … Gaining speed, an artist in his prime …
Jerell from Columbia, SC:
The only person I want to hear from is khan, with the number of wins it will take for Gus and Dave to keep their jobs next year. Going in to year three there should be real expectations and goals set from top down and people held accountable for not reaching them. The free past that has been given to Gus and Dave should be gone. Jags suck!
John: … And building up to the inevitable, fitting, time-honored tradition of …
Jerell from Columbia, SC:
Are you ready to sell the improvement kool aid this offseason John? It's starting to taste like bs. Just saying.
John: … Of blaming the Senior Writer!!!! – Which is where we shall end in fitting fashion this regular-season-closing edition of O-Zone Late Night. We'll be back in the morning. (Call me, Jeremy, please).

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