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O-Zone Late Night: Full circle

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

James from Orange Park, FL:
I can't believe the Jags lost again :( Le sigh.
John: This was the first email of the day. While it did prove to be technically accurate, it didn't really accurately portray the spirit of what played out on the field. Sunday's game was frustrating, but it was actually a very good effort in a lot of significant ways. The defense played well. Blake Bortles showed flashes early, though he struggled mightily late. The offensive line run-blocked well at times. The unit also actually wasn't nearly as bad pass-blocking as most believe. I'm sure there are those who disagree with that assessment – probably pretty vehemently. Oh well.
Dave from Jacksonville:
John - please defend the special teams coaching this year.
John: Something tells me you don't really want me to do that.
Andrew from Rosamond:
Drops and blocks. Nothing new.
John: No doubt. The Jaguars continue to make too many of the same mistakes. While there were good things Sunday, that very true and inarguable fact overrides all else. You won't hear anything differently from me or – far more significantly – from the players and coaches. Will it change in the final two weeks? There's nothing to suggest so far that it will. We are 14 games into this and this is pretty much what the team is been this season. This is a young team that needs to mature and that may need to happen in the offseason.
Alan from Maine:
The offensive line is bad, really bad. It gives Blake no chance whatsoever.
John: Yeah, this is obviously going to be a topic this week, so we may as well get started here in O-Zone Late Night. I've been as critical of the offensive line in recent weeks as anybody. And no doubt eight sacks can't happen. But Blake Bortles is far from blameless in the sack situation. Bortles emphasized the need to throw the ball away and avoid sacks throughout his post-game press conference Sunday and he's right. There were times on Sunday when he had time to get rid of the ball – whether that was a throw to a receiver or a throw away. There was one play in particular where he appeared to have Marqise Lee open and ran from phantom pressure. On the one hand, that's understandable because the line has struggled enough that he would expect pressure on every play. On the other hand, knowing when to get rid of the ball – and being better in that situation – is something he just has to do.
Ron from Jacksonville:
You are perfectly willing to give the Ravens' offensive line credit for Justin Forsett's success this year, but you are unwilling to blame or even admit that the Jaguars' offensive line cannot run or pass block! Bortles has been sacked … what … 14-15 times in the last two weeks alone? All you do is make flimsy excuses for an awful team and even worse offensive line! You have a great future as a White House Press Secretary if you decide to go that route.
John: You probably won't like this Ozone much, Ron. That's OK. Not everyone has to like everything.
Thomas from Jacksonville :
If Jerry Smith is such a great receivers coach why can't these guys catch?
John: The Jaguars' wide receivers coach is named Jerry Sullivan. Wide receivers coaches can't always do much about teaching hands, but they can teach guys how to get open and Sullivan's one of the best at teaching route running and separation techniques.
Eric from Long Beach, NY:
John, why is the offensive line so terrible?
John: Eric, believe it or not, I didn't think it was that bad Sunday. They actually run-blocked pretty well and Bortles had time on some of his sacks. I'd say more than half, though I'll have to re-watch it to be sure. It wasn't great, but it wasn't as bad as eight sacks make it sound.
Andy from St. Augustine:
The first three minutes of the game were kind of how our season has gone. One drive, one drop, one blocked punt, one defensive touchdown scored against us. Sigh...
John: You know what? You're right and the rest of the game was sort of how the season has gone, too. The defense played well – maybe one of its better games of the season. The offense just couldn't produce a touchdown and you can't win that way. There were good things that happened Sunday. The Jaguars actually moved the ball pretty well in the first half but when you can't score touchdowns – and you can't move the ball in the second half – winning becomes awfully tough. You also can't win allowing eight sacks and as Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley said, they've got to slow that down. Will that happen this season? In the last two games? We shall see.
James from Orange Park, FL:
I stand by my prognostication to you at 1 p.m. I can't believe we lost. :(
John: This was the first email after the clock hit 0:00. It seems like as good a place to close Late Night as any. You know, the whole full-circle thing,

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