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O-Zone Late night: Keeping the faith

FREMONT, Calif. – O-Zone late night.

Again, this ain't as long as our usual O-Zones, and it ain't meant to be. It's just some quick questions and answers in the wake of the game, and boy, won't tonight be fun.

Let's get to it . . .

David from Kingsland, GA:
Third and long . . . over and over. Makes it tough. But it might help if more than five percent of the time we actually threw the ball beyond the first-down marker! Time and time again, on third and eight, we throw the ball three yards! #frustratedjagfan
John: Your frustration is understandable. Too often on Sunday, Jaguars receivers ran routes short of the first-down marker, and even when the passes were completed, there was little chance of a first down. This is still a young team with coaches and players learning each other. It still has young players playing key roles. As basic as what we're talking about might seem, a lot of the mental errors can be attributed to this offense still getting through the developmental stages. I don't think you'll see this as a long-term deal, but yes, the consensus among fans is it is frustrating and it certainly will be a topic this week.
Ryan from Jacksonville:
We should get a sponsorship deal with Butterfingers. The official candy bar of Jaguar receivers.
John: You wrote this early in the first quarter. An understandable sentiment.
Mark from Orange Park, FL:
Do we have an offensive lineman worth a damn? Monroe, average at best. Meester too old, constantly getting beat. Uche is probably our worst lineman. Watching this and just venting.
John: You wrote this shortly after Ryan. Again, an understandable sentiment, though I'd say the offensive line run-blocked better in the second quarter and had better moments pass-blocking than last week.
Matt from Montreal and Quebec, Canada:
The moment MJD went down, these words rang eerily in my ear: "The Jaguars very well may need to use all of their running backs this season." Depth really is the name of the game, isn't it?
John: In the NFL, it absolutely is. The chances of making it through a season at any position uninjured are very slim. That's particularly true at the running back position.
Chris from Mandarin:
I know it's early in the season, but don't think this is presumptuous or an overreaction. The Jaguars are worse than last season.
John: The offense certainly has been. I could go over the multitude of reasons, but people don't want to hear that now. I think over the course of the season this team will improve and have a chance to be better than it is now. First-year coaches with rebuilding rosters are a work in progress. It's evident that this is very much one of those situations right now.
Mark from Palm Coast, FL:
Did you see the announcement where CBS Orlando apologized on air for having to show the Jags game? How can this be our secondary market if they don't like it? Why don't they just give up this county to the Jacksonville affiliate, then they can show Miami games to people who care.
John: I did see this story, and I didn't find what the affiliate did as that unusual or over the top. The other game on CBS was the "Manning Bowl." I imagine the station was getting a lot of calls from people wanting to see that game and putting the crawler on the television was better than having the girl at the switchboard answering the phone all afternoon.
John from San Antonio, Texas:
Gotta love those check downs.
John: I got quite a few of these emails, and as with many of the complaints about the Jaguars Sunday, it had some merit. In defense of Henne on this topic, though, the Jaguars' offense has been struggling and the team has struggled to get anything going. If nothing is open downfield, as a quarterback you want to get something from an early down so you're not staring at third-and-11. You want to be in manageable down-and-distance situations because your chances of success on say, third-and-7, go up dramatically compared to say, third-and-12. Henne did start taking more chances downfield later in the game, but yeah, I get it. The check downs are frustrating.
Chuck from Summerville, SC:
Still think we aren't in the running for the No. 1 overall pick?
John: I'm not sure I ever said the Jaguars wouldn't be in the running for the No. 1 pick. I said I didn't believe they would get it. I'm not saying the first two games wouldn't shake your faith, but for now, I'm sticking to that.

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