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O-Zone: Life is tough

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it . . . William from Jacksonville:
Overall, I definitely saw a better football team out there Friday. But Blaine (Gabbert) needs to be cut. The curse of Genius Gene: good quarterbacks there for the taking the last three years and GG sticks us with Gabbert.
John: You did see a better football team against Miami. There were some good signs Friday, particularly from the offensive and defensive lines, and the Jaguars certainly looked faster. There were a lot of positives, and if you see positives on the line, that's critical for a young team. As far as your Gabbert criticism, you're not alone. Just remember that the starting wide receivers weren't in the game, so there's certainly a chance that the passing game improves. As far as cutting Gabbert, I don't think that happens. I still see him starting the regular-season opener, which sets us up nicely for . . .
Bo from Dresden, NC:
The most important question from Friday has got to be.... How did the uniforms look? It's preseason people!
John: The new uniforms were cool. I liked them.
Keith from Palatka, FL:
Watching the quarterback duel between Gabbert and Henne is like watching two junior high girls slap fighting – it's not a fun or pretty sight. Sadly, this coaching staff is as delusional as the previous in believing they can "coach up" either Gabbert or Henne. Why didn't we make a serious attempt to acquire Kirk Cousins, so at least an otherwise developing roster could avoid utter humiliation? MJD would have made quite a bargaining chip. Don't tell me it could not have been done. "Where there's a will there's a way." Coughlin got the Packers' backup Mark Brunell-I'm just sayin'.
John: Deep breaths, Keith, deep breaths. I'll stand by what I wrote all offseason that I don't believe the Jaguars will pick first overall next April, and I don't think they'll select second, either. After a performance such as Friday's, it's easy for fans to think otherwise, but I don't believe the Jaguars will be totally dysfunctional and lose a series of winnable games – which is pretty much what usually has to happen to have the league's worst record. As far as acquiring Cousins, the Redskins weren't trading him, not for anything the Jaguars were going to be willing to offer.
Ryan from Melbourne, FL:
Do you think Chris Prosinski will make the team? I hope not.
John: I think he will, and while we're on the topic, this sort of opinion always has fascinated me. You say you don't want Prosinski to make the team, but if he does, he clearly has won a job over someone who you theoretically want to make the team over him. That means the coaches believe him worthy of a roster spot. Prosinski is running with the first team with Jonathan Cyprien out, which means right now the coaches think he's one of the four best safeties on the roster. Prosinski is fine as a backup and my guess is he makes the team.
Ben from Los Angeles:
How is Gabbert supposed to show improvement when in Game One, he is in the SAME EXACT situation as last year- no receivers, no running back, and new system!? This is getting really disappointing. They're setting him up for failure every single time they put him out there like that with NO WEAPONS.
John: Cecil Shorts III and Justin Blackmon were hurt, Maurice Jones-Drew was held out as a precautionary measure after rehabilitating from surgery. I'm not sure how the Jaguars were supposed to prevent that. Gabbert will get his chance with those players. So will Chad Henne.
Gavin from Jacksonville:
I must admit I was pretty disappointed with the play of the interior offensive line. I know we need Meester, but was that really all it was? Is there a chance we will address backup center after cut downs?
John: The Jaguars need Meester. That's why he's starting and it's why they re-signed him. Mike Brewster has a chance to be the backup but he has to earn it and I don't know that he has yet. The Jaguars will constantly look at the waiver wire, and interior line is an area where that could happen. But overall, the Jaguars' line played pretty well. They allowed one sack and ran effectively. It was a good start.
Al from Orange Park, FL:
Robinson is very fast, but by NFL standards not very big. How does it make any sense to run him up the middle?
John: If Robinson is going to play running back or Wildcat quarterback in the NFL, he has to run up the middle sometimes. I don't think you'll see a steady diet of power runs up the middle from him, but he will need to test the middle of the field on occasion.
Rick from Jacksonville:
Chad Henne showed once again why he should be the starting quarterback of this team as he did more with less. Your excuses for Gabbert are ridiculous and make me seriously question your journalistic credibility. Gabbert is not ready to play in the NFL and he showed this once again. I don't know why you enjoy loosing so much, but if this coach doesn't want to be one and done, he'll start Henne.
John: Actually, I hate to loose. But win or loose, I assure you I'll be as objective and credible as I can. If I don't, it's really a loose-loose situation for all involved. Now, I am sort of a looser, but that has nothing to do with this conversation.
Jonathan from Orange Park, FL:
Here we go with the same issues Johnny O! Gabbert to me did not show anything at all. The only thing that's consistent with Gabbert is being inconsistent and it showed Friday. Henne on the other hand looks comfortable running the no huddle offense. He's not great, but he looks good commanding the field and moving the ball. Give us your insight Johnny O!
John: I can't disagree with that. There are times when Henne looks very much in command and looks more the part of a starting quarterback than Gabbert. I credit this to a few more years of experience. There are times when the offense gets into rhythm as it did on Henne's first series Friday. There are other times it doesn't look good at all. Friday's game was a start, and I thought Henne played a little better. If that happens twice more in the preseason, then maybe Henne gets the start in the regular season opener. I'm not betting on that yet.
John from Jacksonville:
I know it's only preseason and I'm prepared for sloppy play (and don't care at all about the scoreboard). My main observation after a first glance is the quarterback competition resulted in a lose/lose situation. It's not that either quarterback looked better and is ahead of the other but rather they both looked average –to-bad. I'll reserve judgment for a month or so but so far, not so good.
John: I didn't think either was great, either, but it's really, really hard sometimes to judge quarterbacks solely on a few series in a preseason games. That's how these guys will be judged, because that's what we have to use to draw conclusions, but preseason can create sloppy situations. I covered the Colts 10 years and Peyton Manning was the Most Valuable Player 40 percent of the time. He could have been MVP another couple of years other than that. There were preseason games during that span in which the two or three series he played produced nothing and could rightly be called worrisome. Henne and Gabbert aren't Manning, so they haven't earned his benefit of the doubt, but the point remains that one preseason performance doesn't always predict future performance.
Ryan from Enid, OK:
Sure, one game into the preseason is early to prognosticate, but if you gave me five wins, I'd take my chances with the under. What happens when these Jaguars play a good team? Yikes.
John: The Jaguars won two games last season and have significantly overhauled the roster. That overhauled roster played Friday without four offensive starters, and with a rookie right tackle. They committed four turnovers, three of which came from players with no remote guarantees of being on the roster, and those turnovers led to 17 points for Miami. I'm not saying the Jaguars will push for the Super Bowl this season. The building process for this team likely will take a while. But I didn't see a whole lot Friday that shocked me, and I still believe you're going to see an improved team this season and one that gives hope for the future. And I would take the over.
Brian from San Diego, CA:
O Man, I loved the helmets until seeing them on the field as a team on television. I now hate them. It looks random and mismatched like the Pro Bowl uniforms. Furthermore I am now disgusted with myself for caring about uniforms.
John: It sounds as if you're going through a lot right now. Life is tough. There are a lot of obstacles.

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