JACKSONVILLE – Game Day Ozone.
Let's get to it . . .
Bill from Jacksonville:
The frustration of the fans isn't just the prolonged rebuilding; it's what fans have been told that was not true, nor close to it. For three-to-four years under General Manager Gene Smith, Jags media (you, Brian, Cole, Jeff etc.) told fans the Jags were on the right path with Gene Smith. That was, of course, wrong. But now, this time, Jags media is sure the team is on the right path. Why are you so sure this time?
John: Bill, I understand the frustration. No one likes to lose and the Jaguars have lost more than they have won for too long. As far as what fans were "told," one of the things that has intrigued me since starting the O-Zone two and a half years ago is fans who get angry that what they are "told" doesn't by definition result in victories on the field. There are no guarantees in professional sports, Bill. Every team is competing, and every team has resources. "Jags media" weren't the only people who thought the Jaguars were drafting well early in the Gene Smith era. I heard the same thing from people around the NFL before I arrived here, which was early in 2011. That plan didn't work out for many reasons. Some draft selections didn't work out. Injuries didn't help. Etc. The plan the Jaguars are taking now looks like the right one. Many around the league believe Gus Bradley and David Caldwell are the right people for the job. They will work their plan, and if the players work out, they will have a chance to be successful. That's the way to do it – really, the only way – to give yourself a chance. But if you're asking if anyone knows absolutely for sure beyond any doubt the Jaguars will win a Super Bowl in the next five years – or that any team will, or that any particularly draft pick will work out – then, no, Bill, I can't do that. No one can. This isn't the movies. No one can prewrite the script. This answer probably frustrates many people. You know what? I can't control that, either.
Genesis from Jacksonville:
John, this Tebow thing is getting out of control. I just read a story about someone planning on flying a banner over EverBank Field in a desperate attempt to persuade David Caldwell to sign him. If I'm Tebow, I would be embarrassed. Let me just say that I am actually torn on the subject. . . .
John: Sorry to cut you off, Genesis. Your email made some good points, but I included so that this Tebow subject could be addressed. There are people who want the Jaguars to sign Tebow. There are people who evidently have the money to pay for a banner. That's terrific for them, and it's terrific for them that these people are passionate about the subject of Tebow. None of it changes the fact that the Jaguars aren't signing him. Whatever the number of signs and banners isn't going to change that.
Jim from Meridian, ID:
John, I get the feeling you don't like me anymore. That's OK; I still like you. I mean, I no longer think you're cool, but I like you. Let's all raise our glasses and toast to the Jags future.
John: May I ask who's speaking, please?
Ryan from the depth of despair:
I noticed Colin Kaepernick on Thursday seemed to purposefully not run when he had the opportunity for big gains. Do you think we are already starting to see the read option go the way of the wildcat?
John: I wouldn't say that. I will say I remain skeptical that the read-option or any offense that features the quarterback running anywhere close to the amount that he throws is a long-term, primary offense in the NFL. The risk of injury and wear-and-tear is too high.
Matt from Walnut, CA:
You were around Peyton Manning long enough to know how much he valued preseason because of the timing he needed to develop with the receivers. In fact, when he missed all of preseason in 2008, he started off terrible until about the fifth game. Then I think about Gabbert. In the offseason he gets his guard bull rushed into his ankle, sprains his thumb in the preseason, and then gashes his hand Game 1. All of which makes him lose reps. I don't even know if he's had enough time with Shorts let alone Lewis and two guys brought up from the practice squad. Am I over analyzing things here?
John: Preseason certainly helps timing, and that's certainly true with a young quarterback and young receivers in a new offense. Manning's issue in 2008 was as much allowing time to become 100 percent physically as it was, timing, but that doesn't change your point. Timing for Manning then mattered. For Gabbert in his situation, it absolutely does.
Adrian from Englewood, CA:
Is it just me, or is the defense biting a lot this season on play action fake plays?
John: It's not you. I think you've been playing the play-action fakes just fine.
Steve from Jacksonville:
When a punt is touched by the receiving team, even accidently, it becomes a 'live' ball. Why is a partially blocked punt not considered 'live'?
John: The short answer is that the rules say it's not. The concept behind is that a blocked punt is a positive play for the team blocking it. To penalize a team for that would go against the spirit of what's right.
Kevin from Richland, LA:
My boss came to me the other day and asked me what I would like my title to be. I told him that I would like to be a Shadrick. Unfortunately, I couldn't really pinpoint what a Shadrick does. Can you help me out?
John: Give me a minute.
Bryan from Jacksonville:
John, Was Golden Tate fined for his hit on Lowery? Looked liked a Hines Ward cheap-shot special to me.
John: He was fined $21,000.
Jarrett from Cosby, ND:
To say it wouldn't be "absurd" if Taylor made the Hall of Fame seems like a bit of an understatement. To me, it seems like this would be, dare I say, fair. Or am I just being a Fred homer?
John: You're not. He should be. I've said before it could be a long process because he has to overcome a lot of perception and a low profile. But is he deserving? Yes.
Lawrence from Vacherie, LA:
John, I have an important question. Where do babies come from??
John: Hold on.
Tucker from Nashville, TN:
I have problem with people wanting Gus Bradley fired. Gus turned around the Seahawks defense in three seasons. Fans must also be confused about Gus Bradley's attitude towards the team. Why go around yelling at players when he knows this team doesn't have the talent to make it in the playoffs. Give it time.
John: I don't have a problem with what fans want. That can't be controlled. My advice: don't worry about it. Bradley's not getting fired during this season or after it. It's a non-issue.
Ryan from Boone, NC:
This was a real email.
John: Yes, it was.
Robert from Jacksonville:
A famous study called The Dunning-Kruger Effect concluded that stupid (or incompetent) people tend to have a highly-inflated and unrealistic opinion of themselves and their abilities, while smart (or competent) people are more likely to suffer from low confidence and self-esteem issues, because they assume everyone around them is as smart as they are (when that isn't true). I have thus concluded that, even though you often come across as a self-loathing and rudderless ship, you're actually a genius unable to realize just how smart you are. Now, in regard to your readers who want to fire the GM and bring in Tebow, well, I suggest they refer to the beginning of this submission. Just sayin'
John: I'm exactly stupid enough to know that you're a genius.
John from Jacksonville:
Your answer to my question about determining the "W" or "L" for a QB was because of the Colts game last season that Gabbert started but we lost. I've recently seen reference that Gabbert is 3-0 against the Colts but this contradicts that based on your answer (or maybe I misunderstood).
John: You understood OK. That was my mistake this week. Gabbert is 3-1 against Indianapolis.
Ted from Dames Point:
This was a real email.
John: Actually, I made this one up.
Jonathan from Fort Irwin, CA:
I don't think our head coach continues to preach competition just to have something to say during press conferences. I get why Gus keeps preaching that the players must obtain a high energy and competitive mentality. It is not just for the individual players benefit, it is for the whole franchise. A team has to have a personality that the future players will adopt as their own. Once Dave Caldwell gets us some more good players then we have a team full of really good competitive high energy guys who want to win. Does that sound about right?
John: It's certainly in the right ballpark. This is the route the Jaguars have chosen. Bradley is going to preach competition, and the Jaguars are going to bring in a lot of players to compete in that environment this season. Next offseason, they will draft more players and they likely will sign more high-profile, long-contract free agents than they did this season. This is just the beginning. It is not the end game.
Noel from St. Augustine:
Seen diving off a tugboat and swimming hastily ashore after hearing a booming crash and loud metallic scraping noises. #shadricksightings
John: I'm not saying I know anything and I'm not saying I don't know anything.