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O-Zone: Many thanks

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Greg from Section 122 and Jacksonville:
O-Man, given what we have seen so far in our two preseason games, what do you think the most important goals are for these last two? Determine what direction to go at quarterback? Get the defense synchronized and looking like what we were told they are? Figuring out what to do at kicker? Seems like this team has a lot to figure out and not a lot of time to do it in. It's sad, but I have a gut feeling if Blake Bortles doesn't show something in this game, his tenure as a Jaguar would be over.
John: The most important three issues in the final two preseason games are finding the starting quarterback, finding the starting quarterback and finding the starting quarterback. After that, finding the starting quarterback has to carry at least some importance. The biggest task after that? Making sure the offensive line is better than it looked Thursday against Tampa Bay. I'm not worried yet about the Jaguars' defense; I'll think the performance Thursday had something to do with dead legs until I see a few more listless performances to prove me wrong. As far as Bortles, I agree he needs to show something against the Panthers to have a chance to start in Week 1. But I'm not getting the feeling he will be released if he's not the Week 1 starter. I'm in the minority on that, but that's OK. I've been there before.
Chad from Sinking Spring, MD:
John, what – if anything – can Shad Khan, Tom Coughlin or Doug Marrone say to the new fans and the ones like myself that have been through it all the last 20-plus seasons that continue to watch the same old, same old to stick with it and continue the support?
John: They can say, "Thank you." Beyond that, there is nothing to "say." The only thing to do is perform on the field and win. I don't know if that will happen this season, but that's what has to happen. A Coughlin phrase I seem to remember from covering the team in the 1990s is "Deeds, not words." That applies here.
Scotty from Points North:
How can I take Tom Coughlin and Doug Marrone seriously when the program is in such disarray? They love to give terse answers to reporters' questions. In the name of all that is football, how could you not bring in serious competition for the quarterback spot for this team? I just can't take them seriously. Tell them to take their gruff football answers and try them somewhere else. Every fan of the Jaguars knew this was going to be a problem and have said so for a couple of seasons now. Get your head out of the Florida sun; someone's not thinking straight. Think the owner and the staff owe the fans an apology for this junk. Yes, it is time to start talking about the draft.
John: The Jaguars' 2017 season begins September 10. Games that count begin then. Until then, the Jaguars are 0-0.
Jeremy from Newport, RI:
After watching the game against the Bucs again, we were out-coached and out-hustled on so many plays. Add in that we don't have a clear leader at quarterback and this is going to make for yet another frustrating season, isn't it?
John: The Jaguars' 2017 season begins September 10. Games that count begin then. Until then, the Jaguars are 0-0.
Edward from Los Angeles, CA:
Based on what you've observed, do you feel that Chad Henne gives the Jaguars the best shot at fielding a competitive team this year?
John: Henne has been the best quarterback on the roster during training camp and preseason. I won't say he has been overwhelmingly the best, but he has been the best.
C.C. from Duval:
What's the chances that we trade for AJ McCarron? You think we should?
John: Answer to your first question: slim. Answer to the second: it depends on what the Bengals want.
Otto from Ponte Vedra, FL:
John, I understand it usually would be tough for a good safety becoming a good cornerback. Is the reverse true?
John: It's generally not as difficult for a good cornerback to move inside. Ronnie Lott did it, as did Rod Woodson and Deion Sanders. Then again, those players were great corners, so it's really not fair to say it would be easy.
Tim from visiting Philly, home of the Iggles:
Don't you think the powers that be looked at this year's quarterback class as well as last year's and are waiting for the stronger crop of quarterbacks? We've forced three first-round quarterback picks that haven't panned out. Why make it four?
John: I definitely believe the Jaguars believed no quarterback available to them in this year's quarterback class was worth taking. I assume they – like most other football observers – believe next spring's is a stronger quarterback class.
Scott from Daytona Beach, FL:
Last year at this time everyone was talking about the Jags going 9-7 or better. This year everyone's saying we'll be lucky to go 3-13. So, maybe – just maybe – we go 9-7.
John: I think the Jaguars this season will be closer to 9-7 than 3-13. I think this because I think they're better than many fans believe right now. I don't believe they're a playoff team and I have been consistent with that through the offseason. We'll see.
Steve from Jagsonville:
O, could the struggles that Bortles seems to be having be just in his head – and could that have come from the media (social media included)? Over the past couple of weeks, I've seen stories in some national media outlets that have already labeled him as a "bust." I find it hard to believe that a young player like him never sees that with the way everyone is "connected" these days. I guess my question is, could his problem be mental rather than physical? As a followup question, if it is mental, how do the coaches fix something like that?
John: I do believe some of Bortles' issues are mental, and he does seem to have lost some confidence. That's not surprising; it would be more surprising at this point if he didn't doubt himself at least somewhat. Bortles said he doesn't read or listen to the media, and he doesn't get on social media much. I believe that to be true, because I imagine he has wisely done what he can to shut out the outside noise. Still, it's hard not to hear the noise when the noise is this deafening. How do you fix it? That I don't know. I do know if you're going to play quarterback in the NFL these days outside noise is going to be there and you must be able to handle it. It's part of the NFL landscape these days. It's not going to go away unless your play dictates it. And even then it's probably not going all the way away.
John from Jacksonville:
Back in 2014, in the third game of the regular season against the Colts, the crowd cheered when Henne was pulled after lackluster performances thus far and the coach put Bortles in the game. I can't say that the thought of in 2017, three years later, our coach contemplating pulling Bortles in favor of Henne occurred to anyone. I think I'm in a time warp.
John: 'Tis quite the story.
Joe from Hall of Fame City, OH:
Hey John, is it me or am I the only one who thinks the "open quarterback competition" might just be what the doctor ordered when it comes to Bortles? We have all seen it where the starter is pushed by the same competition fans call for. I say BB5's brain will click with his behind and he shows us all he is the franchise quarterback we all hoped he would be.
John: 'Twould be quite the story.
Ryan from Durham, NC:
If Chad Henne beats out Blake and Blake is subsequently cut, do you think we then see a quarterback picked up (i.e Colin Kaepernick) or a trade happening?
John: I do not believe the Jaguars will release Bortles if Henne wins the job. But things have had a tendency to change fast in this story, so IF that does change and Bortles is released then I do think you would see a quarterback added from outside the team. I don't think it would be Kaepernick for the very simple reason that I think if that was a possibility it already would have been done. But we'll see.
John from Jax:
So, about a month ago, I bought your tab here at a local establishment thinking it would bring our team good fortune. I fear I've done a disservice to this community. I've doomed us all. In all seriousness, great to meet you, class act. But not money well spent.
John: That wasn't me, but a very handsome, distinguished man who's irresistible to the ladies owes you a big thank you.

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