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O-Zone: Needs improvement

DETROIT, Michigan – Motor City O-Zone.

Let's get to it … Bruce from Green Cove Springs, FL:
I think it's great that Tony Boselli is being considered for the Hall of Fame. In his (all-too-short) career, he was dominant. But I just can't understand why Fred Taylor isn't even in the conversation: 17th all-time leading rusher. More rushing yards than John Riggins and O.J. Simpson – who, by the way, are both in the Hall of Fame. Will Fred ever get his due?
John: I believe Fred Taylor eventually has a chance to get into the Hall-of-Fame conversation, meaning I believe he eventually can at least receive serious consideration as a semifinalist. He was one of the most dynamic runners of the last 20 or 30 years and he absolutely deserves to be in the discussion. As was the case with Boselli, I anticipate it will take time and some serious study/reconsideration from the voters to give him his due. I'm not big on criticizing the selection process because I've seen first-hand the commitment and dedication many voters have for the process. It's not a perfect system, but it's usually a good one. That being said, Taylor was not among the 96 players nominated this year for the 2017 Pro Football Hall of Fame class. That is categorically absurd.
Jason from North Pole, AK:
After being a fan since '95, I will finally be attending my first Jags game in Jacksonville on December 11. I wish the team was better, but I am super pumped! #DTWD
John: #DTWD
Mike from Atlanta, GA:
The Jaguars' best receiver is who? How much of a talent difference is there between their best receiver and their third-best receiver? Will they be able to keep all three for the long-term?
John: Allen Robinson. Not much. Yes, if they so choose.
Tim from Orange Park, FL:
There is no difference between 2-14, 3-13 or even 7-9 at this point. The team is not performing at the level it should be and the coaches' records show they are not perducing. It's now on the owner to identify if the general manager is also part of the problem. We now will have to suffer until the season ends and the cards are revealed. The biggest challenge for the Jaguars is next year's ticket sales.
John: I can't predict the difficulty of season-ticket sales next year. I do know if the Jaguars can't perduce we got us some real issues.
Jeff from Keystone Heights, FL:
I can't fathom the number of balls thrown by Blake Bortles during his offseason workouts, minicamps, spring training, practices, warmups - in front of his bathroom mirror, quite possibly - and there's still the mechanics concern? There's no way I'm buying that a few more dozen repetitions will train his arm and body to perform differently than the tens of thousands of prior motions. No way. It ain't happenin'.
John: Bortles' mechanics weren't great during the 2015 season, but they were functional. This followed a 2015 offseason of pretty intense focus on the area. Those mechanics were just as functional during the 2016 offseason and much of the 2016 preseason. Will he ever be the textbook definition of an NFL passer? Probably not. Can he reach a point where he can pass effectively enough to be a very productive quarterback? Absolutely.
Dave from Duval:
The curse of Marino … that's it. Yes, I stabbed a regulation NFL football and lit it on fire because the football gods like the sound air leaving a ball and the smell of burnt pigskin. We'll see what happens.
John: Good work. I think you're on the scent.
Keith from Jacksonville and Section 436:
Binge reading the O-Zone to catch up the last few days. On Look-Ahead Wednesday, you answered David from Duval, who criticized Gus for saying we're making a second-half run and you answered what would you have him say. How about the truth? We know the team sucks and it kind of offends our sense of honesty and trust to hear the same garbage coming from his mouth week after week when we know what's going to happen against the next opponent. I'd rather him just admit the team sucks. Players know, fans know it. He needs to preach to the choir.
John: It's fair to criticize Gus Bradley for many things. He certainly is not without responsibility for the Jaguars' struggles, particularly over the last couple of seasons. But to expect him to believe that the Jaguars are incapable of winning is silly and insulting. The results haven't been there, but Bradley's belief and passion never has waned.
Robert from Lexington:
With all due respect, Brandon Linder should have been given your half-season Offensive Most Valuable Player Award. Only 10 pressures allowed in 410 pass blocks is elite.
John: OK.
Donald from Jacksonville:
Unfulfilled expectations is not the theme for the season. It's fundamentally undisciplined football.
John: OK.
Kyle from Duval:
A new head coach is coming next year, regardless of what you may think. That being said, as a new head coach, the talent that may exist on the roster isn't a concern to you. Your job is to recruit new, better talent since the previous talent played a large hand in the last coaches firing. Thus, we are again playing meaningless football.
John: Seven games remain in the season. Whoever may or may not be coaching the team next year is going to care more than a little about how players perform in those games.
Dave from LA:
"When I watch this disintegration of Blake Bortles, it bothers me because I know how the kid played a few years ago. I know the talent he has. He's clearly been underachieving in Jacksonville." - Ron Jaworski, who believes Bortles' talent is being squandered by his coaching staff. Thoughts?
John: I think Jaworski is a really good analyst who seems as befuddled by Bortles' lack of progress as most people. I also think to blame the coaching staff solely for his struggles is a bit dim.
Donnie from Ponte Vedra, FL:
Mighty O, why does the NFL make it so hard to watch games? I apologize for asking you, but for the life of me I can't find an actual contact form on the NFL website. Surely you can pass on a message to the Commissioner? I paid money to stream the NFL Network on my PlayStation; the quality is excellent and I love it. But Thursday's game isn't available, because it's streaming on Twitter. So, now I can choose to watch it on my small computer screen, or use my AppleTV to put it on my TV. Except that makes the game laggy and unenjoyable. It cheapens the product, and annoys consumers when they can't use the service they literally paid the NFL for. I wonder why ratings are down???
John: I'll bring this up in my weekly conference call with Roger … but yeah … streaming NFL games isn't always as user-friendly as would be ideal. Contrary to my image as a crotchety-old-behind-the-times-ink-stained-sad-pathetic-antiquated senior writer, most of my television viewing now is streamed. It's indeed sometimes difficult to locate games on streaming devices, and sometimes I do find myself watching Bea, Betty and the gang on Golden Girls at 8:45 on a Thursday night. Granted, I might watch Bea, Betty and the gang if streaming the NFL was easier, but making it tricky doesn't help.
Donny from Heathrow and Section 132:
You give enough space in this forum for the Gus Bradley haters to rant so how about a different point of view? I feel bad for the coach. The dude takes the head job with a team that undergoes a complete rebuild rarely seen in the NFL. His first season in 2013 his team is significantly deficient talent-wise against every team it played, with a guy named Blaine Gabbert at quarterback – and he still managed to win four games. In 2014, it was a similar situation being under talented with a rookie named Blake Bortles at QB. Last season, with a more talented team, the defense and Bortles were improved leading to five wins. Multiple turnovers in several games by the quarterback cost the Jags another couple of wins. Finally, this season – No. 4 – arrives with fair expectations to win and contend, with a good defense and playmakers on offense and … the quarterback's play drastically regresses! If the Jags just had the 2015 Bortles who was hitting the deep passes they would be 4-5, possibly 5-4. If they had an improved Bortles or an above average quarterback they'd be at least 5-4 – possibly 6-3 – and leading the division. While I understand and accept that the head coach is ultimately held accountable for the team's record, Bortles bad mechanics and poor decision making are not directly Bradley's fault; that's 100 percent on the player, which sucks for Gus who by all accounts is a really good dude. Just saying.
John: Bradley is a good dude, which of course has nothing to do with whether he should be the head coach. There is an awful lot of truth in your email. That doesn't mean Bradley isn't at least somewhat responsible for the 2-7 record, because the head coach has to be responsible for some of the discipline and careless mistakes we've seen. But would the conversation about Bradley and the coaching staff be as loud if the quarterback had played better? No, it would not.
Mike from Atlanta, GA:
When are you going to answer some Bortles questions John? #Avoidance
John: I'll try to do better.

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