BAGSHOT, England – Some of the people here have the worst fake British accents I've ever heard . . .
Let's get to it . . . Frank from Knoxville, TN:
Condolences to Gus Bradley and his family at the loss of his father. How will this impact his ability to coach the game this week in London? That's a long flight there and back once in a week let alone twice if he has to attend a funeral midweek. Tough situation for Gus.
John: It is indeed a tough situation, and Bradley and the Jaguars chose to handle it this way: He returned to Minnesota for a couple of days and joined the Jaguars on Wednesday. He will stay and coach the game Sunday and return to Jacksonville with the team Monday. Because the team doesn't begin full preparations until Wednesday, the aftereffects of his absence should be as minimal as possible.
Pete from Section 133 and Jacksonville Beach:
Pennyhill Resort looks nice. Have you been able to sneak in there yet?
John: Not yet. I do have a plan.
Ed from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
I don't know anything about play-calling, but calling for a field goal because the coach doesn't have confidence in the red zone when we are 0-6 soon to be 0-7? I don't call that rebuilding. I call that "boring." What is there to lose? Put Blackmon, Shorts, Lewis and Ace down the middle- something, please.
John: I get that fans want to take the "What-Is-There-To-Lose" approach, but within the context of games, coaches are trying to put their teams in the best positions to win. Yes, that's even true of the Jaguars even at 0-6. At the time Gus Bradley opted for the field goal, the Jaguars pulled to within 17-6, which was two scores and also ensured they would remain two scores behind if the Chargers got a field goal. I'm not one to push for high-risk play-calling just because things already have gone wrong. As far as taking risks, many criticized Bradley for the week before when the early fake punt failed in Denver, so the old NFL truism remains true – that if what you call is right, you're a genius and if it's wrong, you're an idiot. It's all about how things turn out.
Tom from Ponte Vedra Beach and Section 106:
You may not get to this but I checked several times to be sure - a 1:00 EST game. Really? We're going to kick off at what, 8 AM local to make a 1:00 broadcast. I'm sorry but that just seems idiotic.
John: The game will begin at 5 p.m. London time.
Kevin from Orlando, FL:
So is London ready for the Jaguars to permanently move in? Because they should not come back for the rest of the humiliation of going 0-16 and because we all know the Jaguars are moving there or LA.
John: I often tell my son the difference between what he knows and what he thinks he knows is sometimes more than his mind can comprehend. He's 17, so I sort of expect it.
Joe from London, England:
I'm all lost in the supermarket...
John:…I can no longer shop happily.
Jeff from Section Section106:
For the record, my criticism of Marcedes came after my celebration of a great catch, smash and run. The theatrics AFTER the play are what bothered me. Show emotion by running over a guy and then run back to the huddle. The "look at me" arm pointing and funk-walk are juvenile for a multimillion dollar tight end. Catch the ball when thrown to you and feel free to spike it if/when you get into the end zone. Do you understand showing energy, drive and passion in the play as opposed to after it now?
John: Wow, now I understand! How awesome this was for me to be wiser than I was yesterday.
Casey from Your Town USA:
John, why are there so many Jaguars fans opposed to drafting Johnny Manziel? Do you think Jameis Winston, Florida St QB, is a better prospect?
John: I think they're both good prospects. Winston perhaps is more prototypical, but there seems to be something special about Manziel. After his freshman year, I was sort of skeptical. Watching him now, I think he throws well enough to overcome the other things that might concern NFL scouts.
Jensen from Huntsville, TX:
I have never met you face to face. But if I did...I would buy you a beer.
John: I look forward to meeting you. Often.
April from Jacksonville:
No one has the guts to admit the obvious. The Jaguars players have quit on the city and fans of Jacksonville. If you want to see some effort from this team in person, you will have to travel and see them on the road, or fly to their 'home' game in London. There is no sugarcoating it anymore.
John: Wow. What a courageous email.
Chris from Mandarin:
A dollar today is worth more than a dollar tomorrow. Simple economics and the same can be said of a quarterback. I honestly believe the team would have shown much more improvement this year with Alex Smith as the quarterback. The new guys have missed the mark on this one. To think otherwise is to invite the bottom-feeder losing season that we see before us...the defense is good enough to keep us in games, by the way.
John: The issue, really, isn't as much about whether a few veterans – Smith, included – would have made the Jaguars a little better this season. It stands to reason they would have. The issue is whether a few veterans would have moved the Jaguars toward the long-term sustainable success that is the goal under Caldwell and Bradley. The Jaguars this offseason determined that wouldn't be the case, and that's why this direction was chosen.
Chad from Section 240:
Since you don't think Alabama would be able to beat the Jags, do you think the Seminoles would have a better chance?
John: No. Each team would have the same chance. Zero.
Jackson from Jacksonville:
Do we seriously think this team and coaching staff is better than last year? At least last year we came close in games with the players we had.
John: The team right now is not as good as it was last year, although don't forget this team was pretty uncompetitive for a significant stretch last season. The current talent level may not be quite as high as last year because of the decision to go with young players and restock the roster over the long haul. I would say the coaching staff is better than last season, though until the team starts winning there are going to be people who criticize everything around here.
Tim from Southside:
You said "pretty much" everyone took one plane... Flying a 1910's German biplane, dressed in a Red Baron Halloween costume, shooting at the wing tips of the Jaguars' jet with a cap gun. #ShadrickSightings
John: How did you know?
John from Nocatee, FL:
Why should I believe things are going in the right direction?
John: If you believe that building through the draft and taking a long-term approach of developing players and building the foundation is the right way, then you believe in the direction. If you believe that losing now means you can never win in the future, then don't believe in the direction.
Adam from Richmond, VA:
"It was a reaction based on enthusiasm and it didn't strike me as premeditated as much as the response of a player excited to be playing and excited to have made an impact. I also know it's funny that I have gotten emails all season about the players not showing energy and when one does, I get just as many criticizing him for doing it." C'mon Man! You know the rules...We are only allowed to show energy during a game when we win it afterwards...see the issue there?
Bucky from Jacksonville:
Seventeen thousand Union Jax fans. Games in London in the next four years. Sounds like the NFL and Khan are attempting to build a fan base there. Is this a message to the Jacksonville community? Buy tickets or else???
John: Well, yes, the NFL and Khan are trying to build a fan base in London. Why else would they play games there every year? But it's not a message to the Jacksonville community. The fans in Jacksonville need to buy tickets and fill the stadium to support the team. Khan has said that from the start. There's no reason to believe that as the team improves and becomes competitive that won't happen. Khan believes in Jacksonville and has done plenty to show it.
Ima from Jacksonville:
The 2013 Jaguars will go down as one of the worst teams in NFL history. When will you start calling a spade a spade?
John: I don't recall writing that this team was good. If what you need to be satisfied is for me to pound my desk, yell at the moon and shout like an idiot that they are the worst team of all time, you're not going to get that here. There are nine games left in the season. Let it play out.
Doug from Jacksonville:
So four of the Jags seven losses are to teams one through four on your all-important Power Rankings. There also is a 15 and 20 in there as well as the 28. We are off to face another top 10 PR opponent. Baptism by fire. I suppose. Next year will seem easy after this one.
John: I can't say it will be easy. The NFL is never easy. But this year's schedule has been strikingly difficult. While 0-7 with the margin of victory can't be defined as anything but bad, you're correct that many teams would be under .500 against the schedule.
Kurt from Jacksonville:
The Jags play better on the road, so hopefully this home game far from home will get us some "home" TD numbers! And for the people that keep writing negative comments about your responses, why the hell do they keep reading the O-Zone? The truth hurts. Keep up the awesomeness. Go Jags!
John: Comments? People write comments in the O-Zone?