JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it . . .
Chris from Jacksonville:
As I hopped on NFL.com looking for a headline regarding the game Saturday, I noticed Michael Vick was getting praised that he's ready to fly high. As I rose from my slumber and cut on ESPN and NFL Network to get the replays, lo and behold again: "Vick-was-awesome" replays. Vick was not in control of the game. The young Jaguars were in control. So why is the media lying and singing Vick's praises? Why so hard up for the Jags? Love you, buddy.
John: I don't know that the media was lying, per se, but no matter: This of course is a familiar variation on the no-respect-from-national-media theme. I understand it's annoying, but it's also unimportant. It's preseason, and NFL Network, ESPN and NFL.com correctly figure the best thing to do in August is write about and feature stars. Their job is not to be fair, but to bring eyeballs to content, and Vick probably did that better than anyone else in the game. I've said this before, and I'll continue to say it: don't worry so much about the national media's coverage of the Jaguars. It's pretty meaningless, and doesn't help or hurt the team either way.
Herbert from MidState Office Supply Accountz Receevable:
What would be the Jags' rationale for not starting Henne in Game 4 of the preseason? Is that just insurance in case Gabbert isn't ready to go?
John: Pretty much, yes.
Mike from Neptune Beach, FL:
I saw a video clip of a kickoff in the Denver game last night that struck the upright or cross bar. The referees blew the play dead and awarded a touchback. Is this a new rule? It seems I remember balls bouncing back off the goalposts into the field of play were considered live.
John: No, the goalposts are out of bounds, so the ball is dead. The only exception is if a field goal or extra point hits the crossbar and bounces through. To my knowledge, this has been the rule since the goalposts were moved out of the end zone in the mid-1970s. Before that, a pass hitting the goalpost was incomplete. That rule was put in place in 1946, after Redskins quarterback Sammy Baugh hit the goalpost with a pass in the 1945 NFL Championship Game. That pass was ruled a safety that gave the Cleveland Rams the deciding two points in a 15-14 Cleveland victory. Redskins Owner George Preston Marshall subsequently helped get the rule changed.
Patrick from Jacksonville:
Two points: I believe the Jags will have a formidable run game – one running back or another. Kyle Love, wow.
John: The line does seem to be run-blocking well through three preseason games. That's a positive sign, because cohesive run-blocking as a group often takes some time to develop. And yes, Kyle Love made an impact Saturday. He seems likely to be part of the tackle rotation.
William from Section 119 and Jacksonville:
Branch gets all the negative press, but Tyson Alualu gets none. How come? Tyson is useless.
John: Branch gets negative press because he's a pass rusher who has had trouble getting pressure this preseason. Alualu gets plenty of negative press and negative comments from fans because he has not played to the level of a No. 10 overall selection. But the Jaguars didn't put him at defensive end with the idea he would be a pass rusher, so he isn't going to get criticized for not pressuring the quarterback. At least not by knowledgeable people, anyway.
Will from Section 8:
I might be wrong if I said I don't know that I'm not sure if I wouldn't disagree with you, not unexpectedly.
Mike from Jagsonville:
How's Babin and the Leo position doing? I see a lot of motion, but not much production. I haven't gotten how the Leo works yet.
John: The Leo is a defensive end whose job it is to rush the passer, sometimes from a three-point stance and sometimes standing up. Jason Babin hasn't gotten a sack yet this preseason, but he has gotten some pressure. Give that time. Sacks from that spot are more likely to come when teams are in more obvious passing situations on a more extended basis in the regular season.
Bo from Dresden, NC:
How did McCray look? Do you think he makes the roster? What is your opinion on the running back position? Do we have room for Todman?
John: McCray has looked fine. He's a rookie who likely will play extensively on special teams. The running back position looks deep, and I think room will be made for Todman, yes.
Damien from Appleton, WI:
Is it just me or is Reisner becoming a part to the offense? He draws no attention, which is nice.
John: Allen Reisner is indeed becoming a big part of the offense. The Jaguars have been looking for a tight end to complement Marcedes Lewis in the passing game for some time. He appears to be on his way to being that guy.
Mark from Jacksonville:
I get that there are no absolutes when evaluating the roster. But in general, when do you give up on draft picks having the "light" go on for them?
John: You're exactly right there are no absolutes in that area. And what you talk about is one of the biggest push and pulls for a general manager. When you have drafted a player – and when you have had a high grade on him and really liked him coming out of college – there remains part of you that just believes the talent is there and it will show itself. It's easy to believe that a general manager is being stubborn or self-serving in keeping those players, but often it's just a belief that talent is there, which is often the same belief that caused the general manager to like that player in the first place.
Sean from Jacksonville:
If there was a quarterback competition, then the coaching staff just showed that they have no eye for talent. One fluke game and Gabbert is the starter? Somebody is easily impressed. Henne is the better quarterback, but obviously there are coaches on the team who are enamored with Gabbert's "abilities." Gabbert has been labeled a coach killer for a reason and it looks like Bradley will be the third to go down.
Joy from Section 103:
I am delighted. Our ones beat their ones and looked good doing it. I can hardly wait for the opener.
John: Joy, you know what? You should be delighted. And you should be optimistic. The Jaguars aren't close to done in their building process, but they have shown some good things in the last two preseason games. People who are thinking this team is going to be a dominant, finished product this season are likely to be disappointed and angry. People looking for progress, signs of growth and a foundation for the future could have a pretty good season.
J. Hooks from Orange Park, FL:
Wow, that was one hell of a game. There was no doubt both teams wanted it. It really had the feeling of a regular-season gig. Did you notice how we responded to adversity, or a big play? Definite improvement!
Richard from Doctors Inlet:
The thing that impressed me most about Saturday's game was the reduction of the number of penalties during the game. Was that due to good coaching or the starters playing more?
John: Let's credit it to coaching. It's the nature of the profession that those guys will get criticized at some point this season, so we'll give them this one.
Harry from Jonesboro, AR:
Any information on what Justin Blackmon's four weeks off will be like? Where will he be hanging out, and what will he be doing to stay in playing shape?
John: He can be at the facility, but can't practice or play. Blackmon appears in very good shape, better than he was last season, and he'll condition to maintain that shape.
John from Jacksonville:
Mr O: If only there were some sort of forum where people could write in and express their thoughts. And did you mean maybe have a writer for the team that would answer questions and anyone could write in and read it? No, no, no. John it would never work in Jacksonville. Moodachay!
John: My bad.
Ross from Jacksonville:
Jedd Fisch has some serious mental issues when it comes to calling plays. After the left guard gets injured last night and the backup came in, anyone with half a brain could see that Henne had no time in the pocket, but Fisch kept calling pass plays instead of switching to the run. The offensive coordinator seems to have no idea how to run an offense in the NFL, along with an inability to have an eye for talent. What exactly did Fisch do at Miami for anyone to think this kid is a half way decent offensive coordinator?
John: I actually started laughing when I read this. That doesn't happen often. Thanks, Ross.
O-Zone: Oh, it is to laugh . . .
JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it . . .
Chris from Jacksonville: