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O-Zone: Over-under

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Joel from Boston, MA:
Hey, John: Before Thursday's game I assumed Chad Henne would start Week 1, but not afterwards. Honestly, I thought it was the interception that sealed the deal. The throw was not pretty, but the decision to make it was what Blake Bortles had been lacking all preseason and showed the confidence we'd seen from him in the past. On the other hand, Henne seemed tentative. How did it look to you?
John: A little differently than it did to you. I also before Thursday thought Henne would start at quarterback for the Jaguars Week 1 because he had momentum in the competition – and because he seemed for the most part to be throwing better and making better decisions than Bortles. The offense also in a very small sample size had seemed to get an energy boost when he played. I'm still not sure Henne's not throwing better and making better decisions. But Bortles showed some ability to extend plays against Carolina – as he has done throughout his career. I think when looking at the big picture – and when considering playing teams with a good pass rush – Head Coach Doug Marrone thought about Henne getting sacked three times against Carolina and Bortles avoiding rushes in the same game. Seen in that light, Marrone apparently believed the Jaguars had a better chance to win with Bortles. As for Bortles' interception Thursday, I agree the pass showed some confidence – and I'm not sure it was a horrible decision. But the ball did seem to flutter in the air. I'm not even sure it should have been intercepted, but Bortles' errors always seem to cost big. Somehow, someway.
Chad from Yulee, FL:
I wish the '99 team would never had made that damn video. Karma is a ...
John: It's also not particularly relevant to the Jaguars today, but OK.
Josh from Harrisburg, PA:
I don't know why fans are making such a big deal about it being a two-horse race ... Brad Allen hasn't even earned his way onto the jaguars.com website.
John: Give him time. When you have a talent like Brad Allen available, you have to use it – and you eventually have to mention him on your website. #Playthekid
Mike from Atlanta, GA:
One of the reasons we are starting Blake is because we don't have confidence in pass protection. That is the opposite of confidence-inspiring. It's like I'm watching a disaster unfold in slow motion.
John: It's not a disaster. The Jaguars haven't played a regular-season game. But no, it's not ideal.
Jaginator from (formerly of Section124):
Can we please stop with the myth that TC "addressed the offensive line?" Last year, most people would have ranked Kelvin Beachum as our second-best offensive lineman (behind Brandon Linder). Jermey Parnell, A.J. Cann, and the revolving door at left guard all played poorly. So, he allowed Beachum to walk, drafted a tackle and traded for another. Even if everything had worked out according to plan, the offensive line would still have two poor players on it. And after Albert flaked out, we now have the exact same number of scrubs – three – on the o-line as we did last year. And if Robinson doesn't live up to his second-round billing, our o-line will be even worse than last year.
John: I agree that the offensive-line situation looks … well, tricky … right now. But to say the Jaguars and Tom Coughlin "addressed the offensive line" is not a myth. They looked at the line and saw that Beachum struggled at the end of last season and that his knee still seemed to be an issue. And while "most people" thought Beachum was the second-best lineman, I don't know that they agreed with that. They then traded for a two-time Pro Bowl left tackle in Branden Albert and drafted a player in Cam Robinson who could have played guard for a year or so before moving to tackle. That plan indeed went awry when Albert retired (or whatever he did). Now, it's correct to say that perhaps they did not address the offensive line in a manner that satisfied many people, but it's not correct to say it was not addressed.
Mike from Atlanta, GA:
I have no problem with the team signing Colin Kaepernick. On the field, he has a very strong arm and I don't think he is any worse than what we have. I have no problem with his protest. Protests are meant to take your attention off of one thing and divert it to something that the protester wants your attention on. Protests aren't meant for you to like them; they are meant to draw attention. I suppose he could protest from his couch at home, although I doubt anyone would pay attention to that. He did say that he would stand for the anthem this season. I wouldn't mind seeing him. There's nothing wrong with a little competition.
John: I would have no problem with the Jaguars signing Kaepernick, either. And there's no problem with people wanting the Jaguars to sign Kaepernick. Neither of those statements matter much, though. I get no sense that the team will sign Kaepernick now or in the future.
Ken from Ashton, WV:
Jason Myers has missed a lot of field goals and extra points, so aren't the Jags concerned with his performance? I know I am.
John: Yes, the Jaguars are concerned with Myers' performance. That's why they brought in several kickers a week ago to try out. They like Myers' leg strength and potential, which is why they haven't released him and signed another kicker.
Joe from Pontypridd, Wales, United Kingdom:
John, I can't recall seeing a head coach in Jacksonville who wears his emotions on his face quite as much a Doug Marrone does. It's abundantly clear when he talks whether he's happy, enthusiastic or peeved. I got the impression when he was talking about making Blake the starter that he is currently less than impressed with the way this offense is performing. Fair?
John: I don't think "less-than-impressed" comes close to expressing Marrone's dissatisfaction with the offense so far in the preseason.
Bryant from White Plains, NY:
Last season there were a bunch of expectations made off preseason. We thought we had a team moving in the right direction. Then, things didn't go right. Is it safe to say, especially with a lot of front-line starters returning, we're not as bad as this preseason? Not to say we're gonna be a playoff contender; just trying to keep things in perspective. As always. #Dtwd.
John: I think that's a fair assessment. At the same time, the offensive-line play and the quarterback play needs to stabilize and improve. Big-time. Fast.
Bruce from Gotham:
Whatever happens this season, barring some miracle, the mess this past little while at least answered that Bortles is not the answer at quarterback. That is sad for the Jags and fans. Even if the Jags get a high pick and draft a quarterback, there is no guarantee he will be the guy either ... especially behind this offensive line, which clearly is offensive. Shouldn't the focus be first on fixing the line which would immediately help both the pass and run offense? It would be hard to evaluate any quarterback with the current one.
John: It remains to be seen how both of these areas – offensive line and quarterback – perform this season. If both are subpar – as you project – then fixing both will be a priority.
Jesse from Orlando, FL:
John, how about Ivory and Hurns for Alex Smith?
John: I would be surprised if the Chiefs trade for Alex Smith, widespread speculation and wishes to the contrary.
Chris from Mandarin, FL:
We picked a running back with ankles made of glass and no offensive line for him to run behind. This should go well.
John: The offensive line is a legitimate concern. The ankles-made-of-glass thing? It's cute, though a bit extreme for a player who returned to practice Saturday from a minor issue with his … foot.
Greg from Boise, ID:
Shack, Gene Smith, Dave Caldwell, Jack Del Rio, Mike Mularkey, Gus Bradley, Doug Marrone, three general managers and four coaches, a multitude of new players, same results ... what's the problem?
John: None of that multitude has proven to be a franchise quarterback. Start there.
Strnker from Dothan, AL:
Regardless which current quarterback plays this season, is it a strong possibility that one will be drafted next year?
John: Yes.
Ray from North Augusta, SC:
Hey, John: Looking at some of the photos on the Jags' website and noticed that Bortles looks like he has lost weight. Is it because of the heavy preseason workload, stress of not doing well and possibly losing his job, or tired of all the fan and media criticism? I for one am pulling for him.
John: You're overthinking it, Ray. That's OK. It balances a lot of under-thinking in the world these days. Bortles made a conscious effort this offseason to report lighter. He did.

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