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O-Zone: Perfectly reasonable

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Kevin from Jacksonville:
It hurts to think about Chad Henne being the starter. We've already seen this movie and the ending was not very good. Why not at least give Blake Bortles the third preseason game? Then if you need to pull him, do it.
John: I'm sorry you're hurt. Hurting can be … well, hurtful. And it's understandable that people believe they have seen the Henne movie before. We have seen it, and it's unlikely given Henne's body of work that he's going to suddenly be an elite, franchise-level quarterback if he starts this season. But a case also can be made that Henne and the Jaguars could fare significantly better if he starts this season than they did in his previous stints as the Jaguars' quarterback. When Henne started from 2012-2014, the team was at a low point in terms of talent. I don't know that this Jaguars' roster is the "playoff-level" roster so many fans believe, but I do believe there is enough on defense and some key offensive positions that the team can play defense, run, play smart on offense and push for .500. That's not ideal, but that's the hope. As for why you don't "give" Bortles the third preseason game, you need to see Henne for some extended work at the beginning of a game. His body of work this preseason is comparatively small, and you would like to see at least a little more before naming him the starter.
Josh from Pensacola, FL:
If Alex Smith ends up not starting in Kansas City, he would be the ideal answer for the Jags at quarterback. I know it's very unlikely, but what do you think the Jags would have to give up to get him if they did make a move for him?
John: I like Smith as an option, too – and I imagine Smith would cost at least a second- or third-round draft selection if this scenario plays out. The problem is he's not really an option. The Chiefs are a contending team with hopes of reaching the Super Bowl. To move away from Smith, even to a rookie as promising as Patrick Mahomes, would be very out of character. Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid said this week Smith is their quarterback and he didn't sound iffy. I'd be surprised if he sounds iffier any time soon.
Donald from Orange Park, FL:
So, before this quarterback issue started last week, you said you could see the Jags winning 7-9 games this season ... obviously, that was with Bortles starting ... do you a different win total prediction if Bortles isn't starting?
John: No. That's still about right.
David from Broward County, FL:
O-Man, did any reporter covering the Jags ask Doug Marrone about the kicker position? I realize quarterback is far and away the No. 1 issue, but kicker is very important and they brought in two free agents for tryouts. Myers is seriously struggling. They must bring in competition, right? If they fail again to provide real competition for key play making positions, I have some doubts about this front office/head-coach decision making. Talk me off the fan "ledge."
John: Marrone has been asked pretty much every day this week about the kicker position; it has, in fact, been the second-most discussed topic around the Jaguars this week. The Jaguars addressed this issue by trying out several kickers this week, including former Bills kicker Dan Carpenter. If Myers struggles again Thursday, the Jaguars have options they can put into play quickly. Bear this in mind: the Jaguars have reasons for wanting Myers to succeed. He is one of the best kickers in the NFL in terms of touchbacks on kickoffs; his leg strength is very, very impressive. He also has hit some big field goals for this team in recent seasons. That's not saying the team won't make a move if his struggles continue, but there are reasons the team hasn't moved on from him yet.
Sam from Orlando, FL:
Alex Smith for a third-rounder, Chris Ivory and maybe one of the many receivers we have? Yay or nay? You'll say nay.
John: I'd say yay if I thought the Chiefs wanted to trade Alex Smith. Or if I thought the Chiefs would take that trade. I haven't yet heard the first is true, so I hesitate to discuss the second too much.
Cliff from Callahan, FL:
Despite Jeremy's certitude, I'm pretty sure you can't be "outcoached" in a preseason game ...
John: But of course you can. Coaching always is the overriding issue in the NFL, preseason or not.
Bill from Folkston, GA:
Hey John, you might have mentioned this already, but when are the first cuts?
John: There is one cut-down date in the NFL this season. It's after the fourth preseason game, when teams trim rosters from 90 to 53.
Charlie from Jacksonville:
I have a pretty good idea what will happen if the Jaguars stink it up again Thursday evening. But what if both Blake Bortles and the Jaguars look like playoff contenders?
John: I think if Bortles looks very, very good against the Panthers it will be hard for him not to start Week 1 – and think it would still be a very hard decision. I also think Marrone would like for Bortles to make it a very hard decision.
Mike from Section 238:
Johnny O - are you delusional? How could you think the season hasn't started yet? All the fans seem to say the season is over. That many people can't be wrong, can they?
John: No, the fans are always right.
Charles from Midlothian, VA:
Why so little faith in Brandon Allen? You don't think if they cut Bortles, they keep Allen as the backup? I would think if they cut Bortles it's because they trust Allen as the backup and that he is progressing well. Not because they plan to get Kap or any other fourth-string quarterback sitting at home watching NFL Network.
John: I think the Jaguars will keep Bortles and Henne on the roster because the Jaguars' actions so far this preseason have shown they believe those two players are clearly the best quarterbacks on the roster. If they thought otherwise, Allen already would have taken first-team repetitions.
Ed from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
How many other teams in the NFL have a quarterback problem or uncertainty at this point in time like we do?
John: At the moment, the Jaguars are pretty unique in this area.
Ryan from Dallas, TX:
O-Zone the great and wonderful, let's play general manager for just a second. IF you were general manager of the Jags, what reasons would you have to NOT bring Kap in for a look?
John: I'll start by saying because I'm not a general manager I haven't dug as deep into the film study and knowledge of what the 49ers did offensively compared to what the Jaguars do offensively to know how exact the fit would be for Kaepernick and this scheme. On the surface, I would like the fit – and I would like what Kaepernick's mobility would bring. My reasons for not bringing him in would be that I like pocket passers who can win games from there, and I don't love Kaepernick in that vein. If I were a general manager, I personally wouldn't have a problem with the Kaepernick's politics of off-field actions; I tend to care very little about a player's off-field actions when considering his ability or right to play in the NFL. What would concern me as a general manager would be the potential distraction that Kaepernick could create. If he good enough to start and make you better? And if you aren't sure if that's the case, is it worth creating the distraction? That's the ultimate question.
Jeremy from Dodge City, KS:
Good old fans over reacting ... IT'S PRESEASON!!!
John: I'm the first to tell you that fans gonna fan, but fans have a legitimate reason to fan this preseason: The reaction to what has gone on thus far is understandable. The Jaguars after two preseason games have opened the quarterback position to two players who have quarterbacked a lot of losses around here. Why in the world would fans like that? The Jaguars also struggled to run early in a preseason loss to Tampa Bay Thursday. That wouldn't be alarming except that this is a team that has said over and over again in the offseason that it wants to build its offense around running. Now, just because the team struggled to run Thursday – and just because there's uncertainty at the quarterback position – doesn't mean disaster looms. Perhaps one of the quarterbacks will take enough control of the offense to get functional play from the position – and I still believe this team will run better than last season. I also believe the defense during the regular season will play far better than it did early Thursday. But those things haven't happened yet; based on what has happened, you can't blame fans for fanning. I would be shocked if they hadn't.

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