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O-Zone: "Pride"

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Dave from Jacksonville:
So, "O," did you envision the Jags ranked ahead of the Eagles, Saints, 49ers, Giants, Texans and Bears after Week Two in your all-knowing, dead-on accurate Power Poll after Week One? Who could have predicted that? A case could be made for the Jags ahead of the Dolphins and Colts. Sounds good even if for just a week.
John: Ah, rankings – love 'em, hate 'em, ignore 'em, overanalyze 'em. Nah, I wouldn't have predicted ranking the Jaguars ahead of those teams after Week 2 considering what happened in Week 1. Then again, I don't really spend much time predicting rankings. Actually, that's a little misleading: I probably spend as much time predicting rankings as I do putting together the rankings. And yes … a case certainly could be made for ranking the Jaguars ahead of the Colts and Dolphins after Week 2. I considered that, but I figure it's a long season: Let 'em win their way up. Gotta earn it.
Guy from San Antonio, TX:
O, I know the Jaguars never get any respect, but I was checking out ESPN's "Power Rankings" and they have us FALL after a win?! Both the Bucs and the Raiders move up after beating teams not ranked as high. Seems a little ridiculous to me ...
John: Ah, rankings – love 'em, hate 'em …
Emil from Tallahassee, FL:
Hey, John, I want to ask a favor. I know they're your power rankings and you have the right to do what you want with them; however, given that this is the Jaguars' site, I was wondering if the Jags beat the Patriots – unlikely though it may be – if us fans could see them as No. 1 in your poll for the week. I know it probably won't be an accurate portrayal of the NFL landscape, but it would be kind of nice to see. Thanks for all the hard work!
John: Ah, rankings …
Nick from Fort Polk, LA:
I was super pumped with the Dan Skuta and Jared Odrick signings this offseason. I'm glad I'm not being let down. Those two are huge on this defense.
John: They're absolutely huge. Skuta and Odrick are veterans who are very good strong-side players. They're not going to be statistical superstars because they're not going to be let loose to constantly chase down the quarterback. But they have made the defense considerably more stout, reliable and experienced. Those are good traits for a defense. And those two are definitely reasons the Jaguars' defense is playing well.
Patrick from Jacksonville:
What do you think about putting Marcedes Lewis on Rob Gronkowski at least in obvious passing situations or maybe on the goal line? I'm thinking Troy Brown with Pats years ago.
John: Lay back, Patrick. Rest. Use a cold cloth if necessary.
John from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
The Carolina game looked like two evenly-matched teams where the difference was quarterback play. The Jags matched-up well against Miami and the difference appeared to be a handful of plays by guys who won their matchups. If this is what "competitive" looks like - I like it. I also like that the Jags remained competitive after losing starters in the defensive backfield. What should we expect from a competitive team with young ascending talent against the league's premier club this week?
John: Expect the Jaguars to play well at times – and expect there to be times when the Jaguars appear overwhelmed and when it appears the Patriots are taking control. I say that not because the Jaguars actually will be overwhelmed; rather, I say that because when the Patriots are playing well that's how they make teams look. The key for the Jaguars will be how they respond to situations when the Patriots move efficiently and when they score. If they stay in it and create opportunities with turnovers or big plays, then they have a chance.
Scott from Section 137 and Ponte Vedra, FL:
It was a great game. I have a question as to why we lost basically all of our cornerbacks during the game. It was incredibly hot and it did not seem to affect the Dolphin corners? Do players not hydrate enough during halftime and before and during the game? Is it a conditioning thing? Any ideas?
John: I'll break the "No-Look-Back" rule to clear up any lingering confusion over this. The Jaguars had two corners leave Sunday's game. Davon House had chest congestion throughout the week, tried to play through the issue and left the game at halftime. He spent Sunday night in the hospital. Aaron Colvin missed two plays on the second-to-last drive because of cramping. Colvin being out was not ideal, but I don't think Sunday's situation is enough of a trend to make overarching conclusions about the team's conditioning or hydration.
Nathan from Duval via Richmond, VA:
Re: Poolside with; tell Sexton to put some shoes on!
John: Yeah, it was disturbing on a lot of levels – and to a lot of senses.
Kamal from San Francisco:
Should we as fans be concerned that Gus admitted to not watching any tape on the Patriots yet as of Monday, whereas Belichick stated that he has been reviewing the Jags tape and personnel all the way back since April? Is this an important philosophical coaching difference, or simply more of a function of where the franchises are in their development? The Jaguars are more concerned with themselves and getting better right now as opposed to advance scouting opponents.
John: I can't control what concerns fans. If my experience is any indication, fans are going to be concerned about something no matter the record and circumstance – and thank goodness for that. The Jaguars are obviously at a stage where focusing on improving themselves is a priority, but I'm a believer that should always be the focus, anyway. Do what you do and do it well. Do it better than your opponent. The rest takes care of itself.
Henry from Jags Nation, FL:
Fact is, we're playing the Pats with first place on the line – and Colts play Titans, so either way in that game, something good happens for Jags: Colts at 0-3 both at 1-2. Even though it's only September, it all sounds so cool.
John: This is fun. Enjoy it. We're in Week 2. Win and let other things take care of themselves.
Bernabe from Monterrey, Mexico:
Hey John, not so much a question as a fact. I believe Tyson Alualu deserves recognition for his play as of recently. He is finally playing as a Top 10 draft pick. I saw him penetrate and disrupt, as well as block extremely well. Guess I just want your opinion on his play. He has made Marks's absence a lot easier.
John: Alualu played well Sunday and has played well this season. He also is playing well as a fullback. The second part is new. The first part is not nearly as new as many people seem to believe.
Greg from Section 122 and Jacksonville:
Stop the talk about respect. You want respect? Beat or at least scare the Patriots a bit this week. Make them sweat as you almost beat them in Foxboro. That will get you some time on SportsCenter … how the Jaguars came with in a play or two of beating the World Champions.
John: Yep.
Ty from Jack Town:
Jared Odrick is a regular at the restaurant where I work. He's the nicest of guys, a real professional. Never big shots anyone: always kind, always engaging, and extremely funny. Seeing him ruin any chance Miami had at a comeback made everyone at our small little family restaurant glow with pride. We are all Jag fans – an huge Jared fans. Our team is a bunch of cool guys who want to be here, who our city, our laid-back life style and our passion for football. Here's to at least ten more this year!
John: #DTWD
Daniel from Jersey City, NJ:
What does it mean is a player is "freelancing"?
John: It means the player is going off script, not following the game plan and not playing within the instructions of the offense or defense. Why do you ask?
Dakota from Dupree, SD:
Zone, here in South Dakota we don't spit out very many pro athletes – professional cowboys, mostly, but we recognize their success locally before they get it nationally. If Tony Boselli is truly getting Hall of Fame recognition, shouldn't he be in the Pride of the Jaguars first? Elite is a word used only for a talented few. Boselli was elite.
John: Boselli indeed was elite, but it sounds as if you're implying that Boselli is not in the Pride of the Jaguars. He indeed is in the Pride of the Jaguars. I know this because he reminds me and pretty much everyone else within earshot that he is in the Pride of the Jaguars not only when people are discussing the Pride of the Jaguars, but when they are discussing the weather, traffic and what they watched on television the night before. If I didn't know it from his "Pride of the Jaguars" T-shirts, shorts and boxer shorts, I also could be reminded by visiting his website, "" I also know because he asks (read: insists) people address him by the only word on his business cards: "Pride."

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