FREMONT, Calif. – A lot of venting in the inbox this morning, and with good reason. This is not an easy time to be a Jaguars fan. Not easy at all. Ah, well . . .
Let's get to it . . .
Dan from San Antonio, TX:
I feel bad for the defense.
John: That's pretty much a consensus, and it is true that the defense thus far clearly has played better than the offense. I don't know that anyone rational would argue that. That's surprising based on the preseason, but it is indeed true. At the same time, the defense allowed five scoring drives Sunday, and any defensive player would tell you the unit has to get more of a pass rush and must do a better job creating turnovers.
Don from Macclenny, FL:
John: Yes, it was. It won't be forever, but on Sunday, it was a rough watch.
Russ from Jacksonville:
So we're told to be patient, but it's tough when time and time again you see other teams execute a successful turnaround in one year. I don't think anyone is expecting playoffs but I think it's fair to expect a team that looks like it belongs in the NFL. Is that too greedy?
John: I rarely tell fans to be patient. Fans aren't supposed to be patient. They're supposed to want to win now. So, you're right to feel the way you do. And yes, the team should look better. But remember, this is a team playing very, very young offensively right now. And some of the young players playing just joined the roster. That's not to say that this is a playoff team if you didn't have the young-player errors, but do I believe the offense will show better when Justin Blackmon and Marcedes Lewis get back. Yeah, I think it will look at lot more like an offense that belongs in the NFL.
Josh from Germany:
This offense won't score more than 10 touchdowns this whole season.
John: Yes, it will.
Bruce from Gotham, NY:
Both lines were dominated...again...
John: Yes, they pretty much were. It's an issue. Those areas have to play better, and that's a challenge because there is no offensive or defensive lineman store. The Jaguars ran for just 1.8 yards per carry and allowed Oakland to rush for more than 200 yards. There's no sugarcoating it. That happened against an Oakland team that probably is not the greatest team of the last decade. The lines need to play better. Quickly.
Logan from Wichita, KS:
Well, it is official. We are the Baguars now. If we win a game this year or next it will be a miracle.
John: Don't start. Please? Not yet.
Nicholas from Fort Lee, VA:
I get it that theatrics do not change the fact we have little talent on the team. What I would like to hear is something to the effect of a players-only meeting where everything was laid out on the table – maybe a few arguments/fights and some kind of coming-together moment. I've been in bad situations like this where after getting everything off your chest there is improvement in the organization.
John: The players-only meeting is the midweek equivalent of the locker-room theatric. It's fine. There's nothing wrong with it. If players want to do it, there's no stopping them. But the players-only meeting is not a cure-all. The Jaguars as I recall had a players-only meeting last year and there was no discernible difference following said meeting. I don't sense a lack of focus or desire from this team. I don't sense a lack of understanding about what's going on around the Jaguars. They're young. They're missing players. They're not "elite-talented" in some areas. They're not very good right now. It's not because they don't care.
Maggie from Annapolis, MD:
Sigh...... (but still my Jags!)
John: I hear ya, Maggie. I hear ya.
Keith from Jacksonville and Section 436:
Cade from Orlando, FL:
I'm sure your inbox is a place of immeasurable pain. Sit back and enjoy the ride, buddy.
John: Oh, it's an angry, vehement place, no doubt about it. But reading emails and answering them doesn't cause me pain. Believe me, there are worse things in the world. Like asparagus.
Marvin from Jacksonville:
Can someone please, please, please tell Jedd Fisch to open up the playbook? I'd rather our players lose the game for us – not him. Too predictable. C'mon John, somebody – please let him know.
John: Ah, yes – Week 2 and the first Blame Jedd Fisch email. Fisch is calling plays with an offensive line that's struggling right now. It's difficult to "break out the playbook" when you are in obvious passing situations and the defense is rushing the quarterback on second- and third-and-long. You really can't just fling it around on every down. That gets you in just as much trouble.
Ben from South Orange, NJ:
With the lack of production from Henne and Gabbert, we should give Denard Robinson a shot at quarterback. At this point, he'd at least be good enough to give the offense a spark. Eleven points in two games is tough to watch.
John: It is tough to watch. No doubt. But if Denard Robinson were ready or able to be an effective NFL quarterback, he would have already been playing and the team would have prepared that way during the offseason. Don't wait for that to happen. You'll be waiting a long, long time.
Tom from Jacksonville:
The defense has improved versus last year. Why do you think the offense has backed up so much this year? Is the OC learning on the job? Garbage yards at the end do not cover up the first 57 minutes.
John: People hate hearing about injuries, because they think of injuries as excuses. The offense wasn't good last year, but when it was close to good, it was when Justin Blackmon and Cecil Shorts III were in the lineup opposite one another. Blackmon isn't playing right now. Ideally, a team wouldn't be in so precarious a position that one or two injuries makes offense a struggle. Right now, the Jaguars are in that position. They won't be forever, but they are now.
Daniel from Miami, FL:
I'll sum up the evening O-Zone. Chad Henne played better than Gabbert but not much better. The offensive line was better but still atrocious. We still need to find out if Gabbert is the guy so when Lewis and Blackmon are back, we will find that out. Also, something about us allowed to be mad as fans, and how we should be patient. I don't disagree with you. I just wanted to make your job easier.
John: I don't think fans should be patient.
Mike from Little Rock, AR:
I was very impressed with the turnaround from our Jaguars. Any time you can score 4.5 times more than the previous week it should be viewed as a huge positive. What do you think our chances are for challenging for the division title?
John: Cute – and admittedly, a little funny.
Spencer from Satellite Beach, FL:
One of many stats for the day: Rashad Jennings had as many yards rushing as the Jags offense. MOJO getting hurt is huge loss. Hope it isn't too bad.
John: That statistic is disturbing. There's no sugarcoating that. The Jones-Drew watch will be important this week. Gus Bradley said it was an ankle injury and the X-Rays were negative. As far as the severity, we'll see. Jones-Drew looked like he was running well before he got hurt, and the offense had at least a snippet of a rhythm. His loss sure wouldn't help.
Al from Orange Park, FL:
I know the bar was set very low last week, but if we're looking for improvement, I felt like I saw quite a bit. You?
John: I'd say "a bit." Not "quite a bit."
Ken from Jacksonville:
The bad news is that the Jags lost, the good news is that I had Grosse Pointe Blank on my DVR.
John: That is good news!
Daniel from Jersey City, NJ:
Do you think that age finally caught up with MJD or are the injuries a matter of bad luck?
John: It may be both. Football players typically get injured more later in their careers than earlier, though with injuries, I always believe it very dangerous to try to make overarching generalizations. Jones-Drew sprained an ankle Sunday. We really don't know any more than that.
Dakota from Dupree, SD:
Tom Brady is 2-0 even with struggling receivers.
John: Do you ever get confused living in your state?
Rob from Green Cove Springs, FL:
Although no unit on the team has played particularly well thus far, would you agree that if you had to pinpoint the group that struggled the most it would be the offensive line? It's ironic, then, (or maybe telling) that this is the one unit on the entire team that was not gutted, but actually remains largely intact from the previous regime aside from Joeckel? It's shocking that they've started the season this poorly.
John: I don't have much to add to your thought.
Doug from Jacksonville:
Are you allowed to legally wrap up around someone's neck pulling their helmet off to make a tackle? The play only got replayed about a 1,000 times and no one ever even mentioned it may have been illegal.
John: It was legal.
Steve from Undisclosed Location:
I did not get married until I was 40. Good thing I did, I thought I was successful, had a good career, house, pets, etc. I did not know that I was lazy and stupid. Thank God I know this now.
John:Marriage teaches us many things.
Jared from Madison, WI
I'm going to cry myself to sleep tonight. And the next and the next and the next . . .
John: I do that every night, and it has nothing to do with the Jaguars.