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O-Zone: Something for everyone

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Ryan from Toronto, Canada:
I hate Chad Henne's quote of "third-and-four-to-six is right where you want to be." That almost sounds like he's resigned to a lack of big plays. How about having the confidence to throw an intermediate/deep route on first or second down and avoiding third downs all together? Maybe a long run that can give us a 3rd-and-1 or- 2 yards to go? "Third and medium" is a mediocre goal for a mediocre offense and I would like to see the Jaguars start shooting a little higher than mediocrity.
John: I understand the instinct of many right now to recoil at and dislike anything that has to do with Henne. I don't think it's particularly fair, but I understand it's out there. To criticize that quote is particularly unfair because all Henne was doing was citing a pretty standard, sound football principle. He was talking about the need to be in third-and-manageable situations, which has nothing to do with being resigned to a lack of big plays. It's about avoiding situations where the defense knows you're in a passing situation and can focus solely on pressing the quarterback. To think a team can avoid third downs altogether in professional football is at best unrealistic and really just sort of silly. Third-and-manageable is pretty much a universal focus in the NFL. Peyton Manning talks about third-and-manageable all the time. He's not resigned to a lack of big plays and his offenses usually aren't mediocre.
Dennis from Port St. Luicie, FL:
Please relay to Mr. Khan that the fans love the scoreboards and pools but all the upgrades cannot take the place of sitting the best quarterback on the bench! Please Mr. Khan, insist that Blake start the home opener. It is making the organization look foolish trying to defend Henne as being the better option to play quarterback. You quickly realized when you purchased the team that we were not one or two players away from the playoffs; I'm sure you realize a quarterback with a losing record for his entire career is not the best option for the Jaguars.
John: Yeah, this won't happen. Nor should it. Khan hired Gus Bradley and David Caldwell to run the football side of the organization. He'll let them do it. As he should.
Sherick from Jacksonville:
Does a quarterback have to win a Super Bowl to be considered for the Hall of Fame?
John: No. Dan Marino, Dan Fouts, Jim Kelly and Fran Tarkenton are all in the Hall of Fame and their teams did not win Super Bowls.
Pete from Oklahoma City, OK:
Enough about the kid, yes … we know he will start when the regime says so. My question is if my boy Allen Hurns gets the No. 2 spot when all of our wide receivers, including Ace, gets back on the roster?
John: That remains to be seen. The first thing that has to happen is Hurns must continue to play at a high level. There's no reason to think he won't, but right now he has played very, very well in one half of a regular-season game. If he continues to play at a high level, then yes, I would think he stays in the starting lineup – or at the very least, he'll see the field on a regular basis. At receiver, that's not much difference than starting anymore.
David from Section 214:
So actually, we're not waiting for Bortles to develop further but instead waiting for the offensive line and wide receiver to develop? Why not let them develop together?
John: The Jaguars are waiting for multiple things, which have been discussed here ad nauseam in recent days. Right now the reason to not let them develop together is the Jaguars are trying to win games, and the belief of the coaches is that Henne gives them the best chance to do that.
Sean from Fleming Island, FL:
Why do some NFL teams have long periods of playing (even a decade) at a high level, and others have long periods of just the opposite?
John: Some teams are better for long periods of time than others. A lot of time it's having an elite quarterback, and other times it's having a strong core of players and a strong organization.
Ryan from Dearborn, MI:
I'll be honest John, at this point, when I'm reading my daily O-Zone and see the name Bortles, I just skip it and move on to the next question.
John: Then I guess I can pretty much call you whatever name I want right now and you won't have any idea.
Patrick from Jacksonville:
I get it. It's going to take time. The team is young. The coaching staff and management are still relatively new. And as just a fan I don't know all the details and intricacies and we are improving some. It's just that tickets cost hard-earned money and I'd like to watch a game that I can at least enjoy. Can I get a little bang for my buck?
John: That's the objective, but coaches can't make decisions that go against what they believe best for the team simply to give short-term bang for the buck. What you want is to work steadily toward winning, then steadily toward winning more consistently. Then, you'll get all the bang you want. But really, I thought Sunday's game was pretty entertaining. The game wasn't decided until the final five minutes or so. There were five sacks, a bunch of touchdowns … it wasn't the result or the second half the Jaguars wanted, but it was interesting.
Eric from St. Augustine, FL:
So, Henne plays until Bortles is ready because Gus doesn't want to "throw him" to the dogs like Gabbert. So basically, what he is saying is that the Jags really don't care if Henne gets thrown around like a rag doll, until the line improves so the rookie will survive long enough to be worth the third-round pick. Question, how does Henne feel about being the team's "forlorn Hope?"
John: This a place where perception doesn't meet reality. While there are many fans and perhaps media who offer up the idea that the Jaguars aren't playing Bortles because they don't want him to get beat up behind a young offensive line, that's not something I've heard discussed by Jaguars coaches much – if at all. Yes, the line needs to get better, but the receivers do, too – and Bortles needs to continue to get better in his knowledge of the offense, etc. There are multiple reasons Henne is playing, not the least of which is that the coaches feel he has done nothing to merit losing the job. But they're not playing him so that he can get beat up while Bortles stays safe on the sidelines.
Jefferson from Phoenix, AZ:
Does the current status of the running back position in the NFL (devalued) hurt Fred Taylor's chances to get into the Hall of Fame?
John: It probably doesn't help. Running back indeed is not the glory position it was in, say, the 1970s. At the same time, a lot of respected football people and a lot of ex-players respect Taylor's ability a great deal. He also has the production and the memorable plays. All of those things are what I think give him a puncher's chance, though I can't say that he's a lock.
Kyle from Jacksonville:
Do you see the Jaguars making any changes on Sunday to adjust to RGIIIs threat to run?
John: Not any of significance. Griffin's mobility is a threat, but he doesn't seem to be running nearly as much as he did as a rookie. You have to be aware of the mobility, but you may not need to game plan for it.
Jimbo from Riverside:
If the coaching staff is waiting to start Blake when "all the pieces are in place," could at least a few of those pieces be getting their own act together? Gus and crew over the past week have admitted to no less than three boneheaded decisions made during the Jax-Phi game last weekend.
John: The coaching staff has admitted to errors in Week 1. Coaches make errors every week, and that's pretty much true of all staffs. I suppose Jaguars coaches could lie about and say they made none, but they choose to go the other way.
Justice from Duval904:
You aren't touching the Ray Rice stuff, are you?
John: I haven't been asked about it, but I don't have a tremendous amount to say on it. It's fairly clear it was mishandled, and it's just as clear it was a reprehensible act. I don't know many details and don't have a tremendous amount of insight beyond what most people know, so I'm not going to spend a whole lot of time on the subject. There are plenty of places to read about Ray Rice without talking about it everyday here.
Jeremy from Andover, KS:
Beadles wasn't impressive nor even solid in the first game. That is all. Go Jags!!
John: He struggled. A lot of the offensive line did. He and the group need to get better.
Sonny from Melbourne, FL:
What will fans complain about when Bortles finally starts?
John: Sumpin'.

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