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O-Zone: The right sort of chewy

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Tim from Jacksonville:
Looking at the rest of the schedule I realistically see four more wins: Titans, Titans, Colts and Texans. This is where improvement starts for us at this point in the season: winning games against opponents we have seen before and can adapt to. To compete in the other games would show the team is making great strides. It may not shine in the win column, but it will get the team more respect around the league.
John: Your scenario is possible, but I wouldn't rule out winning other games, too. The reality around the NFL this season is there are a few really good teams – read: Patriots, Broncos, Packers, Panthers, Bengals and maybe Cardinals and … well … -- and really, that's about it. Most of the other teams are struggling to various degrees – and a lot of the league is struggling to very real degrees. That means games that once seemed daunting such as Baltimore, San Diego and the Jets now seem significantly less so. Will the Jaguars win those games? Would winning them mean "respect?" I have no idea, but I do know there aren't many games the rest of the season in which the Jaguars won't have a chance.
Tyler from Dundee:
What is the difference in Allen Hurns and a prototypical NFL receiver?
John: When I say Allen Hurns isn't prototypical, I don't mean that to denigrate Allen Hurns. What I mean is when scouts look at wide receivers out of college, they look for eye-catching speed, size and/or quickness. Hurns doesn't blow your socks off on any of those fronts. Where he does blow your socks off is in professionalism and production, which are … you know … better.
Paulo from Salvadore, Brazil:
In response to Chuck from Baltimore, I live in Brazil and the majority of Jaguars games aren´t selected to pass on ESPN. I always see the games on notebook, but I got an HDMI cable and put the Jaguars-Bills game on television. … It wasn't perfect, mainly because of the connection, but it's pretty viewable. … No complaints. … Just watch and have some fun, especially when they get a win. #DTWD.
John: We're ready to move on from the streaming/future-of-television thread … at least until the next time the Jaguars are streamed over the internet. Before we do, I'll reiterate that while viewing games online isn't yet perfect – and while it may befuddle some if the tech-challenged crowd of which I proudly call myself a member – it is the future, and the future isn't going away.
Bruce from Gotham, NY:
Before the draft I was saying Todd Gurley should be a Top 5 pick because he was a rare athlete like AP who could change a game and was just built differently. Of course, I was told you don't pick running back that high anymore. Yes, he was injured, but wasn't waiting a few games worth potentially having a game-changer for years to come? After seeing what he has done the last few games and knowing that he will just get better, do you think he should have been a Top 5 pick?
John: This was and will remain a great debate. Yes, Gurley looks like a game-changer, and through four games he appears worthy of a Top 5 selection. In the case of a running back, particularly one coming off of a torn anterior cruciate ligament, you're playing odds. Will the player with a torn ACL return to pre-injury form? At Gurley's age, the odds say yes. Will a back avoid injury long enough to be worthy of a Top 5 selection? Often, general managers believe the odds say no. Also, no matter a running back's talent level he usually is at least somewhat dependent on the offensive line. I would still have a tough time taking Gurley in the Top 5, though he's impressive enough that I wonder if he might soon change my mind.
Carter from Jacksonville:
Gus and Bob seem to stick to their base Cover 1 defense for the majority of games. I feel like this just puts way too much pressure on the single-deep safety, especially considering that the Jaguars really don't have a capable cover safety with the exception of maybe James Sample. Do you agree?
John: The Jaguars do stick with their Cover 1, Leo-based defense in base situations because that is their defense, and you're not going to see them go away from it during the season; personnel dictates they use schemes they planned to use in the offseason. By definition, the Cover 1 does put pressure on the single-high safety, but the thought is the scheme's effectiveness against the run counteracts the risk of having a single safety. That's why it's important the Jaguars play the run well and why it's important that the Leo pass-rusher gets pressure when teams throw on early downs. The Jaguars go away from this defense when they play multiple corners in passing situations. As far as not having capable cover safeties … yeah, I would agree with that. Welcome to the NFL in 2015; teams with even one good cover safety are pretty rare these days.
Jim from Bondi Beach; Sydney, Australia:
So, I'm escaping the rush at quarterback and a, in the pocket still or b, out of the pocket … if I turn around and throw the ball out of my own end zone, what is the call?
John: It's a safety in either scenario. You fumbled out of your own end zone.
Carter from Jacksonville:
With the defense (specifically the secondary) in the state it is, Caldwell should probably spend some draft picks on it this year. Hargreaves would be a solid pick to have opposite Colvin, but what other defensive college players who are expected to head to the draft besides Hargreaves and Jalen Ramsey do you think have potential for the Jaguars?
John: The good ones who are big, strong, fast, tough and smart.
Bruce from Green Cove Springs, FL:
I agree that a 7-9 record could conceivably win the AFC south. But isn't there a down side? If 7-9 can win the division, then anything less would have a near zero chance for a wildcard spot. So it seems that it's all or nothing, right?
John: Yes.
Chris from San Marco, FL:
Are the cornerbacks all thumbs or what? It's odd that they don't even have a pick on accident yet.
John: It is a bit odd, just as it was odd that the group only had three last season. Some of it I attribute to the corners not playing a lot of press coverage, and when you give as much cushion as the Jaguars have given in some cases this season it's difficult to get interceptions. But as much as anything I see it as reflective of the pass rush. While the Jaguars got 45 sacks last season, they didn't get a lot of disruptive pressure outside of their sacks and didn't affect quarterbacks' accuracy a tremendous amount. The same is true this season; with the Jaguars struggling to create a pass rush quarterbacks have had adequate time to throw. When you give professional quarterbacks adequate time to throw, they usually throw accurately and it's difficult to intercept an accurately thrown pass.
Preston from Waterbury, CT:
Zone, what are the chances we have two 1,000 yard receivers and a 1,000-yard rusher? What would you make of having those kinds of numbers? That tells me that not only are there playmakers on the team, but the team is establishing balance.
John: If wide receivers Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns and running back T.J. Yeldon stay healthy, I think all three will reach 1,000 yards in their respective forte. If that happens, it would tell you there are three young players on the Jaguars capable of producing over the course of an NFL season. If would also tell you that you have good players at those positions who should continue to grow. As far as balance … yes, it would certainly signify a step in that direction. I would caution, though, that simply having a 1,000-yard rusher doesn't signify a reliable rushing attack or a balanced offense because to have a reliable rushing attack you have to be able to run when you want to run. The Jaguars aren't quite there yet, though they appear to be moving in that direction the last couple of games. Overall, the fact that we're talking about three 1,000-yard offensive players is notable; it has been four seasons since the Jaguars even had one.
Steve from Denver, CO:
O: Rumor you were kicking it with Shad Sunday. What game did you watch at Shad's mansion on his new home JumboTron?
John: Bad rumor. I actually kicked it not with Shad but my neighbor "Shane." We watched old USFL VHS tapes on his back porch tube television in our Asia T-Shirts and skinny jeans. The picture wasn't great, but the PBR was cold, the cheese sticks were just the right sort of chewy hot and a good time was had by all.

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