Skip to main content

Jaguars News | Jacksonville Jaguars -

O-Zone: The truth therein

JACKSONVILLE – Look-ahead Wednesday. Moving on.

Let's get to it … Don from Ponte Vedra, FL:
I really want to know... Gus Bradley and Dave Caldwell keep talking about the process. Whose process is it? Where has the process been proven in the past? At what checkpoint do they determine to stick with the process or change it? From what I can see the process is not following the Seahawks or any other top-rated team. Maybe Gus and Dave need to rethink how they coach and manage the team.
John: That's a good question, and considering the 0-6 record, an understandable question. The process is building through the draft and trying to develop a young core that will lead to sustainable success. Teams have done it in recent years with varying degrees of commitment and success. The Colts in the Peyton Manning era did it, eschewing free agency early on to the chagrin of many fans. Pittsburgh and Green Bay also come to mind as franchises that tend to be homegrown given the opportunity. Most teams ideally would take the approach, because most teams like to get their guys, develop them as their own and keep rosters young for the most part. Most of those franchises didn't hit the low point the Jaguars hit, so the Jaguars have a tougher, longer climb out of the hole. That's not a fun reality, but it's the reality nonetheless. One other thing: the approach is helped greatly if you have a young quarterback around whom to build. There are no guarantees Blake Bortles is that guy, but if he is, the process has a much better chance of working.
Jonathan from Jacksonville:
You keep saying this team is better than last year and it's a long process. 0-6 is bad no matter how you spin O! If this team goes 0-4 or 0-6 again next year, what would be the next EXCUSE or SPIN?
John: The team is better than last year and it is a long process. Next year is a year away. I don't know what the circumstances will be, but 0-6 wouldn't be good. Just like it isn't now.
Adam from Saint Johns, FL:
Point taken? What kind of answer is that? The man has a point. We all won't be here much longer. You and the Jaguars act like we don't matter.
John: I realized the man had a point. That's why the answer was, "Point taken," and not, "You, man, have no point." And neither myself nor the Jaguars act like or think that fans don't matter. They matter very much. The fact that you can't make decisions based on the short-term emotions of fans doesn't change that they do indeed matter.
Stopholus Prime from Northampton, England:
With the high number of interceptions thrown, is Blake Bortles struggling to notice the coverage? Or are the receivers not running routes properly?
John: A little of both. Bortles is a young quarterback playing with young receivers. He has thrown seven interceptions in four games, which translates to about 28 over the course of a season. That's high, but not horrendously so for a player in his situation. The number needs to come way, way down as time moves on, but it's not at all reason to be concerned about his long-term growth.
Brian from Neptune Beach, FL:
Daryl Smith was a mistake. Eugene Monroe, mistake. I'll even say letting Rashean go was a mistake. When I saw his pick six two weeks ago, I cussed Caldwell the rest of the day. Dave gutted the veteran leadership on this team. All three were solid players that this team could have used. Discuss please.
John: Smith, yes, a mistake. Monroe … eh. Rashean Mathis … well, I have to say I'm surprised he's playing as well as he is, but considering the stage of his career he had reached when the Jaguars didn't re-sign him .. and considering the Jaguars were beginning the build … I would have been hard-pressed to argue for his return.
Steve from Atlanta, GA:
Forget the record and forget the charismatic personality for a moment. Is Gus a good head coach?
John: I think he can be. He has done a remarkable job leading and setting the tone for the franchise. The culture is unquestionably changed, and this is a place players want to play. He has made some questionable in-game decisions lately and I think he can improve there. Ultimately, it's hard to say a coach with a 4-18 record deserves any grade but "incomplete," so we'll find over time just how good he can be.
Bob from Fernandina Beach, FL:
I recall Dave Caldwell saying on occasions that he wanted smaller, more athletic lineman on offense to run this zone-blocking scheme...I think he needs to revisit his theory. One or more of our offensive linemen are getting pushed back into the backfield on almost every play by bigger, stronger defensive linemen. We need to get stouter on the offensive line.
John: I think you'll see strength and size addressed significantly in the offseason. Players such as Luke Joeckel, Luke Bowanko and even Brandon Linder are still young enough to add size and strength. That's needed as they develop.
Nathan from St. Augustine, FL:
John, you're a cool dude and I enjoy reading you, but if I hear you talk about how impatient the idiot fans are and how patient this wonderful franchise is you're going to make me break my phone! How do you know how patient Mr. Khan is? He has only been an owner two years. If the team is no better than last year (yes, the record matters), why would you say let's give another year of rebuild to coaches who aren't building? Yes, we are just fans, but if we are out Christmas shopping in November to show our frustration with the team's direction … well, that might try Mr. Khan's patience.
John: Don't break your phone. Phones are expensive. I don't know who you think you're reading, but I'm not cool, and never talk about fans being idiots. As far as Mr. Khan's patience … who knows … maybe you're right and maybe I'm wrong, but I see Khan understanding that this was a mammoth build, and that having a potential franchise quarterback with a more competitive team is a step in the right direction. I also imagine he knows that changing after two years means a second overhaul in three years and that history shows that sort of resetting and resetting usually leads to more resetting and resetting. But like I said … who knows. You may have more insight into this than I. Dude.
Daniel from Windsor Heights, IA:
If the Jags' first three picks in the 2015 draft are offensive linemen, I'd be all right with that.
John: Goodness, no. That's too many. This team needs to start addressing defense, and I suspect that will be a major point of emphasis in the draft next offseason.
Corey from Orange Park, FL:
I want to be mad. I do, and I most certainly was. But you know what? We have a quarterback. For whatever reason … this week it really hit me. But I'm wondering, what is the expectation for next year? Do we expect playoffs? Seven-and-nine, or somewhere in between?
John: Probably somewhere in between.
Scott from Section 137 and Ponte Vedra, FL:
I suppose a lot of our middle-of-the-field problems on defense are linebacker issues. Why has this area not been addressed in the previous drafts and overall how would you rate our linebackers?
John: The Jaguars haven't addressed linebacker the past two drafts because there are only so many areas you can address in two drafts. The team took quarterback, wide receiver and offensive line early this season, and it appears a lot of those selections have a chance to be core players moving forward. The team selected Telvin Smith in this past year's draft and as far as rating this year's linebackers … well, I suspect the position will be a heavy area of focus this offseason.
James from Woodbridge, VA:
Another fan said something to me about the Jaguars being at the bare minimum on the salary cap. Do you think we can win without spending some money?
John: No, I don't. And I think the Jaguars will spend money this offseason.
Bruce from Gotham, NY:
While the coaches and players are completely different, this kind of feels like Mike Mularkey's year here. Coaches and players talking of being close and after one bad play, things unraveling quickly. Of course there is much more 'positive energy' with Coach Gus but it seems that is starting to wear thin with some of the players comments. Do you agree Mr. O?
John: No. I don't think things have "unraveled" after one bad play this season, particularly not in the past two games.
Mike from Tallahassee, FL:
OK, tired of everyone demanding that you be honest with us. So, have at it; lie to me, Johnny.
John: I'm ecstatic right now.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content