JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
John from Youngstown, OH:
Maybe the conversation went something like this... We absolutely need to make the two rookie changes on the offensive line this week. That gives us nine on offense that really have minimal NFL starting experience. Perhaps we should not have Blake be the 10th this week. I guess I understand the reasoning from a coach's standpoint.
John: This is as spot-on as spot-on can be. While Sam Young is not a rookie, he is expected to start at right tackle Sunday with four games starting experience in the NFL. Rookie center Luke Bowanko is starting, too, which means aside from Zane Beadles the Jaguars' offensive line Sunday will have 13 combined NFL starts. Thirteen. The Jaguars' wide receivers aside from Cecil Shorts III are rookies and second-year veteran Mike Brown, and Mickey Shuler and his two starts could start at tight end. I think Blake Bortles will start soon. I think he may have started this week if the Jaguars' offense wasn't so inexperienced. Remember, there comes a time when things will be going wrong – really, really wrong – and these young offensive players have to step into the huddle and have someone tell them what the heck is going on. If the quarterback is wondering the same thing, that's even scarier. Bortles' time is coming, but the feeling was that considering so much other inexperience offensively, this wasn't the week to do it.
Tom from Jacksonville:
Do we really want a rookie quarterback playing behind this offensive line and with receivers that have trouble just catching the ball? I hope not!
John: That's not happening yet. I get the idea it might happen sooner rather than later.
James from Jacksonville:
With the new NFL drug policy in place, do you think we may see Justin Blackmon back this season?
John: It doesn't appear that the policy will change anything with regard to either Ace Sanders or Justin Blackmon. That means Sanders is suspended for the next two games and Blackmon is still suspended indefinitely.
Michael from Jackson de Ville, FL:
John, in regards to your response from Justin in Charlotte, all the reasons you stated for starting Henne have still generated absolutely zero results. Yes, there are other issues with this team. Yes, we have a young offense. Yes, other players haven't developed. This is the case regardless of who starts. We know what Henne is going to get us, and there's no way that Bortles and the current offense can do worse with a change at quarterback position. That's the frustrating part as a fan.
John: I know where the frustration lies. Everyone does. The Jaguars understand this. They also believe that Blake Bortles isn't ready considering the circumstances.
Marcus from Jacksonville:
I really think that this week is the best option to start Bortles. Indy is struggling on defense, allowing 30 per game, and only forcing one turnover and one sack so far this season. Then, Gus Bradley says that they are going to pare down the playbook for the sake of the young receivers. Couple that with a rowdy home crowd and I think you have the perfect situation...struggling defense, simplified playbook and a friendly environment...can't get much better than that!
John: Yes. If the players were more experienced around him, that might well be the case. They're not. And they are actually strikingly, strikingly young. So … not yet.
Robert from Manassas, VA:
"I feel strongly about Chad." Me too, Gus. Me too.
John: OK, now that's funny.
Shawn from Indianapolis, IN:
The argument for starting Chad Henne IS understandable. However, he has not been successfully doing those things which are being used as the reason he is starting. Not efficient, not setting proper assignments, not getting people lined correctly, not making veteran decisions with the ball. THAT is the most damning thing in this whole situation.
John: I don't know that your email is correct. The Jaguars haven't gotten results, and Henne hasn't been perfect, but coaches will tell you – and they're the only ones that truly know – that he has been making good decisions. If they thought Bortles was better at those things right now, then Bortles would be starting.
Chad from Jacksonville:
At the beginning of the season, how many people would have wanted the same record as the Colts coming into this game? Well, we have it. Seems like Sunday is a great day to prove we can be better. Let's get down to business.
Steve from Waukee:
I think a lot of people now realize how important big guys are and how good Meester was for a long time. We need another Meester and I don't know where he is.
John: Maybe he's here. Maybe he's Luke Bowanko. The rookie will start at center. That doesn't mean he's going to be Meester Sunday, but he's going to get a chance to start moving in that direction. It's a long road. Meester was really consistent for a long time. Bowanko probably won't be consistent yet, but the Jaguars like his chances to be consistent eventually.
Keith from Palatka, FL:
I have been consistent in saying we cannot run an offense behind a bad offensive line. It doesn't matter who your quarterback, running back, wide receivers, or tight ends are if you don't have a good offensive line. Gus and Dave have chosen to build with an "outside in" strategy instead of an "inside out" strategy. The results of that flawed logic are evident. Is ignorance really bliss? Would you want your son playing quarterback behind this offensive line?
John: Will he lend me some money?
LaRoy from Yulee, FL:
Has the Jags owner made any statement about how his team is playing or not playing on Sunday?
John: No. That's not Shad Khan's way of doing things, and that's good. Khan speaks to the media and is candid when he does, but he doesn't give weekly State of the Team addresses. No owner loves 0-2 starts and disappointing results. At the same time, Khan understood when he hired Dave Caldwell and Gus Bradley that this was probably not an 18-game building process. He understood this was a long process, and I'm certain he still understands that.
Quinn from Tampa, FL:
What is the deal with the running game?! I thought Gerhart was a power back who could get yards after contact. It almost seems like Gerhart drops when he thinks he's about to be tackled. No breaking arm tackles or fighting for extra yards in the 904.
John: You and I see this differently. I see Gerhart as having had very little blocking. I believe when he gets that blocking, he will be fine. Not great, perhaps. But fine – and a lot better than you seem to believe possible.
Joe from Fleming Island, FL:
What is your assessment of Luke Joeckel's performance so far this season?
John: Probably the same as his own assessment would be. OK in spots, not good enough in a lot of others. Needs to improve.
Bo from Dresden, NC:
John, how long till people start complaining to you about the team?
John: Nah. That'll never happen.
David from Durban, South Africa:
With Cameron Bradfield having been released, does that signify that Pazstor is ready to return? The alternative is too scary to contemplate. Give us some good news O'Man.
John: We'll see. Sam Young is expected to start Sunday with Pasztor practicing this week with a protective club on his injured hand. It will be interesting to see how effective Pasztor can be in practice. If he can be effective, could be play or start Sunday? There's no indication of that, but Pasztor's a tough kid. It wouldn't shock me if he figures out a way to play.
Michael from Jacksonville:
The hometown we're referring to is the one on the form to email you.
John: Oh … well, in that case, fill in whatever you want.
Brandon from Section 122:
John, I could use your insight. I'm a "stander" at the games and I have a hard time trying to identify with anyone who complains about standers. If you want to sit down the entire time, stay at home. They have...wait for it....STADIUM SEATING! You can stand up too in order to see if you wish. I want the 'Bank to be loud and people to be screaming and get into the games. People in Seattle don't complain, they celebrate and cheer. Am I way off base here?
John: I don't think so. This is not my lane. I sit in the press box and work on game days, so I don't know if I'd stand or sit if I was in the stands. I'd probably sit. I'm old and increasingly broken.
Logan from Fleming Island, FL:
Zane Beadles has been disappointing. He's the veteran who's supposed to be leading the line, and he just flat out isn't playing well. What gives, bro?
John: Beadles is part of an offensive line that is struggling. I don't know that any one player has stood out from any of the others in that regard. Beadles hasn't played great, but we're two games into this thing. It's probably reasonable individually to give it time.
Eric from Yulee, FL:
Is it time to start talking about the draft?
John: Not even close.
O-Zone: Way too early
JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
John from Youngstown, OH: