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JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Chris from Vero Beach, FL:
It takes me a day or two to get over losses, but I look back at the positives and it all seems encouraging. Blake Bortles in the Top 10 in passing yards, Allen Hurns/Allen Robinson in the Top 15 in receiving yards, T.J. Yeldon showing promise at running back. It seems like a young core is coming together, but it's just not coming together like I thought it would a quarter of the way through 2015. Thoughts on this team's young talent and its continuing development?
John: My thoughts have been and continue to be that the young core of the Jaguars is coming along as I expected – and in terms of Bortles/Hurns/Robinson, it's actually coming along a little more quickly than I expected. I think there are still hiccups ahead for that trio and I think that's particularly true of Bortles, because developmental hiccups are the norm for young quarterbacks – and he is still by definition undoubtedly a young quarterback. Now, did I expect the Jaguars' record to be better right now? Sure. I thought maybe 2-3 after five games … somewhere in there. Entering the season, I expected overall for the team to look better and be more competitive, and also have some trouble getting "over the hump" in terms of winning competitive games. That has been the case. At some point this season, I expect them to turn close games into victories – perhaps not all of them, and perhaps not a long winning streak, but a few. That would be a continuation of the progress we've seen so far. Stay tuned.
David from the Island:
Some people didn't like the Poz signing because "all he does is tackle." Many are wondering how Walters sticks around when what he does really well is "catch the ball." Those are pretty good traits to have when you play those positions.
John: Yes.
Tim from Atlantic Beach, FL:
I remember reading once that if Vince Lombardi came to one of today's practices, one of the first thing he would say is, "Where's the tackling dummy?" Why does it seem like coaches don't try to maintain and further develop that particular skill? I mean, 23 missed tackles?
John: It seems that NFL coaches don't try to maintain and further develop tackling because NFL coaches really can't maintain and develop that skill – at least not to the degree that it was done years ago. First, the Collective Bargaining Agreement significantly limits padded practices. You can only have them in training camp and the regular season, and even in the regular season you can only have a total of 14. Even if those rules weren't in place you wouldn't see full-contact, tackle-oriented work. The risk of injury – and the inability to replace injured players – is simply perceived as too great. Still, the Jaguars' 23 missed tackles Sunday was on the high end. Emphasis or no emphasis, that was too many.
Gavin from Jacksonville:
A statement and a question about Lee. First, please put him on injured reserve. We already lost LaRoy Reynolds due to juggling roster spots around him. We are in Week 6 and he has played about one half of a game, with no end in sight. Second, do you feel the Jaguars did him a disservice? We were told when the injury happened in camp that he was day-to-day. Three months later, he's still not playing. Is this like the Fred Taylor groin thing where the team has consistently understated his injury and created unfair fan expectations?
John: No, the Jaguars shouldn't place Lee on injured reserve – and the whole thing of losing LaRoy Reynolds because of Lee is a bit overblown. Lee hardly was the only player injured when the Jaguars released Reynolds, and roster-juggling at the end of the week is a necessary part of the NFL. As far as Lee's injury, the status was week-to-week when it originally occurred, which was the nature of the injury. Hamstrings are tricky. Lee was able to return and it appeared he was OK – and then he wasn't. Lee has shown signs of being a big-time playmaker when healthy. If you believe you can get that sort of impact on the field for a half a season, then it's worth the wait. It's not ideal, but it is worth the wait.
Mark from Middletown, NJ:
Now, let's just say … maybe the Jaguars win, then they maybe win against a Tyrod Taylor-less Bills team, and they're right there at 3-4. Is there any chance from there – with the schedule and talent – that a 3-4 Jaguars team coming off the bye can make the playoffs?
John: Sure, there's a chance. But right now, this team is trying to get to the point where they win a close game or two. Let's let them do that before we start figuring playoff scenarios.
Adam from Richmond, KY:
I know it's early in the week, but I am excited to see that some of our marquee players are looking to play this Sunday. If you had to take an educated guess, who sits and who plays? Also, how much longer do you see our Albino Tiger being out with his current ding?
John: Educated guess: Defensive tackle Sen'Derrick Marks, running back Denard Robinson and middle linebacker Paul Posluszny will play Sunday with Robinson and Posluszny pretty close to full-go and Marks being on a "snap count." I'd expect Lee to be out at least until after the bye, but that's purely a guess and unsurprisingly not particularly educated.
Ian from Leeds, UK:
Amidst the gloom, can we please take a moment to realize that we're on track for a 30-touchdown, 4,000-yard season from Bortles and two 10-touchdown, 1,200-yard seasons from our receivers? We'd have given our left arm for those at this point last season!
John: All true, and all good signs. A lot of people do realize that. What's significant isn't as much the numbers as the ages of the players doing it. Bortles, Robinson and Hurns are all second-year players. What they're doing now shouldn't be close to the best we see from them.
Trevor from Jacksonville:
Will Julius Thomas be UNLEASHED this week?
John: I expect Julius Thomas to be a much bigger part of the game plan.
David from the Island:
Do you think if Dave had a mulligan, he would have put Marks on the PUP instead of being a scratch every week? Wouldn't that make room on the roster for one more player every week?
John: I don't think David Caldwell would have put Sen'Derrick Marks on the Physically Unable to Perform list if he had it to do over again. Players on PUP can't practice, and Marks needed the steady increased practice workload in recent weeks to prepare to return. But yes – Marks through the first five games has taken up a roster spot.
Mark from Middletown, NJ:
I just wanna say before we start I've been a big advocate for Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper. No disrespect to Bortles; he is the face of the franchise – but I've thought a lot about if we had Mack and Cooper instead of Fowler and Bortles … would that team fare better in the NFL than the team we have now?
John: Not if the Jaguars didn't have a quarterback it wouldn't.
Scott from Vienna, FL:
T.J. Yeldon has shown potential, especially on the touchdown catch last game when he stopped in the end zone to get open. His lack of rushing touchdowns, though, are leading analysts to underestimate him. Is there anything that can be done to get him into the end zone on the ground?
John: Get in the red zone more and block better when they're there.
Greg from Section 122 and Jacksonville:
There used to be a time you answered the hard questions, so answer this one please. In my and many fans' opinion the bare-minimum acceptable record for this team is 6-10 this season. Is it possible for them to win five of the last 11? Unless they change something, I just don't see it happening. Our defense makes the worst NFL offenses look incredible. Poor recipe for winning games.
John: This isn't a hard question … so, of course, I'll answer! Sure, it's possible for the Jaguars to win five of their last 11 games. The thing they need to change is making plays at the end of games and eliminating a few costly mistakes, but I find your generality about the Jaguars' defense interesting. The defense has had two bad games this season. One was against the Buccaneers, when the Jaguars indeed struggled. The other was against New England, which last I checked was not among the NFL's worst offenses. The reality, then is the Jaguars have made one struggling offense look really, really good. That really hurt Sunday, but it's not really an accurate overall assessment of the season.
Tyler from Jacksonville:
The Jaguars are a few plays away from being 0-5.
John: Yep. And they're a few plays from being 4-1. Welcome to the NFL.

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