JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Dave from Orlando, FL:
Mr. O, Allen Robinson is getting mugged this year, but isn't getting the pass-interference calls. Do you have a theory as to why this might be?
John: This actually began to be an issue at times last season. It made sense to me at the time that defensive backs were contacting Robinson a lot before passes arrived because his style of play dictates that they do so. He's not a burner, so his advantages as a receiver are body positioning, wingspan and the ability to high-point the ball. Defenders almost by definition are going to have to go through him and be physical to defend him. It also made sense last season that Robinson didn't get many interference calls because he was still a comparative unknown without much of an NFL reputation. I thought that would change this season because he established himself in this league last season. I try to see the Jaguars through as objective a lens as possible, but so far this season it doesn't appear he has gotten a reasonable percentage of calls. Is it because the Jaguars are 2-9? Is it because Robinson still isn't perceived as a big-time receiver? I'm not sure, but I did say early in the season it was a concern because defenders would keep playing Robinson that way – i.e., with enough contact to merit an interference penalty – until they were forced not to do so. Defenders indeed have been allowed to play him this way, and that has hurt the Jaguars offensively this season.
Derek from St. Augustine, FL:
Almost two years ago on my birthday the Jags came back on the Giants. Good times.
John: That was a good game. I enjoyed it.
Mike from Atlanta, GA:
Does anyone else see the stark difference in Blake Bortles' mechanics and passes now compared to earlier this season? The results are marginally better, but he isn't losing games singlehandedly. He still needs to complete more passes and make better football decisions, but he is now a quarterback a good team can win with. No matter how good they were earlier in the year, there was no way they could win with him, and that was due to bad passes caused by poor mechanics. I think the improvement is Yuuuuuuuuge.
John: Bortles played better and eliminated mistakes this past Sunday. Still, he threw interceptions that were returned for touchdowns in each of the preceding two games, so it's perhaps fair that observers aren't quite prepared to ordain him "fixed" just yet. I believe the final five games of this season remain important for Bortles. He showed some good things in terms of decision-making and his delivery was a bit quicker Sunday. It was better, but there is a lot of improving left to do.
Sam from Orlando, FL:
So, what's the deal with Julius Thomas? Is he really injured? Is his blocking that atrocious? Does he just not fit into what the Jags are trying to do?
John: The deal with Thomas? Yes, he is injured. No, his run-blocking is certainly not a strength and is certainly a reason he wasn't starting in the last few weeks before his injury. And no, he has not fit into what the Jaguars are trying to do nearly as well as was hoped.
Mike from Tallahassee, FL:
Can we blame the recent run of poor seasons on our helmet design? We need some scapegoat, and you seem to poo-poo every other idea the fans are suggesting.
John: Hee, hee … you said "poo-poo."
Wallace from Jacksonville:
A 7-9 record is still possible. If the Jags win out, does Gus get another season?
John: The Jaguars have won two games this season. I suppose I'll let them win two more before I start thinking about five-game winning streaks.
Trae from Jacksonville:
Will you and Jerell be exchanging Christmas cards?
John: I hope so. I like Jerell.
Connor from North Carolina:
Is there any logical reason why Mike Mallory still has a job or is it a foregone conclusion that there is zero accountability on this team?
John: Special teams coordinator Mike Mallory has a job because sometimes it's not always coaching in the NFL. Sometimes it's players, too.
John from Port Orange, FL:
Don't give up on Bortles quite yet. It is imperative we draft a power running back and firm up the offensive line to take the pressure off Bortles. I believe he thinks he needs to do it all and as a result presses and makes poor decisions. Give him a power running game and you will see a better Bortles.
Michael from Tucker, GA:
Hi John, as we close on this terrible season, I can't help but reflect back. What actually happened? We have as much talent as the Titans, Bucs and Raiders. All rebuilt their teams at the same time. We have young studs on both sides of the ball. Yet, we suck and those young teams are fighting for the playoffs. What did the #DTWD movement miss going into this year?
John: Few anticipated Bortles struggling to the degree he has, and few foresaw the offensive struggles that have gone along with Bortles' struggles. And the turnover margin … oh, goodness the turnover margin. And the special teams returns allowed haven't helped, either.
Matt from the Matt Cave:
O, you haven't answered me in a while and I'm getting worried. Just hope you are OK. Please get back to me whenever you can just so I know you are alive. And also maybe you could give me some advice to deal with Bucs fans mocking me for being a Jags fan right now.
John: Stay gold, Pony Boy.
Bruce from Gotham, NY:
How do you think this year will impact Mr. Robinson's contract situation? Do you feel the emergence of Mr. Lee will also have an impact? Also, do you feel that Mr. Lee's performance kind of makes Mr. Caldwell wish he held off a year on Mr. Hurns contract? It seems a difficult decision will need to be made at the wide receiver position due to financial/contract implications.
John: I don't think this season will keep Robinson from being a major priority for the Jaguars this offseason, and while bigger numbers this season would have helped Robinson's bargaining power, I still imagine he'll sign a very, very lucrative deal. I do not think the Jaguars regret re-signing Allen Hurns. He essentially signed a two-year extension and the Jaguars can get out of the contract at the end of 2017 with no salary cap ramifications if they so desire. As far as Lee, I don't see him signing a long-term extension this offseason, but I do see him being approached by the team in a big way some time relatively early in 2017 if he continues to ascend.
Jason from North Pole, AK:
Sammy Watkins got away with a push off on that long ball against Ramsey. The coverage was terrific, but there is a reason the ball was just out of Ramsey's reach when it arrived. Just sayin'.
John: Yeah, great receivers tend to do that effectively.
Rob from the duuu:
Zone, what do you think of Dante Fowler's development at this point in season? Do you think he can develop mentally and become a productive player in this league? Is there absolutely no hope he becomes a competent long-term starter at this point? Is Yannick Ngakoue starting more of a testament of how good he is or how much of a liability Dante is? Thanks, moodachay.
John: I think Dante Fowler has not developed as much or as quickly as a pass-rusher as would be ideal, but I also think that first-year defensive ends very often do not develop quickly in the NFL. I do think Fowler can develop mentally and be a very productive player in the NFL because to do is not uncommon at all, particularly at the defensive-end position. He already is a competent starter in the NFL and is not a liability. He is very good against the run and has made a lot of plays in a lot of areas – with a notable exception being that he hasn't yet developed into a high-level pass rusher. Ngakoue is starting over Fowler because Ngakoue is better right now. He's a more developed pass rusher more quickly than Fowler. That doesn't mean Fowler can't develop, but that's why Ngakoue is starting.
Sam from Duval:
Do you think there is any chance we will see a regular-season victory at EverBank Field this year?
Gafari from Ghana:
Dear John, I received your email with thanks and I really appreciate your kind attention towards my business proposal, I am a solicitor and personal finance lawyer to late Mrs. Emily Morley client of mine who has a servicing firm affiliated with the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) Oil & Gas. She was awarded a contract worth of (US$33,600,000.00), immediately this contract was signed, an initial amount of (US$20,600,000.00) was paid to her as mobilization fee to kick off the contract. She duly completed this contract pending when her remaining balance of (US$13,000,000.00) will be paid to her. However, on the 27th November 2014, my client, her family were involved in a ghastly boat capsize in Accra-Ghana. Unfortunately, all the occupants in the boat lost their lives, and not too long after her untimely death, her outstanding contract balance of US$13,000,000.00 was approved and deposited in a bank here in Ghana. Right now the funds are still floating unclaimed in the suspense account here, and the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) Oil & Gas have issued me a notice as the personal financial lawyer to the deceased to provide the next of kin or appoint a foreign executor next of kin of my choice to lay this claim, or have this account confiscated in a short period of time from now, unfortunately her supposed next of kin being her only child died along with her. So in all faithfulness, I have reasoned very professionally to seek your concept to present you as my appointed foreign executor next of kin to the deceased since you are at an advantage bearing the same last name with her, so that the proceeds of this remaining balance of her contract funds valued at US$13,000,000.00 can be paid to you, and we shall both share the funds 55% for me while 40% will be for you and the remaining 5% will be for any incurred expenses and for donation to charity organizations, and I will like to invest my share of the funds in your country into a profitable business which I will like you to guide me into hence I am not too familiar with your country system of business, that is why your advice will be highly needed when there is need. So in this regards, I want you to be rest assured that this transaction is 100% risk free and all I require from you is your honest co-operation to enable us see this opportunity through as I guarantee you that this transaction will be executed under proper legitimate arrangements that will protect you from any breach of the law since it is within the ambit of law, and as her personal financial lawyer I have all the necessary legal documents that will be used to back up any claim we may make. So I will appreciate to hear from you regarding to this subject so that I can provide you with more details about this transaction as to enable us proceed further with the fund transfer process. Thank you and remain blessed with your family. Best Regards, Mr. Williams Gafari.
John: I'm in.
JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Dave from Orlando, FL: