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Searching for a happy place

Let's get to it . . . Todd from Brewer:
What do we do with Kampman?
John: You do what the Jaguars are doing. You keep him active until you are sure he can't contribute anymore – partly because you need him and could benefit from him playing well and partly because you would like to see if he can contribute in the future. The Kampman situation is frustrating. He's frustrated. The team is frustrated. But you don't put a player on IR out of frustration. You put him there when it's best for the team and you determine he can't help you the rest of the season.
Lance from Jacksonville:
Well, let's start talking about all the cheap beer and liquor it's gonna take to get through the rest of the year. We will probably lose out now. Maybe even get the second overall pick, too. It will be the fourth straight year with a top ten pick for this team that we still miss out on the playoffs with. Thank you Gene, Jack, and Mr. Weaver. I'm tired now. Think I'll drink some bottom shelf Ancient Age whiskey now.
John: I don't think we should be friends. You seem to be in search of a "Happy Place."
Norm from Dothan, AL:
I am interested in your opinion about the NFL overtime rule versus college. Both have a coin toss to begin the game, which gives each equal balance. In overtime, college rules allow equal opportunity to score and the NFL leaves it solely to the coin toss as to which has the opportunity to score first and win. Do you consider this fair?
John: Not particularly, but I don't know that I like the college rule all that much better. I don't know that there is a fair OT rule other than to play out an entire quarter or some other preset amount of time, and you'll never get that because of the injury factor. The NFL's overtime format is in place almost entirely because of injury risk. The longer a game goes on – particularly the longer an overtime game goes on with players already fatigued – the higher the injury risk. When a potential rule change was brought up for discussion a couple of years ago, players as a group opted to keep the current system for just that reason. I'm not nuts about the college setup because starting at the 25 already in field-goal range doesn't feel like a game situation. I don't mind the current NFL setup for a couple of reasons. One, while one team gets the opportunity to score first and win, the other team has the opportunity to play defense. That is allowed. The other is that any team complaining about not having had a fair chance to win the game also must consider this: they had 60 minutes – and presumably many opportunities – to win the game in regulation. I do wonder how the new additions to the NFL rule in the post-season will play out. It seems they may have found a more equitable solution, but we'll see.
Tudor from St. Augustine, FL:
Any thoughts on the Suh ejection? Initially I saw him being ridiculous but upon closer inspection, the Packer was holding him down. The way I see it the helmet smashing was fine because he was trying to get free, but not the stepping on the arm. What say you?
John: I'm typically the first to accept the devil's advocate view in such a situation. That's mainly because I believe there are often explanations for people behaving a certain way beyond the obvious. In this case, Suh's explanation doesn't pass the eye test. Even if the Packers player was holding him down, Suh appeared to overreact and escalate the situation unnecessarily. For whatever reason, these situations have followed Suh since he entered the NFL. If the reaction of the league and the public to this particular action is more than it should be, he unfortunately has brought it upon himself by a pattern of oddly unacceptable behavior. Maybe I should get him Lance's email. He, too, seems in need of a "Happy Place."
Cristiano from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil:
The expectations about Blackmon are beginning to sound like those the Falcons had about Julio Jones, aren't they?
John: There are similarities, and as good as Jones likely will end up being, the Falcons this season are shaping up as an example of how one player – particularly one receiver – has difficulty making a huge difference in a team's record. That's not saying the Jaguars don't need to improve at wide receiver. Without question, they do. It just takes more than that, and there is a proven risk to sacrificing an entire draft to get a receiver.
Kerry from Mount Airy, NC:
Indeed the Jaguars would not be worried about a blackout or a move to LA if No. 15 were pulling on a Teal jersey. In fact, the covers would have come off by now.
John: They would be worried about their long-term viability at the quarterback position, and in that sense, any worries that might be temporarily alleviated in your scenario wouldn't really be gone, only delayed.
Mark from Jacksonville:
Just a comment on Rich from Jacksonville's comments on Tebow. Interesting how he talks about Gator fans being interested in Tebow. It doesn't matter where, just as long as it is Tebow. As a Jaguar fan, I'm far more interested in seeing what the Jaguars have been and are doing. Once the sideshow leaves Denver, let's see how much interest those folks will still have in the Broncos. Fan bases are built on support for the team, not the hero worship of one individual.
John: And hence, the Polarizing Experiment continues to spark debate.
Mr. Optimism from Jacksonville:
The Fat Lady is center stage, but she's not singing yet. Still time to give her the hook. Three wins at home and a three game slide by the Texans begins this weekend. The Titans have three tough games coming up too. It's not over til its over! It's feeding time for the Big Cats!
John: My glass is sometimes half-empty. And sometimes half-full. Yours is overflowing. I admire you for it. Maybe you can fill Lance's glass.
Mike from St. Mary's, GA:
I thought Steve Beurlein was the QB for the Jaguars inaugural season?
John: Beuerlein started the season. Mark Brunell had emerged as the starter and the franchise quarterback by season's end.
Richard from Jacksonville:
With injuries becoming the norm on the team, how many players do we have on injured reserved?
John: Seventeen. It's the highest total in the league this season.
Scott from Honolulu, HI:
If you ask me, Houston is the best situation for Matt Leinart. At USC he had a dominant defense, running game, offensive line, and receivers. All he really had to do was distribute the ball and manage the game. I know this sounds over simplified, but he pretty much has the same situation with the Texans, doesn't he? That being said, I hope Jeremy Mincey destroys him and MJD runs wild, GO JAGS!!!
John: Leinart played with a very good team in college. He's with a good team now. That's always a better situation for a quarterback than the alternative. I don't think there's any question for that reason that this is a key time in Leinart's career. If he can't excel in this circumstance, he certainly will have trouble getting an opportunity to start again.
Logan from Jacksonville:
Three starters on defense placed on IR, along with an NFL high 17 total players. Is there something to say about our strength and conditioning coaches? I know injuries happen, and they are a part of the game, but it seems like our players are getting hurt too much in games and even practice. That has to go back to strength and conditioning.
John: It does? Clint Session was placed on injured reserve with a concussion. Rashean Mathis and Derek Cox were placed on IR with knee injuries. Eben Britton had a back issue. Rashad Jennings sustained a knee injury in the preseason. If the Jaguars had an overabundance of pulls/strains, etc., keeping guys out of the lineup, you might – emphasis, might – cast an eye toward strength and conditioning, but even then, that's a reach. People always want to assess blame. Injuries happen in the NFL. It's a violent, physical game. To think coaches can control them is to unreasonably look for reason behind things that often occur with neither rhyme nor reason.
Mike from Boston, MA:
In response to Greg's question a couple days ago, Reggie Nelson is the weakest part of the Bengals defense. Sensabaugh looks out of position pretty often in Dallas. Haven't seen much of Durant in Detroit, but I like the new crop of linebackers we have now. I'd say all three positions were upgraded by GM Gene.
John: You have been heard. You can criticize a lot about the Jaguars' season, but to criticize the defensive free agents acquired is a bit over the top.

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