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Shot out of a cannon

Victory Monday.

Let's get to it . . . Buddy from Indianapolis, IN:
What do you think is the biggest problem with the receiving corps?
John: I have been harping on the separation and route-running for the last week, and that still will be an issue until it gets better. But one thing that's also becoming fairly obvious is the receivers aren't helping Blaine Gabbert in terms of making plays on the ball, either. Several touchdowns in other games Sunday came from receivers going to get the ball – A.J. Green in Cincinnati and Dez Bryant with the Cowboys come to mind. A quarterback must put the ball in the right spot, but sometimes in the NFL these days a quarterback has to be able to throw the ball to a receiver and have the receiver do something athletic and spectacular.
Mike from Jacksonville:
Do you plan on O-zoning through the Thanksgiving weekend, assuming we are blackout free?
John: Gobble, gobble. Yep, yep.
Rob from Green Cove Springs, FL:
I know, I know . . . don't be a Debbie Downer. A wins a win, but I'm sorry, that was, once again, a miserable offensive performance. I keep looking for just an inkling of improvement from Gabbert and the receivers and it's just not there. Against any other team in the NFL that would have been another wasted defensive effort and a loss. It's almost hard to comprehend how a passing game can be this inept.
John: You're not being a downer. I assure you the Jaguars feel the same way. Yes, they were pleased to get a victory, but 251 yards offense and 110 yards passing isn't enough. It's incorrect to lay the entire blame on Gabbert, and I didn't get the impression from your email that you were, but at the same time, everything about the passing offense must improve. Gabbert has to do the little things better. The receivers have to get more open. Marcedes Lewis has to catch the ball. It's no mystery. There are few around the Jaguars who would say different. There were signs of life in the second half, but those signs have to become more consistent.
Stan from Jacksonville:
If someone had told me before the season started that after 10 weeks the Jags and Eagles would have the same record I would have been ecstatic. Now looking at it, it's really not that exciting.
John: Irony can be pretty ironic.
Lance from Jacksonville:
Monroe played his best game Sunday. There, I said something nice for once.
John: He did seem to play well Sunday and in fact, for much of this season he has played very well. It seems that in recent weeks more people are coming around to that idea, and that's deserved. Once again, the Jaguars' offensive line didn't play perfectly in pass protection Sunday, but the Colts are a difficult team against which to pass protect. Monroe did a good job against defensive end Dwight Freeney. No question about it.
Ken from Jacksonville Beach:
I noticed Paul Spicer on the sideline with a coach's headset on. Can you tell us what role he is playing?
John: He is assisting with the defensive line.
John from Duval, FL:
Gabbert was 14 of 21 passing. That's almost over 50 percent. Let us shower our leader with admiration for he has led us to victory. All Hail Blaine Gabbert. Also the defense did pretty good.
John: Praise not your young leader too much, lest he get a big head under that long, blonde hair. All kidding aside, you're right – 14 of 21 is close to being over 50 percent. And that defense? It is certainly very, very good. Through nine weeks, we certainly can say that.
Kharri from Coatesville, PA:
I don't see how you can tell me to lighten up when our quarterback of the future can barely hit 100 yards against any team, even if their defense is as porous as the Colts. I don't want you to think I have any hate towards you, I just have a lot of passion for the Jaguars, and seeing how bad they are playing this year and trying to stay positive is killer.
John: Your passion is accepted and appreciated. I like to keep the O-Zone a place where we at least half a hint of decorum and reason. Sometimes, I like to throw out a gentle reminder of that.
Andre from St. Augustine, FL:
Fans buy tickets to watch their favorite team play. Regardless of the lineup.... If you are fortunate enough to rest starters, enjoy watching the development of the young guys and gear up for the playoffs.
John: I'm not sure there's any other reasonable way to see it.
John from Jacksonville:
At this rate, does Devin Hester make it in to the HOF as a returner? The guy is very impressive.
John: Until very recently, I was of the belief that a returner almost certainly wouldn't make it into the Hall of Fame. I thought this for a couple of reasons. One was that a returner by definition usually wasn't a starter and if he's not a starter how could he be in the Hall of Fame? While usually I believe that, Hester is a different case. I also once believed a returner almost certainly couldn't make enough of an impact for long enough to make it. Regarding Hester, it will still be difficult for him to make it. While he is effective as a returner, he still has only 30 career touchdowns. A remarkable 17 have come on kick or punt returns, but while that's a record is it enough of an impact to make the Hall of Fame?
Daniel from Atlanta, GA:
I saw a few completions to Chastin West. Was he part of the bye week game-planning and if not, why was he in and why haven't we seen much of him in the first half of the season? It seemed to me that they had something going in the second half. Any potential for something to develop between the two? Opinions please.
John: West caught three passes for 39 yards and considering he played while Cecil Shorts did not, it seems apparent he was part of the bye-week game-planning. In terms of why he didn't play much the first half of the season during that period the Jaguars thought Shorts, Jarett Dillard and other receivers were better options. I'd guess you'll see more of West in the next few games. Usually when players play well they earn more time and it would seem that's the case with West.
Clyde from Sanford, FL:
Would you agree the offense showed some promise of at least being competitive once Gabbert started taking quick drops and hitting his wide receivers on slants over the middle as well as hitting on the check down passes to the RBs? His completion percentage was 67 percent for the game which is outstanding considering the pass rush that Indy has.
John: I also thought that Gabbert showed some promise in the second half. The Jaguars talked coming out of the bye about trying to get Gabbert in more situations where he's doing things he does well. Perhaps that second half Sunday was the first step in that direction.
Dustin from Jacksonville:
I had forgotten how much fun it could be to have a top 5 (now up to 4) defense. These guys are good.
John: There is no question the Jaguars are a good defense. Through the first few games, you could be excused for wondering just how good it was, but after nine games, there's no debating it. I don't know that I would put them in the Top 5 best defenses, but I don't know that they're far off. Considering where the Jaguars were last season, that's fairly remarkable.
Jordan from Muncie, IN:
Cecil Shorts is making Keyshawn Johnson's rookie year look legendary right now. What can they do to incorporate him into the game better?
John: Johnson was the No. 1 overall selection in the 1996 draft and Shorts was a fourth-round selection, so I'm not sure if you can truly compare them in that sense. I started thinking about Shorts this weekend when the Jaguars were playing the Colts. Pierre Garcon, who like Shorts went to Mount Union, struggled as a rookie and caught four passes for the Colts in 2008. The next year, he became an integral part of the offense. My guess now with Shorts is if he's going to contribute he may need that off-season and year of experience. Sometimes it takes a year – especially at receiver. Maybe that will be the case with Shorts. It's simply hard to believe he can't play or that he'll never make an impact. He looked good and had too much ability in training camp.
Scott from Fort Lauderdale:
Session is fun to watch. He is a bowling ball being shot out of a cannon. What do you see his role being in this defense for the second half of the year?
John: I see his role as being a bowling ball shot out of a cannon.

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