Skip to main content

Jaguars News | Jacksonville Jaguars -

The message is simple

Let's get to it . . . Don from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
I think the day of not having a star player in Jacksonville is over. Even if No. 32 wants to stay home, impressive so far! All the guys on the team did a great job!
John: Let's not throw anyone to the curb yet. No one wants that. I think Shad Khan said it best on Friday when he told Yahoo! Sports that the whole holdout thing truly does come down to whenever Maurice Jones-Drew wants to return. But there indeed appear to be some players other than Jones-Drew developing on this team. I'd say after a rookie season and offseason of criticism Blaine Gabbert is showing he has a chance, and Justin Blackmon obviously showed the same Friday. Those are just two. It's funny how when the passing game looks better a whole lot of other things come together. You're right. Friday was a good effort. Great job. Don't overplay it and keep it in perspective, but this was a good performance and the team needed it.
Nathan from St. Augustine, FL:
Wow! A better start for Gabbert than I even hoped for. What's the biggest reason for such a quick turnaround? Is it having a year of experience? Offseason workouts? Better coaching staff? Better players around him? What's your take, John?
John: E) All of the above.
Dodak from Ponte Vedra, FL:
Maurice Jones-Who? All kidding aside, the running backs and the first-team offense played very well Friday. It will be nice when MJD joins the team again, but they sure didn't miss him Friday.
John: As we said last week, saying Jones-Who may be funny, but it's not the feeling around the team. The team wants Jones-Drew to return, and the Jaguars will be stronger with him than without him. What people are starting to see, though, is what people in the NFL have known for a while – that an offense that can run well usually doesn't have a huge difference in production if there is a quality backup running back. This offensive line can block. This offense can run. It just can.
Jason from Hagerstown, MD:
Brees was focused and drove down the field with ease. Sign of things to come for the Jaguars' secondary?
John: It's a sign that the Saints' passing game is very, very good. For evidence, see the last five NFL seasons.
Talha from Piscataway, NJ:
Since our running game is really solid without MoJo, do you think we could trade him to a team that needs a No. 1 running back and get a couple of draft picks and/or other good starting players?
John: Theoretically, you could. The problem with the theory is you probably wouldn't get a starter you'd feel good about. If you traded him for a draft pick, you're probably talking fourth- or fifth-round selection. Running backs in their seventh season just don't bring big trade value.
Jason from Hagerstown, MD:
If everyone is healthy what's your O-Line for the Jaguars to start the season?
John: Eugene Monroe at left tackle, Eben Britton at left guard, Brad Meester at center, Uche Nwaneri at right guard and Cameron Bradfield at right tackle.
DownerJagFan from Jacksonville:
With all the excitement on offense it's easy to overlook the fact that our top free agent acquisition, Laurent Robinson, has had only one catch in two preseason games. A cause for concern?
John: No.
Scott from London, England:
Wow, what a performance. Bet your inbox is busy. Rookie receivers often struggle, so what is it about Justin that makes the transition easier? Is it simply his physical skills, or is it more down to Jerry Sullivan?
John: First off, the transition is not yet complete. The more tape teams see on Blackmon, the more cornerbacks will change how they play to take away his strengths. Then, he will have to adapt and continue to hone his skills to get open consistently. That will be particularly important for him because he does not possess elite-level speed. Because of that, he will have to work harder and run better routes. While all of that is true, he appears to have body control, strength and hands to make a successful transition.
Jerry from Jacksonville:
I know it's only preseason, but is this offense as good as it looks or is it just a tease? I can't remember when we've had an offense that looked this efficient early in the preseason.
John: It's OK to be excited. At the same time, it's important to remember there will be hiccups. Teams will game plan for Gabbert and take away what he does well in one game. They will do the same with Blackmon. Those players will have to adjust. That's a process, but it's one that can be worked through.
James from Destin, FL:
I want to thank you for this off season. I read every day because you are there and you give a great description of how you see things. I never saw Blackmon until Friday and I was not sold on him. That changed. I do know Gabbert has improved. Blackmon looked really good and MINCEY is a BEAST! I quit watching ESPN because they don't have a clue about our team. The O ZONE is the place. Thank you again.
John: As Saturday turns into Sunday, it is time to temper enthusiasm, but we won't temper much. That's because I think most fans know one preseason games does not make a season. That said, I also believe what most Jaguars fans are looking for is hope and a sign that things are moving in the right direction. It's hard to argue that's not happening.
Tyler from Jacksonville:
The second preseason game shows there are many talented players on the roster. This should surely show MJD he is not worth more than 5 percent of the team's overall salary allotment. At over a $6 million per year average contract, versus a $120 million salary cap, MJD is just that, 5%. The time has come for the holdout to end or get left behind.
John: You're right, but the Jones-Drew thing honestly isn't about percentage of cap space. It's about Jones-Drew already having a contract and Shad Khan and the Jaguars not really having much desire to rip it up and give him a new one.
Dave from Ada, OK:
I love that kid from UCLA, always have. But on Friday, a feeling came over me I have not felt since I first became a fan of the Jaguars. It is the fact that I love this team, and I don't have to focus on one player's accomplishments to do that. The whole team is good. Every phase. MJD's holdout made me realize that WE are Jaguars. No longer am I thinking, "Wish we could hand the ball to MoJo" when things get rough. I have confidence. I'm all in.
John: So is Shad Khan. And Gene Smith. And Mike Mularkey.
Jason from Jacksonville:
Wow! What a first half. I was impressed with the whole team. The Gabbert and Blackmon connection looks great, but the play that stood out to me was when Mincey drove his blocker into Brees. The pass went up high and was complete, but this could have just easily have been a Pick 6. What say you, O'Man?
John: The defense didn't get much attention Friday, so Mincey was a little overlooked. I've been impressed with him throughout training camp. He talked a lot in the offseason about wanting to work harder because of the new contract, and it appears he has done just that. He looks significantly better this preseason than he did last.
John from Elizabeth City, NC:
Oh, how the NFL Network gurus were backpedaling. But to my question: are Blackmon's hands that good or has it just been that long since we've seen a sure-handed wide receiver on the Jaguars?
John: His hands are that good.
Laurie from Neptune Beach, FL:
I tried not to get too excited when we drafted Blackmon, because who really knows with college receivers. Now that I've seen him in a professional game, even if it was a preseason game, this kid is the real freaking deal. He's just not a player. He is a warrior. When the ball is in the air, it is his and no one else is taking it away without a battle. When he gets the ball, he gets more yards. He gets open. He catches anything thrown at him. He fights for bigger gains after the catch. If I wasn't 30 years older than he is, I'd take him home to mom.
John: I'm glad you enjoyed the game.
Adrian from Inglewood, CA:
I think some people are missing the point on Mularkey's message. It's not about not being able to celebrate. It's about players acting like the professionals that they are and treating the officials with respect as opposed to slamming the ball on the turf and have the poor old ref chasing the ball around.
John: The message is pretty simple. Act like you've been there before. To see it through any other lens is to work so hard for an angle that you miss the big picture.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content