Had to work hard not to make it all Tim Tebow all the time today.
He is indeed a phenomenon, and as someone noted, he gives detractors and supporters equal ammunition whenever he plays.
So, yes, I answered a few Tebow questions today. There are those who will be angry at this, because this is a Jaguars-oriented column, but it's also an NFL column and my top aim is to make it interesting – for readers and for me. Also, the overwhelming majority of questions were about Timmy.
Say what you want about Tebow – and I would not say I'd want him as the Jaguars' quarterback or a building piece for the future – he's always interesting. As unwatchable as it may be at times.
Let's get to it . . .
Julia from Jacksonville:
In all my years reading this column, first with Rick and now you, this is the first time that I remember so much talk surrounding the draft and we are only halfway through the season! Jeez, can't we enjoy the current season, such as it is, without jumping six months into a future that is truly unknown at this point?
John: What you say is true. We're getting a slew of draft questions already, and that's the case although I answer very few draft-related questions compared to those I receive. While I follow college football to an extent, I don't pretend to have scouted players or even discussed extensively with anyone enough college players to speak with any expertise on the draft during the regular season. As I stated last off-season, I really don't start delving into the draft until the combine in late February, so I don't invest too much O-Zone space to discussing college players during the regular season. I think the Jaguars will address wide receiver early, particularly considering there seem to be several wide receivers who could make an impact. Beyond that, I don't have a real feel yet, so I agree with what you said: enjoy the season. Worry about the draft come the off-season.
Michael from Jacksonville:
I feel sorry for you. I'm sure you are getting a lot of "We Should Have Drafted Tebow" comments. Stay strong, John.
John: I will not succumb to the madness.
Silly Max from Tucson, AZ:
I love my wife just as much as the next guy. I don't know why anyone would think differently. I just have a less-loveable way of showing it. For example, if one of her home-cooked meals isn't tasty enough, I'll push it away and "boo" loudly. If this persists, I'll simply get up from the dinner table and walk across the street for a gourmet Chick-Fil-A sandwich. My beer belly and I will not be satisfied with my beloved wife until she achieves FULL CONSISTENCY in her home-cooked meals. Just thought I'd share a bit about how a REAL fan...I mean, a REAL man...treats his team...er...wife.
John: I would hope you love your wife more than the next guy loves her.
Carlos from Bakersfield, CA:
Seeeee! With Tebow at the helm, the Jags wouldn't need receivers!! It be all Tebow. Plus playing terrible teams like the Broncos have played might also help! Oh I'm such a believer now, forget about my Irish, it's T-E-B-O-W time (new catch phrase when reporting on Tebow).
John: Sounds like you're all in. Enjoy yourself.
John from Jacksonville:
A good sign from Gabbert last Sunday was that he didn't panic after that first interception early on. He maintained his composure and prevented future mistakes to keep the Jags close in the first half. I think a focus point this Sunday will be to see if the offense carries the positives it had from the second half in Indy (long TD drive and short redzone TD drive) to Cleveland. It would really be refreshing to surprise everyone and to jump out to a nice lead early for a change. Am I dreaming?
John: You are not dreaming and you are accurate. I also liked a lot about the calmness of the offense and the way Gabbert steadied in the second half. If the offense plays better Sunday, it's a trend in the right direction.
Shane from Callahan, FL:
Can an NFL defense really not stop a college offensive scheme?
John: Patience, Shane. This too shall pass.
Mike from St. Mary's, GA:
Koetter made an interesting reference in Troy Aikman, so I checked it out. Turns out that the only game Dallas won in Troy's rookie season was one that Troy didn't play in. Wow. Maybe that's common knowledge, but I was really surprised.
John: I had forgotten he didn't play in the Cowboys' victory that year, but it's well-documented that Aikman and many other quarterbacks have struggled as rookies then gone on to successful careers. That's why a whole lot of what is being said about Gabbert right now isn't as incorrect as it is premature. This thing is a process, it takes time, etc. etc., etc.
Ray from Vernon, FL:
Chastin West seemed to be open and has good hands. I would just love it if someone like him comes out of nowhere and becomes Gabbert's go-to guy. Do you think he might be the answer?
John: The questions around the Jaguars' passing offense are deep and numerous enough that I don't know if there is one answer. More likely, it's going to take a group effort, and it seems there is potential for West to be part of that.
Roger from Jacksonville:
The Broncos' offense is pretty inept for the most part like ours (except in the fourth quarter). Their defense is pretty solid, again like ours. Tebow's 4-1 as a starter, Gabbert's 2-5. If you argue that Gabbert's only going to get better with time, the same argument can be made for Tebow. What do you attribute to the big disparity in records.
John: I'm not going to turn the O-Zone into a Tebow bashing session. I'll make two points in an attempt to answer the question. The disparity in records is that the Broncos have won at least two games and perhaps more that they were very fortunate to win during that streak. Against the Jets, for example, while Tebow deserves praise for the final touchdown the truth remains that was the team's lone offensive touchdown. As for getting better with time, I would argue that. Running quarterbacks – which Tebow certainly is – and running backs rarely get significantly better with time and in fact as their bodies take a toll often they deteriorate. Unless Tebow improves dramatically in some very basic fundamental areas, I would just be surprised if he's a long-term championship quarterback. Perhaps I'll be wrong.
Rob from Jacksonville:
So John, which comes first? A Colts win or a Packers loss?
John: I thought about this a long time and I still don't know if I have a good answer. I can't remember a season when two teams looked more like locks to not lose a game or not win a game. I covered the Colts in 2005 when they started 13-0 and in 2009 when they started 14-0, and never had a feeling in those years the Colts were a lock to go undefeated. I also recall thinking the Patriots had flaws in 2007 when they went 16-0 and lost to the Giants. Those teams had close games along the way when you held your breath. Indianapolis in 2009, for example, defined itself by being a comeback team rather than a team that ran away and hid. The Packers this season look like the most complete team in a long, long time. I'd be surprised if they don't win the Super Bowl and I wouldn't be surprised at all if they went 19-0. I couldn't say that about the New England or Indianapolis teams. As for this year's Colts, they look very much like a team that could lose them all. They're capable of winning, but didn't look last week like a team that was close to putting all of the pieces together. If I had to choose, I'd say the Packers lose before the Colts win, if only because it's very hard in the NFL to win late in the season once your playoff seeding is clinched – and the Colts look like it's going to be a real struggle for them to win.
Bob from Orange Park, FL:
As an answer to the Jimmy Smith question, I think Andre Johnson is the closest receiver in the game today to Jimmy, and the talking heads think he is the best in the league.
John: I wouldn't argue. I do believe Johnson is the best receiver in the NFL when healthy. For a time in the 1990s, Smith was as good as there was. Like many Jaguars players, he never got quite the credit for his level of play as he probably deserved, but if you talked to cornerbacks and defensive coordinators at the time they believed Smith as difficult to stop as any receiver in the league.