Game day Ozone.
Let's get to it . . .
Joey from St. Augustine, FL:
I can't understand why the coaches haven't put Blaine Gabbert in more passing formations/situations that he is comfortable with. Look at all the rookie and second-year quarterbacks having success and you notice the offense is being tailored to their strengths or very similar to how they were productive in college. Blaine came from the spread; he needs three-or-four wide receiver sets on the field and many more plays out of the shotgun to be comfortable. Granted, this will make us more of a passing offense, but that's why we moved up to select him! Spread it out more often for the sake of giving Blaine a chance; I think he can be successful, but we're trying to make him something he is not.
John: An argument can be made that last season Gabbert perhaps wasn't ready to play in a spread-out system in the NFL with a pass-oriented attack. He was very, very young and had played comparatively little in college. A similar argument perhaps could be made earlier this season. But over time, Gabbert is getting more and more comfortable throwing and doing so from multiple-receiver sets. My guess is you'll see more of what you're looking for the last half of the season.
Sean from Fleming Island, FL:
Don't you build a brand by winning (if you are in a league that tracks wins and losses)?
John: Yes, but if you're struggling on the field you don't just give up on everything else, either.
Marcus from Jacksonville:
I know that you (and everyone else) says you don't make front-office decisions in season. I agree with that in theory. However, if Shad Kahn knows now he's going to fire Gene Smith (any maybe he doesn't), what does it hurt to do it midseason and put an interim in place for the rest of the year? Right now, the team is digging a deeper and deeper hole with its fan base, and is becoming more and more irrelevant nationally with every day. Wouldn't it be a good thing to give a glimpse of hope to the fans, and maybe get mentioned in the media for something other than getting blown out at home? If the season continues on this course, the Jags won't just need to rebuild the team, they'll need to rebuild the fan base, and another "All In" team teal pep rally isn't gonna cut it.
John: Shad Khan isn't going to make a decision until he's ready to do what he thinks is right for the long-term benefit of the franchise. He has said more than once this week that means not making quick-trigger decisions. He has owned the team for half of a regular season, so to him, making a decision now would be quick trigger. The ramifications of the decision won't be any different now than they would be in January.
Joe from Section 105:
John, have you ever been around a team that has so many "nice" guys on it? Mincey occasional gets disturbed; otherwise, it seems everyone including the coach retreats into cliches about "working harder" and "executing better." My guess is that Boselli and McCardell weren't that "nice" in the locker room after a humiliation. Vanilla on the field, vanilla off the field, apathy in the stands will be next. Your thoughts on the way Boselli would be reacting to this situation as a player?
John: I think he would have been mad. Very mad. I also think it wouldn't have mattered. Boselli made the Jaguars better because he was maybe the best left tackle in football, not because of how he behaved after a loss.
Rob from Fleming Island, FL:
Is it reasonable for players in a contract year playing through a season like this to expect the "new deals" to be lucrative? Tyson, for example.
John: Alualu isn't in a contract year, but whatever; the team's record has comparatively little to do with what a player gets paid at the end of his contract. And players' expectations don't mean much. A player can expect whatever he wants. His market will depend on what teams are willing to pay.
Tom from Waycross, GA:
I just read your response about Jason Pierre-Paul. I would hate to be a general manager. All the factors that made JPP a risk applied to Blaine Gabbert. The GM is crucified for paying attention to those concerns with JPP and not paying attention to those concerns with Gabbert. Damned if he does, damned if he doesn't. It's easy to be a fan, but it must be hell to be a GM.
John: It's tough. But it's supposed to be tough. I didn't point out the Jason Pierre-Paul risks Wednesday to have people feel pity for Gene Smith, but to point out that the draft is easy to grade and judge in retrospect and very difficult to navigate on draft day. The Pierre-Paul decision is one that fans always will associate as a miss for Smith. They won't credit him for hitting on Eugene Monroe, the best player at his position in his respective draft, because the Jaguars are 1-7. You've got to win to get credit as a general manager and so far the last two seasons that hasn't happened.
Sandro from El Paso, TX:
At what point do we look at Mike Mularkey and consider a change? I know it's only his first year and a new offense, but that can't mean he gets a pass. Gabbert has shown signs of life, Mularkey has shown no promise in Jacksonville or previous head coaching jobs.
John: Mularkey is eight games in in Jacksonville. He has had one previous head coaching job, in Buffalo, where the team absolutely did show signs of life in the second half of his first season. You don't get rid of a head coach eight games into a season. It's just not the way to do business.
Bob from New York, NY:
Do you ever write comments on an article on jags.com? I know you would use a pseudonym, but you seem like the type of guy who would do it.
John: Oh, yes. I write seven Ozones a week, take part in a ridiculous video, write about the team in multiple other capacities, discuss them on the radio twice, travel to games . . . then change my name so I can write pithy little comments underneath my own stories. That's so . . . me.
Judd from Jacksonville:
I'm exhausted. Work is kicking my butt; the election, whatever side you are on, has just been a constant war; the Jags have been a disappointment thus far into the season, no matter how low your expectations were to begin with. I just need a memory to distract me for a minute. Ya got anything for me?
John: I remember when I saw R.E.M. at the Bandshell in Gainesville in the fall of '84. Awesome.
Taylor from Baltimore, MD:
The Jaguars' on-the-field futility aside, I genuinely like Shad Khan. Especially after reading your article, I feel safe that with him overseeing things, the Jags WILL eventually improve.
John: I agree. Khan has owned the team less than a year, so to judge him for what's going on on the field is a little ridiculous. He seems determined to make decisions based on reason and facts rather than the hue and cry of fans, and in the long run, that will serve the franchise and its fans well.
Jim from Albany, GA:
Don't people realize that the teams that have demoralized the Jaguars at home this year are pretty good teams? Forget about the past. We beat the Colts earlier and we can beat them again.
John: It's true that the Bears, Texans and Lions are good, but I can't play the, "Well-they-were-good-teams" card. In the NFL, you're supposed to win – and even when you're building, you're supposed to play a lot closer than two-score losses. What's happened at home isn't acceptable, particularly not four times. Now, as to your final point, no question. I raised some eyebrows Tuesday on Jaguars Reporters when I said I thought the Jaguars would win, but I stick to that. The Colts have won five games, but they have been close games and the team is playing on emotion. They're a feel-good story, but it's difficult to play on the razor's edge and win every week. Plus, I keep going back to the second half in Indianapolis. While the Jaguars needed an 80-yard pass in the final minute to win, they also outplayed the Colts much of the half before that. Add that to it being very difficult to travel on a short week, and I think the Jaguars should win today. Anyway, that's what I'm going with.
SKIP from Jacksonville:
This team has no SWAGER. They are 1-6 and I guess it is hard to have SWAGER, but I think that is one reason they are 1-6.They need to run onto that field on Sunday with the feeling, "We are better than them and we will win this game." It should show on the field and on the sidelines. This twam is not up and not prepared to play on Sunday. THEY DO NOT SEEM TO CARE. I think some of the players are just hanging out drawing a check on Sunday. They should be weeded out and got rid of SOON.
John: No argument here, Skip. No twam can win without swager, particularly not one that's 1-6 through eight games.