Let's get to it . . . Rob from Green Cove Springs, FL:
I won't argue that Blaine Gabbert has shown as much progression as many would like. But should the Jaguars end up with an early pick in next year's draft, I hope they use that to upgrade another position. I see similarities between Gabbert's young career and the early career of Eli Manning. It wasn't until his third NFL season that you could see things start to click with him. How do you see the comparison between Blaine and Eli? I have hope that the end result could be similar.
John: There absolutely are similarities, though to be honest, Manning didn't struggle early quite as much as Gabbert has. Manning and Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco are the best examples right now that quarterbacks develop at their own pace, and that even though Gabbert has struggled, you don't know for sure his end game. The problem facing Gabbert is that so many other young quarterbacks are doing well. That's the easy argument against being patient with him. The more difficult road is to be patient, because being patient isn't fun, but Manning's case certainly supports it.
Jack from Jacksonville:
Since the Jags are picking up street free agents any possibility the Jags bring Lee Evans back? At this point what do we have to lose? He could be our version of Reggie Wayne for the younger receivers.
John: I doubt it. My understanding is Lee Evans pretty much knew this summer it was time.
Jeff from Jacksonville:
The plan for Gabbert was to have him develop behind Garrard. Why not go back to that plan and play Henne the rest of the season? I am not suggesting Henne is the answer, but how much damage can Henne do to a team that is 1-4? If he does well then you keep him in next year and continue to develop Gabbert. If Henne doesn't perform, bring someone else in next year. It just seems like we are setting up Gabbert to fail by saying you have 11 more games to show us what you can do.
John: It's not about whether Henne could do "damage." I'm quite sure he wouldn't. I'm just not sure that right now, 1-4, I see the point in sitting Gabbert. I don't know that you sit him until you're convinced he's not the guy and we're not there yet.
Steve from Homosassa, FL:
If all of a sudden our 'D' starts playing lights out with Smith in there at linebacker, my guess is the Jaguars will break the bank to keep him.
John: Good guess – not great, but good. Smith may not bring quite the contract he would have five years ago, but he is pretty critical to the defense. If he plays well the second half of the season, I'd guess the Jaguars try to re-sign him, but entering his 10th season, it wouldn't automatically be a long-term, bank-breaking deal.
Mike from Section 238:
I think your proclamation that "...to think not having Daryl Smith in the lineup isn't a big loss is incorrect," needs some modification. A "healthy" Daryl Smith makes a big difference. Daryl Smith at 70 percent may not make such a big difference, and you have to wonder where he'll be this weekend even if he can play.
John: Yes, you do have to wonder that, and yes, you're right that Smith at 70 percent isn't the same as Smith at 100 percent. I regret that I don't always modify everything I write, but modification can be exhausting. The Jaguars were patient in bringing Smith back, even though they obviously needed him. I can't see them rushing him back if he's not 100 percent, but we won't know until Sunday.
Ken from Jacksonville:
With the team traveling to the West Coast on Friday, what will they do on Saturday? Will they have practice? Will they be able to go sightseeing? What rules will be in place to keep them from getting in trouble?
John: They will have meetings and a walkthrough Saturday morning, then meetings on Saturday night – pretty much the same as before any game. As far as sightseeing, I don't know that there are going to be cabfulls of Jaguars players heading to Fisherman's Wharf, but they will have a bit of downtime. Maybe time for some Call of Duty, iPhone solitaire, watching college football, or strolling along the hotel veranda pondering life and how to live it. The rules will be the same as for any road trip. There will be a curfew, but for the most part, the Jaguars treat road games like a business trip. There's not a whole lot of free time or a lot of inclination to run the streets like madmen.
Ron from Orlando, FL:
Care to comment? "Jaguars have 1,206 yards of offense. They are only team under 1,500 yards. Also only team with less than 1,000 passing yards; Jags have 714."
John: What comment? Facts are facts.
Paul from Jacksonville:
John, the Jaguars are obviously not doing enough as an organization to turn things around! We should fire the entire front office and coaching staff, hire replacements for everyone, fire them in 4-5 games and keep repeating until we have a winning team! Oh yeah, we also need to bring in T.O., Randy Moss, Jim Brown and Lynn Swann! They can help us out a lot and sure are better than the guys we have! Now excuse me, I have to refill the exclamation points on my computer!!!...
John: Point taken!!!
Chris from Crestview, FL:
In the NFL everyone is talented, and the talent level is not wide between any team. Thus teams can win/lose on any given Sunday. How is it that some teams maintain an emotional high and yet this is dismissed? For example, the Colts played a great game versus the Packers and won based on emotion. I remember several times a less talented team win in an emotional moment. What is your take?
John: Emotions can come into play, and because the NFL indeed is very even in terms of talent, you see upsets on a week-to-week basis. But over time, the well-coached, well-prepared team that makes the fewest mistakes and has the most consistent quarterback play is going to win more often than the teams without that.
Steve from Palatka, FL:
I know you are a fan of building a team in free agency, but with the salary cap floor going into effect next year what will the Jags spend all their money on?
John: I'll assume your question was mis-worded, because I'm not a fan of building through free agency at all. The Jaguars will spend money extending contracts that deserve to be extended, with Daryl Smith a possibility there and Derek Cox likely to be a priority. There are other current players such as Terrance Knighton scheduled to be free agents, and aside from Cox and Smith, the final 11 games likely will determine the team's interest. As far as free agents the Jaguars might pursue, we're a long way from that. I still prefer to focus on the draft, but I could see linebacker being a possibility if the right player was available.
Taylor from Baltimore, MD:
Hey John - no question. I just wanted to say it's refreshing to hear you telling it like it is recently instead of sugarcoating - and I can sense your frustration. For us fans, that's what we really wanted to hear - that you and those around the Jaguars aren't satisfied either. I don't know how many readers my viewpoint represents, but Respect 10.
John: As much as I appreciate your rating of my respect, I'm neither satisfied nor unsatisfied, and I'm not sure I've changed all that much. Before the season, the organization expected to be improved, and I expected that, too. I wrote that. During the first month, there was inconsistency and I wrote that, too, while noting that there were positives. There were positives the last two weeks before the bye, and while I wrote that, I also wrote that clearly 1-4 with one-sided home losses wasn't satisfactory. One thing to know about the organization: people may talk about staying the course, and they may emphasize positives even when others emphasize what's going wrong, but no one is satisfied with losing. It's just not that way.
Hunter from Orlando, FL:
I know how overwhelmingly important your power rankings are and I agree the Chiefs aren't very good. However, they are ranked No. 12 in overall offense and No. 16 in overall defense. The Jags are No. 32 in offense and No. 30 in defense. The Chiefs are gaining 137 yards more per game on O and their D is holding their opponent to 75 fewer yards than the Jags. What exactly is the psychology keeping you from putting the Jags in their proper place (last) right now?
John: They're my rankings, and because they mean next-to-nothing, I can put the Jaguars where I want and not fear altering the election or influencing the economy. If they beat Oakland, you might see them skyrocket to the Top 10. Probably not, but this time last week I didn't think I'd be wearing a spiked mask and waving my kid's old plastic swords on television, either.
Zero economic impact
Let's get to it . . . Rob from Green Cove Springs, FL: