Let's get to it . . .
Michael from Jacksonville:
STOP the lip service! The backlash of this garbage will be significant in this town. After 10 years of going to every game, I didn't feel anything after this loss. Just think, Mr. Khan, what that really means. I promise you I am not the only one feeling that way. You might want to make the change now! Time is running out. The team has never been this low. Nothing anyone can say will bring people back if things are not changed now. I know Mr. Khan will not see this email, but John, maybe you should forward it over.
John: If he reads the O-Zone – and I’m sure his day is highlighted by my wit and insight – he’ll see it. And you’re right that this is a low time. But I don’t agree about the need to change now, and from listening to Shad Khan on Jaguars All-Access Monday, I don’t think he does, either. That doesn’t mean Khan doesn’t believe this is a key time. He said Monday what’s going on is embarrassing. At the same time, he’s smart enough to know that while losing can’t be tolerated, decisions such as the ones you’re discussing must be made with an eye on the long-term and not on a quick-trigger manner. It’s the fans’ job to demand changes, and the owners’ job to make them at the right time. Finally, in terms of bringing people back, fans respond to winning. That’s one of the NFL’s ultimate truths.
Joe from Trinidad & Tobago:
Gabbert over the past few weeks has looked much better – maybe he's at the frame of mind where he expects to be hit. But other than that, I have yet to see anything close to something that shows that this team can beat anyone. We can't complete drives with touchdowns to compete and we can't stop teams on defense when we need to. We always seem to play a half of game or a completely poor one. Thoughts?
John: I think it’s a hard time to be a Jaguars fan right now.
Strnbker from Dothan, AL:
"O" man, this team is imploding. Why? MM says he has no idea why nor who to call. Gene says team lacks talent. Outside of a conspiracy theory to run off fans this makes no sense at all.
John: We’ve gotten the conspiracy theory email more than once. Don’t buy in. It makes no sense. The NFL doesn’t work that way. Players are playing for jobs and coaches are, too. The team is struggling in a big way. No one expected this. It’s a low point, and must improve, but the Jaguars aren’t trying to run off fans. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Greg from St. Johns, FL:
Frustrated and disappointed? At what point are outrage and furious appropriate?
John: Now is fine.
Marjorie from Jacksonville:
I have never had to be a loyal fan of a significantly bad team before. It is sad, but I am viewing it all as comedy now. I think about the team and entire organization and just start laughing and laughing. I am laughing right now, giggling to myself as I wonder, just how is John gonna talk up this train wreck today? I'm sorry, I'm not trying to insult everyone, I'll go back to my funny farm now ... and, yep, I'll wear black!
John: Marjorie, your email reflected the inbox much of Monday. It was a disjointed, angry place where people seemed torn between giving up, lashing out and just sort of accepting what’s going on. But worry not: No talking things up today. The Jaguars are 1-7 and struggling. For the last few weeks there were bright spots and there were areas that could correctly be identified as looking better. This last week, bright spots were hard to find. When there are 53 players on a roster, things are never ALL bad, so will I write some this week about things that could potentially progress? Sure, it’s not presenting the whole picture if I don’t. But will I talk about overall progress being made? No. Right now, this is not the time.
Richard from Doctors Inlet, FL and Section 106:
I have been a season-ticket owner 10 years now. I have decided not to renew after this season. I supported the team for the city, the owners, players and the love of game. I no longer have that feeling for any of those. What can you say to change my mind and thousands of others that probably feel the same way?
John: I say losing hurts and your feeling is understandable. I also say the city, owner and the players still have a love of the game, and I say that times like these don’t last forever. I can’t change the way you feel right now. I can tell you that times change in the NFL, and these times will change, too.
Tim from Section 238:
Unlike senior writers, I pay to go to games instead of getting paid to cover them. I don't sit in a climate-controlled press box and am not required to stay for as much of the game as possible to report about it. I left late in the third quarter and was accused of being a fair-weather fan. Does it make me a bad fan that I left early?
John: No. You are a fan. You paid to go to the game. You support your team. After that, if you’re not bothering others, you can pretty much do what you like.
Chris from Section 103:
I consider myself a pretty superstitious guy. What I have been doing to help this team win clearly wasn't working. After much deliberation, I decided to change everything, from the shirt and shoes I wore, to the beer I drank during the tailgate. Magic Hat is a heck of a beer, but our Jags are still not getting the job done. O Man I don’t know what else to do for this team...Any ideas?
John: Me? I started changing my underwear daily a few weeks ago, and that didn’t help, so I got nothin’.
John from St. Augustine, FL:
It's the quarterback. In today's game, good ones can mask all the other problems on the field. I'm not saying that Gabbert won't be good someday. I think it's too early to tell, but he's not good right now and it makes everything else look terrible. It's hard to watch.
John: You’re right. Gabbert is developing, and he’s doing it with a pair of young receivers and a defense that’s not dominant. That leads to days such as Green Bay, when things looked good and promising, and days such as Sunday against Detroit, when it was bad for a half and when it didn’t get better until too late. On days like that it’s hard to watch.
Anthony from Madison, WI:
Mike Mularkey can say whatever he wants. You can say whatever you want. Anyone can have whatever opinion they'd like. However, if you think the team that was on the field as a whole cared wholeheartedly whether or not they won that game, you are wrong. The only player who consistently looked like he cared at all was Mincey. I watch his post-game press conference and he's just absolutely heartbroken about the loss; everyone else looks like they could not care less. So, tell the fans whatever you'd like, they're just as blind as Mularkey if they believe that team was playing with heart or passion.
John: Heart and passion are hard to measure. In Mincey, it’s easy to see. In others, it’s more difficult. I don’t think the Jaguars are playing well, and I think players are frustrated and surprised. Mike Mularkey said he preferred to use the word intensity rather than effort, and while that’s fair, it’s still bothersome. Are the Jaguars as a group trying? Yes. Could there have been better “intensity” on Sunday. Yes, but remember: winning teams look very motivated and intense. Teams that are missing tackles and dropping passes do not, but those mistakes don’t necessarily mean they’re not trying, just that they’re not playing well.
Mandy from Section 214 and Tallahassee, FL:
Can't wait to hear your same spiel this week. "We were almost 3-5." "Like the way the team came back in the fourth quarter to be respectable." "The team showed character scoring 14." This team is terrible, Mr. O, and we are tired of hearing excuses. You have always said, “Let's wait until the end of the year and if our record is still this terrible then I'll worry.” Well, don't you think it is time to worry?
John: I never said “almost 3-5.” What I said when the Jaguars were 1-6 was that even as poorly as they had played at times – and they have played poorly at times – they could have been 3-4. I also have been pretty clear that the second half Sunday didn’t make up for the first. I never actually said the final quote, either, but this isn’t the day for quibbling. Sure, you’re right to worry. The Jaguars have been a lot worse than expected early in the season, and it’s difficult to see improvement on the horizon. It’s the fans’ right to be very disappointed – and even to be skeptical that there will be improvement. It’s the coaches’ and players’ jobs to prove those skeptics wrong.