JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it . . .
Rob from Green Cove Springs, FL:
If anyone had an inkling that there was truly an "open" competition at quarterback, this should put that to rest. If I was Chad Henne
, I would NOT be happy. By all accounts, he has been at the very least on par with Blaine Gabbert
on the practice field. In my opinion, he deserves the same opportunity as Blaine to win the job. He's not getting it.
John: Whoa there, Rob! Slow down. This has been a common refrain among e-mailers since Gus Bradley on Thursday announced Gabbert will start Saturday against the New York Jets. It’s an understandable reaction, because people assume starting Gabbert Saturday means Gabbert will start against Kansas City in the regular-season opener. I don’t know that Thursday’s announcement means that. Bradley said Thursday the competition is still very much open, and that each player will get reps with the starters Saturday. So far, the coaches have had Henne and Gabbert splitting repetitions as equally as humanly possible, and Bradley’s stance is that having each take extensive repetitions with the ones Saturday is in keeping with that approach. Let’s not paint Bradley and Co. being unfair just yet. Nothing they have done yet indicates they will be anything but fair, and so far Henne’s big “advantage” in this competition is better stats in one quarter in Week 1 of the preseason. Let’s let it play out.
Tom from Ponte Vedra Beach and Section 106:
OK, BG, time to step up.
Redmond from Jacksonville:
Can you promise us you won’t use the Blackmon suspension as an excuse for Gabbert's struggles once the season starts?
John: I’ll say it like this: whoever starts the regular season at quarterback should be given opportunity to play with Blackmon and Shorts before making a decision on how he is playing.
Ross from Coco Beach:
The Jags are officially a joke. There is obviously no competition and the Jags are going to give Gabbert the start again, without having him earn it. I can see Caldwell and Bradley will have very short tenures in Jacksonville since they have no eye for talent and no clue as to what they are doing.
John: Well, at least it’s *official.* #Herewegojaguars
Herbert from Midstate Office Supplies Accountz Reecevable:
Do you think Coach Bradley is a hypocrite for preaching competition without actually having a quarterback competition?
John: Has Bradley named a starter? I’ve been around most of training camp, and I must have missed that press conference. Bradley opted to have Gabbert start the second *preseason* game. PRESEASON!!!!
Manolo from Mexico:
Whatever happened to the "In Gene I Trust" mantra? I hope we never trust anybody again without at least he is accompanied by success. In this sense, Caldwell will also fail, since the Falcons have won only one playoff game since the "Dirty Bird" days. That is why the Jaguars stink. It has become embarrassing.
John: If I’m reading you correctly – and that’s a pretty big “if” – it’s your view that only people who have had postseason success with past franchises can have future success with future franchises. I’m not sure Bill Belichick and Tony Dungy would agree, but everyone is entitled to their opinions.
Chad from DTWD:
I am four for four on questions being answered from you. What are Paul Hazel
's chances of making the team?
John: You’re five for five now. I think Hazel makes the practice squad. He has shown real pass-rush ability, but I don’t know that he’s big enough to be in the rotation as an edge rusher as a rookie. Give him an offseason of NFL conditioning and that could change in a hurry.
Paul from Gainesville, FL:
Please calm down, John, I worry about you.
Greg from Jacksonville:
The whole man-crush/bromance thing is so, well......lame.
John: You know what’s really cool? Dismissing things as lame and stepping on the dreams of others who think talking about man crushes and bromances are cool. So, hey, nice job, Greg. NICE JOB!!!!
The Grabster from Jacksonville and Section 216:
I agree with your assessment that Matt Scott
will more than likely not be the backup quarterback this season. However, I do really like his potential as a backup quarterback and perhaps one day as a starter and am concerned that he would quickly be claimed off waivers by another team before we would be able to sign him to our practice squad. Do you think that Caldwell and Bradley share this concern?
John: There is this sort of angst each preseason among pretty much every NFL fan base. A player shines in training camp/preseason and shows enough to catch the fancy of fans. The fan base then worries whether the player could sneak through waivers and onto the practice squad. Usually, said player goes on the practice squad without much fanfare and the team keeps the player around. This is not to say Matt Scott doesn’t have value and potential. He absolutely has shown potential, but I don’t know that he has yet shown enough that other franchises are poised to snatch him when he hits the waiver wire. Remember, those same teams had a chance to draft him in April and the only new video they have on Scott is one quarter from the preseason opener.
Jim from St. Johns, FL:
Do you get a sense that the national media may be slowly changing their tone towards the Jags?
John: I spend far less time on this than most Jaguars fans. I will say it seems the national media has respect for David Caldwell’s background with Bill Polian and Thomas Dimitroff, and his early approach seems to have confirmed the opinion of many national guys – that he very much knows what he’s doing. It’s also clear that people who have talked to Gus Bradley believe he will be a successful NFL head coach and that he will get the team headed in the right direction. It will take winning and time for this to become an overflowing stream of positive stories from the national media, but for those who care about such things it’s a start.
Jeff from Austin, TX:
Can we just start calling coach, "G-Brad"? It seems to match all the nicknames for our players. D-Rob and D-Low would love it too, I think.
John: Good idea, J-Aus.
Moe from Jacksonville:
I'm so confused. You say you still think Gabbert will start the season opener but it doesn't mean you believe he SHOULD start the season opener. If he shouldn't start, why WOULD he start?
John: I’m sorry you’re confused. I continue to try to make the point that despite public perception, I do not have a “dog in this hunt.” I believe Gabbert will end up starting the regular-season opener. I’m not saying I believe he has earned that to this point, and I’m not saying I’m beating a drum about it one way or the other. I’m simply saying I think it will end up playing out that way.
Eli from Orlando, FL and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil:
Hey Johnny, what's so wrong with a little man crush? I have a huge man crush on you and I am surely content with our involvement in the art of bromance! Love your work my friend!
John: If I had a dollar for every email I got like this . . .
The Bearded Forest Sage from The Manly Mountain Cabin, NC:
I'm glad to hear you give Prosinski a break. As you say, amongst Jags fans, it's very popular to label him as a liability and question why the coaches keep him around. I'm not going to say he's a team strength, and undoubtedly his tackling consistency is questionable on a good day, but he brings speed and physicality when he is on the field. For a fifth round pick, I'll take it.
John: I know you were writing about Prosinski, but I just can’t get past the thought that judging by your name and locale, I’m really glad you didn’t write me talking about man crushes.
Nick from Annapolis, MD:
Yes, we did notice the bottle of "Crest: Pro-Health" toothpaste on your shelf. Good one.
John: A healthy mouth is a happy mouth.
Jimmicane from Carslbad, CA:
Have you ever seen a quarterback develop into a quality starter when looking as out of sorts as Blaine Gabbert looks now going into his third year?
John: Personally? No, but remember, I covered Mark Brunell from 1995-2000 and Peyton Manning from 2001-2010, so the quarterbacks I’ve covered haven’t gone through this same sort of learning curve while I watched them first-hand. I will say this: Mark Brunell didn’t play much his first two seasons and struggled at times his third season before finding his footing in 1996. It can take time.
Austin from ATL:
It’s interesting and nice to see that in the most recent Forbes release of NFL teams’ worth, the Jags have the sixth-largest one-year growth, a nine percent increase. Maybe I am looking for things to be optimistic about, but hey, it works for me.
John: Yes, I heard that. I’m told that figures to about $80 million in growth. For clarity’s sake, my worth went up less.