JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it...
George from Savannah, GA:
Do you think Cecil Shorts III
's comments are the start of the unraveling of the team? No matter what people say, losing all those games has a huge effect on one's psyche.
John: Absolutely, unequivocally and certainly, certainly not. Don’t take Shorts’ comments as a sign of some underlying widespread dissatisfaction in the locker room, and don’t even take them as Shorts being unhappy with the organization. It’s not that. There’s a difference between being frustrated in the minutes after a game and not believing in what’s going on long term. For example, I spoke with Jaguars defensive tackle Sen’Derrick Marks moments after the game about this. He was frustrated – very frustrated – with the loss. He and every player in that locker room had just given a lot for three hours. He talked about frustration and disappointment, and at the same time said there was no question the overall direction of things under Gus Bradley and David Caldwell was the right one. I’d say that’s a pretty good gauge on the mood of the locker room. The players want to win, but they also understand where the team is and the team is on the right path to better days.
Aaron from Duval, FL:
It’s frustrating to watch the offense struggle so badly when we have drafted an offensive player in the top 10 in four of the last five drafts. Then you realize not a single one of them is on the field. I'm not sure if that makes it more or less frustrating. Bad luck, bad drafting, one win. Caldwell can't do much worse than what he inherited, I assume.
John: It is indeed difficult to contend when first-round picks don’t contribute. That will be key to the Jaguars’ success going forward, just as it is for any NFL franchise.
Steve from Woodbine, GA:
So you are saying that one has to earn touches on a 1-9 team? On another note: Why is it that the people who pay good money to keep this team afloat, are always wrong? By the way, did you see all the empty seats?
Three questions, three answers. First off, of course, you have to earn touches on a 1-9 team. What would be the alternative? Intentionally playing players who aren’t performing as well as those who are playing? Second, no one ever said the fans were wrong, but how do you listen to fans? Take quarterback, for example: I get as many emails that want Blaine Gabbert
to start as ones that want to see Chad Henne
. I get a lot of emails about Ricky Stanzi
and I get a lot of emails about Tim Tebow, and I once got a lot about Donovan McNabb. I still get some about Vince Young. Should the Jaguars sign them all? Should they start them all at once? And yes, I saw the empty seats. I see a lot of them at a lot of NFL stadiums where teams are struggling and I don’t see nearly as many at stadiums where teams are playing well.
Cliff from Jacksonville:
Will somebody tell ESPN, Fox Sports and everybody else that Dewey Cox or whatever his name is doesn't speak for all or even a majority of Jaguar fans regarding "he-who-shall-not-be-named.” For the love of Roman Gabriel, please just STOP.
John: I don’t think Cox is the right name. And I’m bored enough with the subject that matter that I don’t feel obligated to look it up. I don’t think I’m alone. It’s an old story with no traction. It’s not going to gain traction. There’s nothing to see here. Drive on.
Glen from Lake City, FL:
It seems Chad Henne has an inordinate number of passes tipped at the line of scrimmage every game – often leading to interceptions. Since we didn't see the tips with Gabbert, really, I don't think we can blame the offensive line for that. So what is it that Henne's doing that would cause it?
John: First, I wouldn’t say the tips often lead to interceptions, but they lead to incompletions and those aren’t good, either. Henne is typically among the league leaders in batted passes and that is the case again this season. He doesn’t know why it happens. As with a lot of things in football, it’s probably can't be attributed to any one thing.
Greg from Section 122 and Jacksonville:
Hypothetically speaking, if the Jaguars get the first pick of the draft, how important is it to pick our new quarterback? Pick quarterbacks with the first- and second-round picks because we really need to find the GUY. And after putting all our hopes in the Gabbert fiasco, I am all about hedging our bets now.
John: Well, it’s important to find the quarterback. I’m not necessarily sold yet that that has to happen with the first-round pick, though it’s obviously a possibility. As for picking a quarterback with the first- and second-round selections, I hear that question often. And I understand the rationale, particularly from a fan base of a team that has struggled to find The Guy. But I don’t see it happening. You have to believe in your pick, then use the rest of the draft and free agency to continue building the rest of the roster.
Jon from Grants Pass, OR:
If the Raiders, for some reason, decide to part ways with Pryor due to McGloin's performance, do you see the Jaguars pursuing him in free agency?
John: Not as a starter, no. If the Jaguars pursue a quarterback this offseason as most seem to expect, it will almost certainly be through the draft.
John from Jacksonville:
Why is Jordan Todman
No. 4 on the running back depth chart? Robinson has done nothing and is looking more and more like a bust. Jones-Drew has lost it and needs to be benched. Todman should be our No. 1 back and Forsett number two.
John: Todman is indeed deep on the unofficial depth chart, but that doesn’t reflect the reality of the position. Todman got 12 plays compared to 53 for Jones-Drew and none for Robinson, so right now Todman essentially is the No. 2 back. The Jaguars aren’t benching Jones-Drew – nor should they. Few backs could have been more productive the way the line is blocking. As for Robinson being a bust, it’s not possible. He was drafted in the fifth round.
Howard from Homestead, FL:
John from Fort Irwin brings up a good point. We routinely see plays in which someone clearly does have possession of a loose ball a split second before the dog pile lands on top of him. But the refs always go by who comes out with the ball. It's just easier to call it that way, even if it's the wrong call. Every time I see it I want to change the channel. It's like once or twice every game, football stops being football and turns into WWE for a few seconds. And I have no desire to watch WWE.
John: The officials don’t call it that way out of ease, but by necessity. It’s very difficult to determine possession in the split second between the time a player appears to fall on a ball and when the pile converges. Waiting creates far fewer controversies.
Jason from Falling Waters, WV:
How can anyone be upset with losing at this point in the season? We all know they just don't have the talent. As long as there are improvements every week, and they compete at a high level. Losing is acceptable, knowing a Top-Two pick in the draft is on the way. #StandUnited
John: I agree with the gist of your email. I can’t say losing is acceptable, but improvement is far more important. In this very difficult season, you’re looking to see improvement and you’re looking to see that Gus Bradley and David Caldwell are building things the right way. So far, that is being seen.
Willis from Jacksonville:
Scouring the field for loose dreads to tape to his forehead.#shadricksightings
John: That *was* him, wasn’t it?