FREMONT, Calif. – Let’s get to it . . .
Kevin Section 241:
Rough all over. The only thing I saw that I liked was Cyp. The man knows how to lay the wood and close space quickly. If this is a sign of David Caldwell's ability to draft, I'm OK waiting a couple years (because that's what it'll take) for the rebuild to be complete.
Cyprien indeed looked good Sunday, and to hear him tell it, he felt more comfortable Sunday than he had in the first game. That’s a good sign and it also makes sense because it takes time as a rookie to adapt to the NFL. Rookies rarely make a significant impact as a core reason for a team being competitive. It takes time to reach that level. This is a year for players such as Cyprien and Luke Joeckel
to develop, with the idea that they will be keys to the team’s development in future years.
Tudor from St. Augustine, FL:
Silver lining: we scored more than the 49ers?
John: Sure. Why not?
Tommy from Jacksonville:
Am I the only fan who sees progress on the defensive side of the ball? When you allow one touchdown and a slew of field goals, there's progress. If I'm the defense I'm glaring at the offense for not producing when they're holding the opponents to field goals or less.
John: You’re not the only fan who has seen progress there, and indeed, credit should be given where it’s due. The worry some have – me included – is that the Jaguars gave up 226 yards rushing and hasn’t been able to generate consistent pressure on the quarterback. Yes, the Jaguars’ defense is fighting and staying in games. Will it hold up as the competition improves? That’s a concern.
Matthew from Orlando, FL:
I am really starting to see just how much of an impact Justin Blackmon
's absence is having on the offense. I honestly thought they could get by without him for the first four games, but the lack of experience at wide receiver is evident and Shorts certainly can't do it all by himself.
John: It’s an issue. It’s not the entirety of the problem. But it’s an issue.
Greg from Section 122 and Jacksonville:
You keep saying NO to the 0-16 e-mails. Name me ONE game this year you see us actually having a chance to win. Please use the last two games as a reference because the play of our team actually seemed to get worse in Week 2. I looked at the schedule and the ONLY two teams I see us maybe beating are the Browns and Cardinals. So, 2-14? I would really respect and love to hear your thoughts on this.
John: First, it wasn’t worse in Week 2 than Week 1, but the NFL is a long season. You can’t predict in September what will happen in the NFL in December. Upsets happen in professional football, and teams rise and fall. I don’t know what the record will be. I just don’t believe it will be 0-16.
Jason from Durham, NC:
At the end of the Oakland game, why did the Jags suddenly start throwing downfield? Was the play-calling opened up, the Oakland defense playing off or did Henne decide he had nothing to lose?
The defense loosened up and that gave Cecil Shorts III
more one-on-one looks. That, and there wasn’t that much to lose. That’s why the Jaguars weren’t doing cartwheels over the late-game production.
Neil from Mesa, AZ:
I'm less discouraged than last week. We've moved up from dead last in quarterback rating to 14th. Henne played a decent game – none of the bad decisions we tend to see from him when the Jags fall behind. Cecil Shorts III is a hair away from being a top-tier receiver, and I think he has it in him to get there. I am really concerned about how much production we can expect from MJD this year. I'm looking forward to when Blackmon has to be accounted for as well. The only thing that would make me lose hope would be to see No. 11 back under center. There's hope. I just hope it isn't squandered.
John: I thought quite a bit about your email, and you make some good points. There is an understandable rush to bury everything right now, mainly because the Jaguars have scored 11 points in two games. That’s not acceptable. The concern with being optimistic based on anything that happened offensively is because the great majority of it happened with the game pretty much decided. The team does have an intriguing decision on the quarterback situation. This isn’t going to be clear-cut and there will be pressure among fans to go with Henne because he statistically was better than Gabbert. Will that be what the coaches see fit to do? That remains to be seen. Your most “on-point” point may be about Jones-Drew. He started looking strong and confident before the injury, and indeed started looking like Jones-Drew. The offense found a rhythm. That rhythm went away when Jones-Drew left. If he is out for an extended period, that’s a big hole in the offense.
Logan from Wichita, KS:
I knew this was going to be a tough year in hopes that future years will be better and better. But at this rate..... I will have to wear a bag over my head for a decade. #Baguars
John: There’s an easy solution to your problem: Don’t.
Fred from Naples, FL:
One positive takeaway from a very possible 0-4 start is that perhaps Justin Blackmon sits back and reflects on how he has contributed to this start and vows to himself that it never happens again.
John: Yes, that is the hope.
Brooks from Jacksonville:
John, could the turf in Oakland be bad for players' feet? MJD has left two games in a row there and I don't want it to be coincidence. Also I feel like tackles similar to Charles Woodson's should be some kind of penalty. As a fan you just don't want to see your star players subjected to that.
John: It’s not ideal playing on dirt, but honestly, players did it for years, so I don’t know that the field is an issue. We don’t know enough about Jones-Drew’s injury yet to know if it was field-related or just what happened. I’m not sure what there is to do about the Woodson tackle. He was trying to make a play and it was within the rules. You can’t outlaw everything.
Bill from Jacksonville:
I think the most frustrating thing is it appears after one game Jedd Fisch has abandoned the hurry-up offense. Where was the hurry-up offense fans saw in Game One?
That’s an understandable frustration, and there wasn’t as much hurry-up on Sunday. Fisch talked last week about needing to be in the right down-and-distance situations to use Denard Robinson
, and the same is true of the hurry-up offense. There are a lot of young players and this is an offensive line struggling right now. You can hurry your way off the field and thereby hurry the defense back onto the field if you’re not careful. If the offense can start putting first downs together, I think you’ll see them hurry up again.
Bill from Harrisburg, PA:
New owner plus new general manager plus new coach plus a lot of new players equals EXPANSION TEAM. Calm down everyone, we have been through this before and it turned out pretty good.
John: Yes, that’s one way to look at it.
Ryan from Duville:
Can you tell Gus to stop using words like compete, competitive and competition? I know it’s not his intentions, but when he does this he is questioning the fans intelligence because we do not compete, we are not competitive and the only competition we are in is for the first round pick. Another year where Khan and crew sold us on a lemon.
John: The frustration is understandable, but I wonder what lemon “Khan and crew” sold people on. The Jaguars hired a new general manager, new coaching staff and are rebuilding the roster. Bradley never, ever talked about record, and no one talked about victories and losses. There was optimism about the future, but a realistic outlook throughout the offseason for the present. They were as upfront as is reasonable about this.
Cyanextyear from Jacksonville:
"The Jaguars run defense will be vastly improved with the addition of Roy Miller
." Yeah, right. Then how do they give up 226 yards on the ground, including 129 to McFadden? INEXCUSABLE.
John: Yes, it was.
Charles from Bangalore, India:
I thought the ability to check down was the sign of a mature and capable quarterback. Why the angst? If the go to receivers aren’t open, isn’t a check-down better than a sack?
John: It is better than a sack. Fans tire of check downs when teams aren’t getting first downs, and when quarterbacks are being perceived as not being willing to take chances downfield. That’s always a dilemma for the quarterback. You want to make smart decisions and get your team into positive down-and-distance situations. You also don’t want to make mistakes that hurt your team. At the same time, when a play is there a throw has to be made. It’s kind of the key point of quarterbacking.
Paul from Lohrville, IA:
We got better, not a lot better, but we got better. That’s the goal and it’s a long season. #Keeping the faith.
John: That it is the goal. It’s not easy to maintain focus on that early in the season, but yes, that it is the goal.
Stanton from Jacksonville:
The only problem I see with getting Tebow is he could mess us up in getting the top pick in the draft. So, would it really be that bad. If we are going to lose, I think the majority of us fans would like to see us lose with Tebow.
John: I’m sorry, but on that front, you will be disappointed.