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O-Zone: That giddy feeling

Posted Dec 7, 2013

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it...

Chuckles from Jacksonville:
Remember when you were preaching to keep an even keel about things? That still applies. This is still a bad team. Chad Henne had a good first half Thursday, then fell apart. They were lucky to win against the worst team in the league.
John: Sure, even keel applies. And no, the Jaguars aren’t an elite team. Anyone associated with the team from Gus Bradley to David Caldwell to whoever would say as much. At the same time, consider where the Jaguars began this season and compare it to where they are now. This team has progressed significantly, and while there remains a long way to go, it’s indeed OK to acknowledge progress – and yes, even to celebrate it at times.
Mark from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL and Section 215:
I would like to apologize to the city of Houston for beating the Texans again.
John: Heh, heh … funny.
Bob from Walterboro, SC:
You know my favorite part of Thursday’s game? After Mike Brown dropped a pass in the end zone, the Jaguars scored a touchdown on that drive. In the past, the air would have come out of the balloon and the feeling would have been, “Here we go again." Instead, they hung tough and found another way to score.
John: No doubt. The Jaguars struggled the last two seasons with adversity. Too often one play would go wrong and that would lead to a lot of other things going wrong. Since the bye, you’ve seen examples of the Jaguars being better in that area. The Jaguars have gone through long stretches in each of the last three games when at least one unit didn’t play well and have found a way to win. That wasn’t always the case the last couple of seasons. In fact, it often wasn’t the case.
Todd from Jacksonville:
Squealing like a teenage schoolgirl when Joe Montana enters his tent in London #shadricksightings
John: Yeah, pretty much.
Tudor from St. Augustine, FL:
Let’s not get carried away. Jags almost let Schaub steal the game. And WOW, was that stadium empty. Long way to go boys.
John: No one’s carried away, Tudor and sure there’s a long way to do.A couple of things, though … Yes, Schaub rallied the Texans, but you know what Schaub didn’t do? He didn’t win the game. The Jaguars did. If you watch the NFL, you’ll see a striking phenomenon – that most games come down to a few plays at the end of games. The Jaguars not only have been getting themselves in position to have a chance to make those plays, they’ve been making them. That’s the first step. Secondly, no, the stadium wasn’t full, but you do realize the Jaguars entered the game 3-9, right? You realize they had all lost four games at EverBank Field this season and 11 of the last 12? Look around the league at the home games of teams that are struggling. Empty seats. There was an energy and enthusiasm in the stadium on Thursday that anyone who was there felt. As the Jaguars continue to improve, and as people realize that improvement, seats will fill. The Jaguars understand that packed stadiums on night games must be earned. They are in the process of earning it.
Keith from Tallahassee:
I was surprised at the recent national perception that Bradley may have been on the hot seat. They comment with the current winning streak that it may have saved his job. I never worried about that given Khan's stance when he hired Caldwell and Bradley.
John: Lack of knowledge of a situation doesn’t prevent people from discussing said situation.
Chris from Section 142:
Icing my shoulder from a lot of Moodachay!
John: #Moodachay
Timothy from Huntsville, AL:
So I like Gratz and all, but am I the only one who sees him continually torched by the other team’s wide receivers? Is he our best corner? If not, why does he always seem to be on the elite receivers, and getting smoked consistently?
John: Gratz is a rookie who has played in eight NFL games. He has played very well at times and struggled at other times. On Thursday, he played an elite wide receiver in Andre Johnson and had a rough night. Two weeks ago, he played an elite receiver in Andre Johnson and held Johnson to two receptions. He’s not perfect yet and probably never will be, but the Jaguars like Gratz a lot and believe he’ll develop in time.
Benjamin from Jacksonville:
Sitting in the radio booth at 12:47 a.m. Friday morning arguing with Marco Coleman about whether the Jaguars won today or yesterday. #shadricksighting
John: Yeah, I was in the next office over.
Bo from Jacksonville:
I hear you in saying “hot,” but we are struggling to beat weak teams. I know we are learning to win and will put it together, but not sure we're “hot” . . . yet . . .
John: It’s the NFL, Bo. They all count. That’s true no matter the score and no matter the opponent. And if the Jaguars had lost all five games since the bye, people would be moaning and groaning about “historically bad,” so you know what, Bo? The Jaguars are hot. Absolutely they are.
Jamers from Vancouver:
You know what else I've been seeing besides improvement this last month? A team that's not beating itself. The Browns and Texans were beating themselves and we just finished them off. Thoughts?
John: My thoughts are that you win a lot of games in the NFL by finishing off teams that are beating themselves. The Jaguars lost a lot of games the past two seasons by watching the other team do just that, in fact.
John from Elizabeth City, NC:
Thursday night should have been a full house: National game, division rivals, winning streak and good weather. It was the perfect formula for a packed house. What is it going to take to fill the seats?
John: Sustained winning and hope for playoff contention – just like in most NFL cities. You have to earn the sort of support you’re talking about. The Jaguars are working toward that.
Josh from Lynchburg, VA:
You mentioned in the most recent "What We Learned" article that one of Scobee's two missed field goals was a block. The other one was from 57 yards, and JUST wide. #scobeeforprobowl2013
John: Josh Scobee is a great human being and as fine a kicker as I ever have seen.
Brad from Philly:
It's surprising how fun it is to watch the worst team in NFL history.
John: Yes, it’s interesting how that worked out.
Shannon from Brunswick, GA:
I like what I see happening in the organization. The Jags are finally fun to watch. Kudos to Gus and the coaching staff! With so many good quarterbacks coming out of college, what do you think will happen to Blaine Gabbert? Do you think the Jags will trade him, release him or keep him as a backup?
John: He probably won’t be with the team next year, though that has yet to be decided. It would seem logical that the team would try to trade him, but considering he has one year left on his contract there likely would be little interest. At that point, he probably would be released.
Glen from Lake City, FL:
Good to see the opposing team with less composure than us this week. It's something that in our 0-8 start we fell short on. No doubt in my mind that penalties cost the Texans the game.
John: No question the Texans were hurt by penalties. They committed 14 for 177, and there were drives where the Texans had the Jaguars stopped only to give them opportunities with penalties. But you know what? That’s part of life in the NFL. Teams make mistakes. Opposing quarterbacks play poorly and give you opportunities for interceptions. You have to take advantage of those opportunities. When the Jaguars were struggling, they couldn’t take advantage of a team playing poorly. Now, they’re playing well enough to take advantage of another team’s mistakes. There’s still a significant distance to travel to get to where the Jaguars want to go, but we knew that was the case entering the season. What you wanted to see was the team starting to travel down that road, and that’s what’s happening.
Vallen from Green Cove Springs, FL:
No matter how the remainder of the season turns out, Thursdaynight at "the Bank" was special.
John: Yes.
Michael from Wiesbaden, Germany:
O-man what is the streak at for the O-Zone. Thanks for the daily humor.
John: It began August 8, 2011, so 851 days – not that I’m, you know, keeping track.
Dane from Pooler, GA:
As I stand here supervising a concrete pour, working on a mere two hours of sleep, I can't help but think it was totally worth it to stay up and watch my Jags put on a show on national television. Despite my heavy eyes and long day ahead, I can't shake off this giddy feeling. I've stuck with this team through thick and thin, but it feels good to feel good again.
John: Awesome.

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