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O-Zone: Travel issues

Posted Sep 18, 2013

FREMONT, Calif. – Let’s get to it . . .

Jason from Jacksonville:
With the team not at its own facility this week, how are the Jaguars treating injuries? Would MJD come back to Jacksonville for treatment or do they have sufficient facilities there?
John: The Jaguars’ entire football operations staff is on the road in Fremont, California. That includes training staff, so the treatment for Jones-Drew’s injury is the same here as it would be in Jacksonville.
Aaron from Arlington, VA:
I wonder if the players aren’t playing so well due to the lack of not knowing what to do, rather than lack of shear athletic talent to make the plays. Is the roster-turnover rate making players worse? Or better?
John: It may be a combination of both. The Jaguars are not the most talented team in the NFL. At the same time, in this early going, there probably is an element of being hurt at times by not knowing exactly what to do on a given play. The defense, for example, allowed six runs of more than 12 yards on Sunday. In this defense, one player not being in one gap can lead to a huge play. That’s not as much “talent” as it is a defense with many new players not having enough experience together to instinctively know the right position, right placement, etc. That’s not the entirety of the issues on either side of the ball, but could it be a factor? Sure.
Chris from Orlando, FL:
I disagree with when you said the defense loosened up and that allowed completions to Shorts. They were in the same looks that they had been for a good portion of the game. The difference is, Chad didn't check down, and actually took some risks throwing the ball. Know what happened? It paid off. Fisch needs to spice the variety up if he wants to get some production!
John: Yes – except no. The Raiders’ defense was not in the same looks at the end of the game.
Anthony from Tualitin, OR:
Tim Tebow, why not!? Jags have become such a joke in the media. Can you hear the laughters? Make the team relevant again. Bring Tim Tebow in and beleive in him, and good things will happen.
John: This was a real email.
Andy from St. Johns, FL:
You realize once we overcome these dark times and this team becomes a winner, the questions aren't gonna change. There will be just as many emails in the O-Zone Inbox complaining about how the way we won as you currently get complaining about how the way we lose.
John: Yes.
David from Jacksonville:
Sitting at the green light behind some jerk who's oblivious to my honking until the yellow light, giving a wave of his hand and drives through before the red... #ShadrickSightings
John: Yes, you make a good point.
Vincent from Section 103:
I hate to say this already but Caldwell is starting to look a lot like Gene Smith. What was he thinking with drafting Dwayne Gratz in the 3rd round? Even the reporters covering the draft were confused about that.
John: Dwayne Gratz very much looked the part of a starting cornerback during the preseason and the regular-season opener. He’s hurt now, and his career story obviously hasn’t been written, but if you’re writing off David Caldwell because of that selection you might wait a while.
Stephen from Jacksonville:
My fear with the defense is similar to the highly-ranked defense two years ago. The offense is so bad that the other team basically just tries to run out the clock on us the whole game.
John: You’re exaggerating a little for effect, and I get that – shoot, I even admire it in a lot of cases – but the point is a valid one. When an offense is struggling the way the Jaguars’ offense is struggling opposing teams don’t need to take chances.
Kevin from Section 220:
Opowerful, What is it these Teboneheads don't understand about "Even if released"?
John: I don’t know.
Damien from Fort Lauderdale, FL:
Are there any plans to get Chris Prosinski more involved in the defense? He is a potential playmaker that could be utilized as a nickel or dime back that can cover passes or support the run.
John: Right now, Chris Prosinski is a backup at safety and a special teams player. I’d expect that to be the case unless Dwight Lowery or Johnathan Cyprien get injured.
Michael from Jackson de Ville, FL:
It's look ahead Wednesday! Wait, what are we looking forward to?
John: The future, however short- or long-term that may be.
James from Jacksonville:
Why does the team seem to continue down the same path as last year even though we have a new coach and GM? I see the same protection for the QB (who ever that is) and short passes for less than first downs. What do you think is the cure?
John: The offensive line playing better, and the quarterbacks throwing downfield better when the line plays better.
Daniel from Johnston, IA:
If the Jags picked a guard, another guard and a center in the first three rounds of the 2014 draft, I would not be one to complain. Maybe they're not "premium/elite" positions. They sure "feel" like premium positions right now, especially considering that we couldn't/wouldn't get anyone better this past offseason.
John: If the offensive line continues to play like it has the first two games, I imagine the area will be addressed heavily. I don’t think that means taking interior offensive lineman in the first three rounds, but it almost certainly would be addressed.
Jerry from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
My mood on Sunday changed after watching the Seattle defense manhandle the 49ers. Let's give Coach Bradley a chance to build a similar defense in Jacksonville.
John: That’s the aim, and while the defense isn’t dominant, it has done its job for the most part so far. It takes time to build a franchise that’s playing at as high a level as Seattle. That’s the objective, but it does take time.
Rob from Pensacola, FL:
I know there isn't a store for football players, but one of the things that I see missing is a lack of enough veterans to lead and help teach all these young guys. Don't you think we could use some older leaders?
John: Sure, they could. They could also use more core players who are standout players at their position and who set the tone without having to talk about it. The roster without a doubt lacks that. Take a look at the offense, for example. Eugene Monroe is in his fifth season. It seems like he has been around the Jaguars forever, and he should be entering his prime, but that is not particularly “veteran” for an offensive lineman. Cecil Shorts III is the veteran leader of the receiving corps, and with Justin Blackmon having well-documented off-field problems, he’s the player on which the passing game depends to be reliable and consistent. That’s great, but Shorts is in his third season. Reggie Wayne is an elite wide receiver, but he was not capable of carrying an offense until 2007, which was his seventh season. The point? Yes, the Jaguars aren’t very good right now, but a lot of it is because this roster has to mature and develop and that takes time.
Artis from Norfolk, VA:
Since you don't see the Jaguars as an 0-16 team, I was wondering which games you believe we are favored in?
John: I doubt the Jaguars will be favored in any of their games. They are perceived by many as the worst team in the NFL, and that probably won’t change. I don’t know which games the Jaguars will win, but my experience is that over the course of a season in the NFL, even teams that seem outmanned play well enough to win games and vice-versa.
Marcus from Jacksonville:
Our head coach seems to be a guy who will allow the player who proves himself worthy to get the starting job. Why aren't we working Denard Robinson at quarterback? Doesn’t he deserve as much chance as Gabbert had? Would he not pose more a threat to defenses?
John: Robinson was not drafted to play quarterback. If the Jaguars thought he posed a greater threat to defenses than Gabbert or Henne, he would be starting at quarterback.
Danton from Mount Dora, FL:
When do we begin to see the real "youth movement?” Let's see if some of the other rookies like McCray, McClendon, Pasztor – heck, maybe even Scott – get some playing time to see what we have? Not looking good for some of the veterans right now, especially the offensive linemen.
John: I expect this will become a more common refrain as the season continues. If the players you mentioned were better than the guys playing, they would be playing. Right now, they’re not. Now, will more young players get a chance to play as the season goes on? I suspect they will, but you can’t just throw young players who are unprepared into the lineup. You still have to try to give your team the best chance possible to win.
Nick from Waterbury, CT:
John, what does Jacksonville have to lose by signing Tim Tebow? You can't possibly have a worse QB situation.
John: Yes, you could.
Rob from Section 205:
Did you pack enough underwear?
John: Whoops.

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