Category Archives: Florida

Post Office Shooting in Jacksonville- Man Shot 5 Times by Wife – Exclusive Photographs of Police Take Down

A few weeks ago a woman shot her husband at a local post office, and fled. She was pursued by the Jacksonville Sherriffs Office, and apprehended at an intersection a couple a hundred yards from my balcony. I got my camera, and started taking photos. I got several. I did not realise what I had until I watched an update from a local news outlet. None of the news stations had photos of the woman being taken down. All of the news outlets had followed the chase from a southerly route, and did their live shots from the south side of the road.  I had the northward view, to myself, and my camera.

I submitted my photographs to news4jax.com, and got credit for my pictures. They said my name at the top of the 10:00 P.M. news, and put my name under the lead photo on their webpage, a photo of the woman on the ground, cuffed. A photo, by the way, that I took with that new camera I have been bragging about. I was able to use the zoom feature to get some great shots from far away, with a clarity that surprised me. The news outlet I gave them to was the only one to have photographs of the take down. NO ONE else had the angle I did. It felt great to get recognition for my work.

Here are the photos:

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I hope you all enjoy these as much as I enjoyed taking them. Not for re-copy, and/or distribution. In other words, these are my intellectual property. The only entity having rights to use these are WP (by user agreement), and News4Jax.com

Cheers,

Mark

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Jaguars, Fiscal Cliff, and I Need A Car

This is a bad time to be a fan of the Jacksonville Jaguars. This season has been, by far, one of the worst since the league expanded and added the Jaguars back in 1995. With only two wins under their belt, and one game left in the season, there is nothing to be excited about.

Injuries have been the main stay this season. Quarterback Blaine Gabbert, Running Back Maurice Jones – Drew, players on the Offensive line, and on the Defensive side of the ball have combined for a next man up, and “can we find a war body to field” scenarios. Having thought we had settled our Quarterback problems, Gabbert got hurt at a key point in his progression, and Chad Henne, although performing heroically, looks to be replaced, or at least made to compete for a job against Tim Teebow. Teebow, by the way, has been warming the bench in New York not because they refuse to play him, he just aint that good. Jaguars owner Shad Khan seems like he will trade-off all of our good draft picks to acquire him next season to have fair weather fans buy tickets for a stadium that has not been blacked out for some time now. I will not buy a ticket to see the Teebow circus. We need a team, not Teebow, and his one man show. The biggest mistake we could make would be to trade away the stock we have in next years draft to acquire him. Certainly, continuing to round out our roster, should be the priority.

Onto other matters. If Congress, and the President do not come together, and agree on something, America will be going over the fiscal cliff come January. Personally, I think they will once again kick the can down the road. I hope they do not. I hope they can stop arguing over their differences, and work out a deal on the points they agree. These are dark times in United States history. I hope the Republicans, and Democrats see the light.

Anyone out there with a generous heart, I really need some help. I need a vehicle to make it to my doctors appointments. I go at least once a month, and the trip is 120 miles round trip. Even if I move there, to that city, I will still need a vehicle. I am having a heck of a time even buying food because I do not have a car to get to the grocery store. I have been living out of the Family Dollar. I see these cars, KIAs, for no money down, and 99 a month. I could afford that, plus the insurance, but they will not approve my credit to get one. I am hoping something comes up for me soon. Trust me, if I could work, and get off disability, I would not be in this position; however, I can’t, and I am really struggling not having a car.

I hope everyone has a great Christmas!

cheers,

mark

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My Jaguars Journal – Thursday Night (2nite) Game – Jags Host Colts – Speculations

The Jacksonville Jaguars host the Indianapolis Colts tonight, at Everbank Field, Jacksonville, Florida. Coming off another loss last Sunday at Green Bay, I hope, really hope, deep down inside my heart we will pull off a win against the Colts. The Colts are the only team we have defeated this season; however, the game last Sunday was a bruiser, and the game against Oakland, which we lost in overtime, may have been the death warrant, on our season.

We have many things going in our favor, but the negatives have multiplied, to the point, I do not foresee us winning many more, if anymore games this season. Our franchise Running Back, Maurice Jones – Drew hurt his foot, in Oakland, and our 2nd year Quarterback, Blaine Gabbert, was pulled because of an injury, to his left (non throwing side) shoulder. We have had other injuries, and they are growing like a snowball rolling down hill. Moreover, some of our key defensive players will be held out of tonight’s game, at last check, due to injuries. 

Our season, as far as our quest for the playoffs is over. The Jaguars are under a new owner, and a new head coach. We have a young Quarterback, Blaine Gabbert, who  has very few reliable targets, to throw the ball to. He has a chance to become a good, if not a great Quarterback, but he cannot get to the next level being constantly knocked down/around, cannot get comfortable, in the pocket, and the receivers drop his passes, no matter how perfect the placement/speed is. Our quarterback needs protection that is good, and consistent. I know he is going to get hit, he does too, but it is happening a bit too much. The Offensive Line must do a more consistent job. They are a good group of players, capable of playing on a high level. They need to protect our young Quarterback so he can develop into the best player he can be. More on the O Line, in a bit. 

About us fans. All a Jaguars fan should be doing at this point, in the season, is continue to support the team with ticket purchases, and watch the players, scout them even. Do we have talent? Why are our Wide Receivers dropping the ball so much? Will Justin Blackmon, and those big hands be the answer, or one of the answers, at this position?  Some of these guys will stay, and some will go. We have had huge let downs this season by players we expected much from. I say give them all a good game time, real-time test. Scout this team during the season. No matter how painful, get rid of the non-performers, and big mouth trouble makers.

The Jacksonville Jaguars need to become a multi-dimensional football team. We have relied on Maurice Jones – Drew too much, and have failed to develop replacements for Jimmy Smith, and Keenan McCardell. Our Tight Ends, especially Marcedes Lewis are underperforming. If everyone keeps dropping passes, and QB Blaine Gabbert continues eating turf, every game, we will soon be out a Quarterback. Gabbert has what it takes to become a decent Quarterback. We need to surround him with the keys to success; i.e. reliable players who will block for him, run their routes, and not quit. The players who are not giving their all will not be back next year. When I see a receiver not run his route, and see that if he had done so the team would have a first down, or a touchdown, I get mad. I am sure the owner, GM, and Head Coach are seeing these same things. Those players, if they cannot get it straight that every play is important, and even if you do not think you are getting the ball, you still run your route, cause you just do not know when the ball is coming your way, if these players do not get their heads out of the clouds, they will not be a Jaguar next year, and they might not even be in the league. One last point about the offense. We need to start thinking about a replacement for Center Brad Meester, as soon as next year. He has been a reliable Center, the anchor of our Offensive line for some time now. He overcame a bad neck injury several years back, battled his way back, and nary misses a game; however, he will not last forever, and we need to make sure this position is one that is very stable. We need to start looking around the league, for next year’s potential free agents, and in the college ranks for someone who will be reliable, steady, strong, and a good, if not great Center. It would be ideal to draft a Center, and let that person work, and learn under Mr. Meester. Last point, and it is about the Offensive Line again. Sometimes these guys are great against very powerful teams, yet when we play a weak team, they get run over. We need consistency for Gabbert to have that extra millisecond, so he can find the open receiver, and get the ball down field.

I will discuss the defense, at a later date.

Go Jags!

mark

Post Script: Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan best do all he can to have the sports casters stop saying the Jacksonville Jaguars are moving to London. If he allows this talk to continue unchallenged, he will wind up with an empty stadium here in Jacksonville. We have gone through ten years of speculation we would lose our team to Los Angeles, California only to have it turn into the sports announcers, and the jockocracy saying Jacksonville is the de facto team moving to London. Jacksonville will not support a losing team that is constantly being rumored to be moving here, or there unless the owner comes out and publicly announces he is not moving the team.

mark

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My Jaguars Journal – Jaguars vs Packers – An Upset???

These are the times that try the loyalty of Jacksonville Jaguar fans. After the penalty filled, injury riddled, poorly coached game against Oakland last week, I do not have very high hopes for the Jags getting a win today against the Green Bay Packers.

Even though my hopes are not high, for this game, I do see opportunities, for individual players, to shine. Maurice Jones – Drew will not play. He has a foot injury. Who knows if this injury could have been prevented had Mr. Jones – Drew not held out of the entire training camp, and been on the same timing/page the rest of the team is on. All things considered, Rashad Jennings came in, took over for Jones – Drew, and looked good, for a back up, scoring a touchdown, to boot. I see an opportunity to Mr. Jennings to show his skills today. He is on the same page as the rest of the team, knows the playbook, and is a talented running back who has been held back by the dominance of Jones – Drew. Today he will not be in that shadow, and should have a good day. If I had a fantasy team, and were struggling at running back, I would give him a shot.

Another area of opportunity is for the defense to pin their ears back, and not only hold the Packers down, but be the determining factor, in an upset win. I expect the front four to go after Aaron Rogers, and give him a run for his money. If the defense can stay in his face, keep him rattled, and sack him hard, like so many other teams have done to our Quarterback, we can make Rogers a non factor. The back 7 need to fly around, hit hard, contain the run, disrupt the pass, and create turnovers. If all of this comes together, and we can stop the big play, the Jaguars have a chance to win, regardless of the injuries to a few of the starting back 7 (LB,CB,S).

The offense has a chance to shock the jockocracy with an upset win. We know the Jaguars have the big play in their arsenal. It is great to be able to run the ball, and Jennings should do a great job; however, the Jaguars need to open it up with vertical passing, and make more big plays. Justin Blackmon has a chance to use those big hands, his talent for snatching the ball out of the air, snatching the ball out of a defenders hands, and his game speed, to be a difference maker. Look for Blackmon to get more looks, and hopefully some completions, to run down the field. Cecil Shorts seems to have the appetite, and skills, for the big play. Lets not forget this, and use it to our advantage. Marcedes Lewis needs to become a factor in this game. He has been mostly invisible this year. Today he needs to show his talent, and make some plays. Having an effective Tight End, actually getting the ball, and doing something with it causes the opposing defense alter their schemes, opening up other areas of the field. The Jags need Lewis to be effective today. The Offensive Line needs to protect Blaine Gabbert, and open holes for Rashad Jennings. No exceptions.

Special teams the time is now to break some returns for touchdowns. I liked the succesful onside kick last week. Kicker Josh Scobee has surpassed former Jags kicker Mike Hollis in field goals. Our new punter, Anger, is a great punter. He will be a factor in every game he plays. I have never seen a punter as good as he is, and I have a feeling I am watching a future Hall of Fame punter. The bottom line for special teams, it may all come down to Josh Scobee’s leg, kicking a game winning field goal, in the final seconds.

This game will either be very close, or it will be a blow out. I suggest Jaguar fans prepare their paper bags now. Go ahead  cut the eye holes out now, and do not forget a breathing, and beer/iced tea drinking hole.

I hope we have some good football today, in the entire league. I have my television tuned in, and I am putting my eye glasses on.

Have a great day!

mark

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My Jaguars Journal – Week 6 – Time To See A Shrink

Week 6 – National Football League, American Football Conference South, Jacksonville Jaguars, Everbank Field, Jacksonville, Florida:  The Jacksonville Jaguars are off this week. This is a good thing. The time off will give the team time, to reflect, on their problems, and time to  seek out solutions. I have a few items on my agenda, this week,  for whatever it is worth.

The offensive woes the Jaguars are going through are painful, to watch. I am sure they are even more painful, for these men, to go through. I do not think they have given up, nor do I think their performances, on the field, are indicative, of the level of talent, on the team; however, I do believe there is something else going on. Something deeper. Could a disgruntled player, or two, be the cause of the offensive woes? It is possible. When I look at who has the most reasons, to be disgruntled, I hate to write this, but Maurice Jones – Drew is at the top of the list. He has millions of reasons, to be disgruntled. He will still get his yards, but he has a high potential, to hurt the team, by fracturing the locker room. There are other players who could singularly divide the locker room too. I used Mr. Jones – Drew as an example, due to his hold out. Nonetheless, we could be seeing the beginnings, of a divided locker room. There are problems as proven by the results, on the field. This team has too much talent, to flop the way they have been doing, not just lose, but outright flop!  Send the Offense, to see a sports psychologist, or even a cadre, of regular, as well as sports psychologists. While we are at it, send the whole team. Whatever the poison is, our once feared defense has become infected too. Our defense, that as recently as last year was a highly rated defense is  a laughing-stock this year. The coach, GM, and owner need to participate in these psychological sessions too. Moreover, I have noticed owner Shad Khan‘s children/relatives around the players, after the game, in the locker room, and such. I know the kids want to learn Daddy’s business, but this is not the time for it. The guys have to watch what they say, and do, because little Khans will tell big Khan about any problems. Sometimes these guys just need to let it out. Having ownership around too much is a recipe for failure; look at the Dallas Cowboys, and how much Jerry Jones is around. When was the last time Dallas fielded a great team?

This is all I have for this week. Bottom line here, the entire team needs to see sports psychologists, and perhaps regular psychologists too, so as to see whats bugging them. It is also very important to remember,  just as the Bears will need help getting over the murder of their fan, in Jacksonville, at the Jacksonville Landing, the Jaguars need to deal with this too. My heart, prayers, and sympathies go out to the family, and loved ones of the murder victim. I hope the murderer gets the maximum punishments allowed by law.

Jags Fans, and Blog friends, as well as others just cruising through, Take Care of Yourself.  If you know someone who is struggling with illness, give them a call. You will be a blessing to them, and you may even feel better about yourself afterwards. You should feel better, because being a blessing to someone, even with something as simple as a phone call, can mean more than you will ever realise.

Take Care,

mark

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My Jaguars Journal – Week 5 – Bears Destroy Jagaurs – Bears Fan Stabbed at Jacksonville Landing

The Jacksonville Jaguars loss, in front of yet another sell out crowd, to the Chicago Bears, was the single worst day in team history. I have been a fan, from the beginning, and this game was a blow out. Yet another Jag Flop, for the record books.

During the first, and for most of the second quarter, the teams were locked up, 3 to 3, then something happened. What? I do not know. Perhaps Lovie Smith figured out the playbook Head Coach Mularkey was using, or more likely the Jaguars mistakes got the best of them (not a good day for 2nd year QB Blaine Gabbert). I also saw that the Bears outplayed them. The Chicago Bears came into our house, and like every team has done so far this season, man handled us.

We have a week off, to hit the re-set button, but I do not know if that will be enough. Historically speaking Jaguars teams under a new Head Coach have not exactly racked up the wins during that first season. New Coach, new Owner, and a young offense equals a rough year to be a Jaguars fan. Dont give up the ship though. Look around the league at the teams who have waited years to be where the Jaguars went under Coach Tom Coughlin. Between Coughlin’s great coaching, and ex-owner Wayne Weavers free spending, we put a good team on the field. It all caught up to us when the salary cap got to us, but man did we had a hell of a team. One thing is sure, GM Gene Smith’s blue light, dumpster diving specials, to fill out the roster, for a cheap owner (former owner Wayne Weaver) are not doing anything but taking up space. Our offensive line is a joke, and Blaine Gabbert will never develop into a good quarterback so long as he is not protected. Our so called great defense sure has fell apart. Face it, Mel Tucker needs to be his own man. If you are going to call him the Defensive Coordinator, unshackle him from Jack Del Rio’s playbook, and style, and let him run the defense the way he wants. He is a 3-4 coordinator, let him make it so, or free him from this sham of a defense.

I hope we can pull out at least a .500 season, and win the rest of our games, at home. It sucks for the fans, and players to have a blowout like was dealt us by the Bears last week.

Onto a much more serious note. My heart, prayers, and Christian sympathies go out to the family, and friends of the Chicago Bears fan who was stabbed to death after the game, at the Jacksonville Landing. This is a very tragic event. The perpetrator is not representative of the people of Jacksonville, and I just want to say I am so sorry. The citizens of Jacksonville will be insisting the city government come off the money so our very fine Sheriffs Office can enhance security, at these type places. I have not been to a bar, sports club, or pub, in years, so I really do not know what all is happening; however, I did work in the Hospitality Industry here in Jacksonville, when I left the Army, and know for sure off duty police officers are available, to be hired, for security, or even extra security. I am hoping the owner, of the place this happened at, had proper off duty police security. Bouncers cannot handle things when people are wielding knives, and other deadly weapons.

Take Care, and Be Careful

mark

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My Jaguars Journal – Week 4 – An Abysmal Performance – What is missing?

After the Jaguars victory, on the road against the Colts, I really felt better about the team. I know the Indianapolis Colts are not the team they once were, but I still felt good about the win. When the Colts had an uninjured Peyton Manning, they were the team to beat, in the AFC South. They dominated the division for years; nonetheless, the Jacksonville Jaguars often gave them a run for their money. Even though Manning is no longer there, and they are in a rebuilding process, I still feel great when we beat them. I was hoping our victory over the Colts would be the spark the team needed, to at least be more competitive this season.

Last Sunday, Week 4, my hopes were dashed when the Cincinnati Bengals easily defeated the Jaguars, at home, in front of a sold out crowd, at EverBank Field. The flaws were glaring, and there is no doubt Jaguar fans are in for a painful season.

We are not where we should be, to say the least, and it is going to take time for this young team to get on the same page, have their timing synchronized, and play on a higher level. The problems are on both sides of the ball. The offense is lacking in ability to make the big plays when they really need to, and do so on a consistent basis. The game against the Bengals would not have gotten so far out of hand had the Jaguars been able to answer their scoring drives with scoring drives of their own. Moreover, the Bengals would not have been able to score so many points had the Jaguars defense not committed so many mental errors, and allowed the Bengals to march up, and down the field. This was not one of those games where one missed opportunity would have made a difference. I do not care what the jockocracy says contrary to this. This was a game where the Jaguars timing was off, and mental mistakes reigned supreme. The team came out flat, and despite a couple of flashes of brilliance, looked flat for the duration of the game.

This is what happens when a team is rebuilding. They will be up one week, be down the next, and even look like an entirely different team, from quarter to quarter, and possession to possession. It is going to take more time for us to get where we need to be. I know this is the last thing a real Jaguars fan wants to read, but it is the truth.  We have not been to the dance for so long it feels like we will never get there.

The years under head coach Jack Del Rio are a bad memory, for many of us. Let’s face it. We were a .500 team under him, and the ownership blew it letting him stay for so long. He never found all the answers, especially on offense that the team needed, and still needs. His reign as head coach was a flop. The entire blame is not his though. Shack Harris had something to do with this lackluster era, as did owner Wayne Weaver who obviously lost his heart for the team several years ago, and failed to tell anyone. Having said this, I will move on.

Here are a few observations from a rabid Jaguars fan, as we move forward with this young team.

1) We need an answer to the gaping holes left in our wide receiver corps by the loss of Jimmy Smith, and Keenan McCardell. These two men were called Thunder, and Lightning, and for good reason. They played on an elite level, and found ways to get open, for the quarterback. The Jaguars have not found replacements for these players, and until we do, any quarterback we put under center will struggle. I see promise in our 1st Round draft pick Justin Blackmon. We need to get the ball to him often, so that Blaine Gabbert can work out the timing of his throws, at game speed, to this phenomenal Wide Receiver. If he works out, and there is every reason to believe he will, a dedicated effort to find the other thunder to go with the lightning, or the lightning to go with the thunder needs to be made. The lack of excellence at Wide Receiver has hurt us since the remaining member of that fantastic duo of old, Jimmy Smith, left the team. Filling this void is imperative. This is why I was a bit upset the team did not get Manningham (caught a brilliant side line pass in the Super Bowl) out of Free Agency. I hope the Coach, General Manager, and Owner have a plan to bring excellence back to the Wide Receiver positions, if Blackmon works out, and if he does not. After all, we can have the best quarterback in the league, but if he has no one to throw the ball to we will still lose. The big passing play must come back to the Jacksonville Jaguars, not just in the playbook, but on the field, effectively.

2) Maurice Jones-Drew is a great player, but his hold out has affected the team. Missing all of training camp caused the team to be on one page, and him to be on another. He is a great player, but he cannot win games on his own. He put up great numbers against the Colts, and carried the load of the game; however, that offense looked like a Jack Del Rio team, not a Mike Mularkey team. Mr. Mularkey needs to take the reins, not be the nice guy, and run it like he owns it. Jones-Drew will be a big part of game plans, but the game plan should not be built around him exclusively. 

3) Use the run to set up the pass. Take some chances. The Jaguars are not going to the Super Bowl this year. We will most likely not even be in the playoffs. It is too soon for this quarterback, and this team. Let Blaine Gabbert take advantage of this opportunity, to mature into an elite quarterback, by throwing the ball to Blackmon, Marcedes Lewis, Cecil Shorts, Laurent Robinson, and Mike Thomas. We are supposed to have a great offensive line, let him use the time they give him, in the pocket, to hone his skills. I have my eye on next year being our year. We must have effective receivers to throw the ball to. This is the time to weed out those receivers who are not going to be play makers, and let Gabbert get more acclimated to the game.

4) Hold Mel Tucker accountable, for the crappy defensive showing so far this season. If the game does not get out of hand, the offense has a better chance of getting the points needed to win. I never want to see another poor showing, by the Jaguars defense, like the one last week against the Bengals, and the other abysmal performances we have seen from this group of veteran defenders thus far this season. We have a veteran defense. No excuses. Execute, and do not make so many mental errors.

5) The Tight End needs to get open more than he has been. Marcedes Lewis is allegedly an elite Tight End, and he has caught some good passes this year, but he is not playing on the level an elite Tight End should be playing on. Send him to see a psychologist if he can’t get his head into the game.

Do not get me wrong, I would love to see the Jaguars get into the playoffs this year, if only to give this young offense experience playing on a bigger stage. I just do not think it is going to happen. We do have some good players. Unfortunately things have been such that these good players have performed poorly. The reason for this is multi factorial, and the answers need to come from all sides of the ball, and the team.

The Jacksonville Jaguars will be an elite team once again. This year is a year of transition. New coach, new owner, young offense, and a defense struggling to find its’ identity. Becoming an elite team will take time, but we have fantastic chances of doing so. If you are not on the Jaguars’ band wagon yet, now is the time to get on. Over the course of this season we will hone this team into a winner, and I expect nothing but going deep into the playoffs next season. Dare I say Super Bowl in two seasons?

Go Jaguars!

mark

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