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College coach not ready to declare Blake Bortles a franchise QB


Central Florida quarterback Blake Bortles name comes up in discussions of the top passers in this year’s draft, but his college coach isn’t ready to declare him a franchise quarterback just yet.

George O’Leary told Sports Radio 610 in Houston that description should be more rare.

I think a franchise quarterback comes out once every 10 years, and he came out last year in [Andrew] Luck,” O’Leary said, despite being off just one year. “The ones I see succeed are understudies.”

O’Leary thinks Bortles has the chance to succeed, and has “all the tools to get it done,” but might need more time.

“Blake has all the things you’re looking for in a quarterback as far as size and mental capacity to handle a lot of things,” O’Leary said. “But that first year is tough because those guys are moving a lot faster than the college guys.

“Blake is going to be fine-tuned to what he needs to get done in the pro ranks.”

While O’Leary didn’t necessarily go in for the Pete Carroll-Mark Sanchez level of bar-lowering, it’s reasonable to have reservations.

But O’Leary is also a mentor of new Houston coach Bill O’Brien, so you can be sure he’s giving his old pupil a more detailed report, before it’s time for the first pick in the draft.

And with the pressure on the first pick to perform for the Texans, there might not be time for the development that Bortles needs.

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41 Responses to “College coach not ready to declare Blake Bortles a franchise QB”
  1. sandersmarcus10 says: Feb 13, 2014 11:21 AM

    I think the truth from these players former Coaches is very helpful and every year your going to have some guy that is blown up by everyone but hasnt really done anything in college. Franchise QB’s are a rare find and its shown that you dont have to get it with a 1st round pick all the time.

  2. doubleogator says: Feb 13, 2014 11:33 AM

    Bet Bortles loves that, just cost him a few million…

  3. kev86 says: Feb 13, 2014 11:48 AM

    Im in the minority and like Carr. I think Manziel will be semi successful and def. entertaining for a small period of time.

  4. oldschoolnflman says: Feb 13, 2014 11:51 AM

    Blake should be a highly sought after 2nd 3rd round pick. I cant believe he is gonna be a 1st rounder. I hope for him he gets the aaron Rodgers treatment and sits and learns for his own sake.

  5. buddysguys says: Feb 13, 2014 12:03 PM

    Bortles is the Nassib of this year. You heard it hear first.

  6. cluelessdufus says: Feb 13, 2014 12:11 PM

    Did anybody think that any of these guys are guaranteed franchise QBs? There is no Andrew Luck, these aren’t guaranteed. There is talent, but to say Bridgewater, Bortles, or Manziel are going to change a franchise is just stupid.

  7. tjacks7 says: Feb 13, 2014 12:39 PM

    Finally the voice of reason. I see nothing special with Bortles.

  8. gwheels52 says: Feb 13, 2014 1:26 PM

    Bortles fits the physical mold for a pocket passer but the games I’ve seen he has some accuracy issues to work out.

  9. granadafan says: Feb 13, 2014 1:30 PM

    The problem is that teams who are at the top of the draft have an immediate need for a QB and the pressure is on to start the rookie ready or not. That can often destroy a young QB’s confidence and development (See David Carr and Alex Smith).

    That said, none of this year’s QB class will be a franchise QB.

  10. cubano76 says: Feb 13, 2014 1:30 PM

    Dang! Thanks Coach.

  11. jedyknyt says: Feb 13, 2014 1:32 PM

    As a Viking fan, I am praying Bortles will be on the board when we pick 8th.

  12. whodatnhollywood says: Feb 13, 2014 1:33 PM

    Blaine Gabbert Version 2. Drafter beware!

  13. officialgame says: Feb 13, 2014 1:39 PM

    A lot of pretty good young QB’s are ruined by rushing them. Bad habits are developed and are harder to break. Guys like Luck and to a lesser extent Wilson are rare commodities.

  14. urmomsmyho says: Feb 13, 2014 1:44 PM

    I’d rather have Geno Smith

  15. linvillegorge says: Feb 13, 2014 1:45 PM

    I only watched three of his games, but I just don’t get the hype. I didn’t see a future starting NFL QB.

  16. rcali says: Feb 13, 2014 1:52 PM

    Well some team is going to draft him as their “Franchise” QB even though statistics show he’ll be lucky to be an average NFL QB. I know, I know, thumbs down Mrs. Bortles and CFU fans.

  17. realdealsteel says: Feb 13, 2014 2:02 PM

    I agree with the college coach. Who was this before two and a half months ago? All of a sudden he’s a top 5 pick? Naww..not buying it.

    And from what I’ve seen, none of these guys are sure fire franchise QB’s to me. And…I don’t see how these guys are rated so high yet the say Taj Boyd is a second round pick??

    I think Boyd is just as good as any of these gambles and I could get him in the second round.

  18. 202folife says: Feb 13, 2014 2:04 PM

    Let me see now, 7 interceptions in two play-offs games this season makes you a franchise QB? Mmmkay!

  19. tooz72 says: Feb 13, 2014 2:05 PM

    so many Mel Kiper Jr wannabes on insiders tell me he’ll be a very good QB for years to come and they also tell me Manziel can skip his playing career because he belongs in the HOF right now

  20. bigace73 says: Feb 13, 2014 2:07 PM

    Luck is a great qb, but Wilson has already been the steal of their draft class. I haven’t watched Bottles at all, but you never know.

  21. praetorian12 says: Feb 13, 2014 2:15 PM

    Meanwhile, all the playoff teams are praying their division rivals spend their first round picks on quarterbacks, letting all those studly lineman fall down the board…

  22. qdog112 says: Feb 13, 2014 2:48 PM

    O’Leary is right in his thinking about Bortles, that he is likely not a franchise guy. When I see him, I see more Blaine Gabbert than Luck.

    He is also right that the franchise QB came out last year and that franchise QB won a Super Bowl this year.

  23. maverick0 says: Feb 13, 2014 3:10 PM

    Perhaps not a “Franchise” QB, but Houston needs a qb…what are they supposed to do, wait until next year, or the year after for Jameson or Hackenberg, or other? Personally, I believe the Texans want to trade (w/Falcons) down and select Bortles at 6 (before Minn.). Still probably a bit too high for him, but better “value” at 6 and gets him before MN. Raiders “X” factor here…

  24. thegreatgabbert says: Feb 13, 2014 3:11 PM

    He was backing up Jeff Godfrey at UCF his first two seasons there. A 5-11, 180 pound guy who ended up being moved to WR. Godfrey was also younger than Bortles.

    Lucicrous how overhyped Bortles is.

  25. linvillegorge says: Feb 13, 2014 3:17 PM

    Russell Wilson is off to a great start to his career, but let’s not pretend that he didn’t land in a perfect situation. He went to a team that was already stacked on defense with an elite RB. That’s ideal for a young QB. Takes a ton of pressure off of them.

  26. whitemike55 says: Feb 13, 2014 3:57 PM

    As bad as I want Johnny Manziel, I think the Texans will end up selecting J. Clowney or T. Bridgewater.

    Either one of those 3 will not be a bad choice IMO.

    The Houston Texans are now on the clock!

  27. toooverbearing says: Feb 13, 2014 4:02 PM

    I know it was a long time ago, but I wish the Bears listened to Joe Paterno when he said Curtis Enis was a fraud. Sometimes coaches are honest about their players… and when they are you have got to listen.

  28. 8to80texansblog says: Feb 13, 2014 4:08 PM

    To be honest…. I think the Texans should take Clowney…. He’s a generational type of talent. You can’t pass that up for this crop of QBs.

    Take a Mettenberger in the 2nd or Murray in the 3rd…


  29. kev86 says: Feb 13, 2014 4:45 PM

    Remember when the Saints took George Rogers over LT? I’d take Clowney at #1.

  30. myworldurjuslivinit says: Feb 13, 2014 4:45 PM

    BAM…that noise was the sound of the bank vault door slamming shut.

  31. kd75 says: Feb 13, 2014 5:38 PM

    Thanks, Boss!. You know I am looking for a new job right?

    It isn’t like you paid me.

  32. razzzmajazzz says: Feb 13, 2014 5:46 PM

    Sure thegreatgabbert, I’ll bet he’s laying in bed at night willing to sell his soul just to have half the monstrous success that Blaine Gabbert has had.

  33. packers7baller7shotcaller says: Feb 13, 2014 7:06 PM

    of course he isn’t gonna say dude is a franchise qb

    wanna know why?


    now that’s a franchise qb (don’t hate now).

    ‘dis your boy, packers baller shot caller.

    i’m outti, peace y’all (deuces)

  34. sopadegato says: Feb 13, 2014 7:15 PM

    I’d take Clowney at #1..if I had a decent QB, and I weren’t afraid of the fact he’s lazy, had a non-presence in his entire last season, and has attitude issues. He’s more Albert Haynesworth or Sam Montgomery (who the Texans just ditched) than JJ Watt.

  35. hor2012 says: Feb 13, 2014 7:38 PM

    officialgame says:

    Why is wilson to a lesser degree than luck. the last time I check wilson as the SB ring

  36. nobby821 says: Feb 13, 2014 7:56 PM

    He’s got the face of a franchise QB, that’s about it.

  37. beastmode5150 says: Feb 13, 2014 8:03 PM

    In other news, ice is cold.

  38. boycord says: Feb 13, 2014 8:57 PM

    O’Leary is simply looking after Bortles. He doesn’t want Blake to pad his resume. That kind of stuff can come back and haunt you.

  39. squinn21 says: Feb 13, 2014 10:43 PM

    Dude has never coached a franchise QB anyway.

  40. robgilman says: Feb 13, 2014 11:02 PM

    All he had to say was “Blake has all the things you’re looking for in a quarterback as far as size and mental capacity to handle a lot of things.”

    Probably did cost him a few mil by elaborating

  41. johnnyjagfan says: Feb 13, 2014 11:50 PM

    No way Jags take him Caldwell ain’t that dumb forget about it.

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