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Blake Bortles continues his strong preseason

bortles AP

The Jacksonville Jaguars insist that rookie quarterback Blake Bortles will spend 2014 on the bench, behind starter Chad Henne. But Bortles sure looks like he’s ready to start in the NFL right now.

Bortles continued his strong preseason performance today in the preseason finale against the Falcons, completing four of his six passes for 86 yards, including a 57-yard touchdown pass to fellow rookie Marqise Lee. That touchdown pass was a thing of beauty: Bortles stood in the pocket with pressure in his face and threw the ball about 50 yards in the air, right into Lee’s hands.

Overall, Bortles is now 32-for-51 for 521 yards, with two touchdowns and no interceptions, in the preseason.

So why isn’t that enough for Bortles to earn the starting job? Because Jaguars coach Gus Bradley has said all along that there’s nothing Bortles can do to earn the starting job, at least as long as Henne is healthy. The Jaguars have stuck to their plan of giving Bortles a year to learn, while Henne plays.

But if Henne struggles, that’s going to be a difficult plan to stick to. Bortles looks too good to ride the pine. Unless Henne makes the Jaguars a surprise playoff contender, expect Bortles to start as a rookie. Even if it won’t come in Week One.

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39 Responses to “Blake Bortles continues his strong preseason”
  1. nickinneohio says: Aug 28, 2014 7:10 PM

    As a Browns fan I hate to admit this but, Bortles looks like a Rothlesberger clone.

    Still wondering if Jax dooped the Browns when they took him and Cle immediately traded their pick.

  2. gloryfromheaven46 says: Aug 28, 2014 7:12 PM

    When’s the last time we’ve seen a rookie QB perform this well in the preseason? I get sitting him behind a veteran QB but this guy seems to be the real deal, if they wanna win I’d suggest starting him.

    I’m no Jaguars fan but I congratulate those fans who’ve stuck around for so many painful years to finally see a potential star QB in their team…

  3. ausernamethatisavailable says: Aug 28, 2014 7:18 PM

    It was against the falcons.

  4. bitw44 says: Aug 28, 2014 7:18 PM

    Bradley is smart because he knows the team as a whole isn’t talented enough to win even if Bortles starts.

    Let him sit, and when the season is inevitably lost he will still get 6-8 games in.

  5. vancouversportsbro says: Aug 28, 2014 7:20 PM

    Chad Henne must have dirt on Gus Bradley. Even if Blake Bortles threw for four hundred yards and won the game 40-0 he would still put the old duster in. Maybe he wants to lose a few games and give the Colts the division.

  6. agpowell2 says: Aug 28, 2014 7:20 PM

    Start the man!

  7. The Colts tanked the 2011 season, but Andrew Luck is a bust, and Jim Irsay is a druggie. The entire Colts organization and their fans should be ashamed. says: Aug 28, 2014 7:23 PM

    If Andrew Suck can start his first year, then Blake Bortles can start and more. Blake Bortles is better than Andrew the Overrated.

  8. roddoliver says: Aug 28, 2014 7:27 PM

    Gotta change those uniforms. Back to the original.

  9. arminscopyofswank says: Aug 28, 2014 7:27 PM

    Good to hear some good news coming out of Jacksonville.

    Can’t really tell with this limited amount of work, but Bortles looks really solid so far.

    Nobody is laughing at the Jaguars for picking him third overall now!

  10. seabrawk12 says: Aug 28, 2014 7:28 PM

    Gotta be happy for Jaguar fans. Bortles should give the team some hope for the future. Gus Bradley is also a helluva guy – Hawk fan

  11. mkelly534 says: Aug 28, 2014 7:31 PM

    I suspect that Henne will come down with an “injury” at some point necessitating Bortles playing before scheduled.

  12. craigmaitland says: Aug 28, 2014 7:32 PM

    Jags have never had a Qb. Playing it smart kudos to them. Hope they don’t buy into the pressure and start Bortles too soon.

  13. clamdiggers says: Aug 28, 2014 7:33 PM

    Must be playing the Vikings

  14. papacrick says: Aug 28, 2014 7:38 PM

    The Jags reasoning for this is Gabbert’s play as a rookie. Seriously. As if he was destined to be good if only they didn’t throw him to the wolves so early. Clearly Gabbert was/is horrible and nothing was gonna change. Bortles is not Gabbert and he’s shown that he does deserve to start right out the gates ala Wilson and Luck. This is why the Jags are the Jags. They could win some games and contend for the division with Indy but they would prefer mediocrity as their ceiling as Henne has no upside. Why not make the fans suffering extend another year? Great thinking

  15. maddenisfordorks says: Aug 28, 2014 7:40 PM

    Praise god. We’ve found our QB.

  16. fishfan39 says: Aug 28, 2014 7:40 PM

    While I’m not a Jags fan I agree with Bradley not starting Bortles. I can’t see them throwing Bortles to the wolves especially when Henne is a serviceable QB. I haven’t seen them play this preseason but unless they have a good OL in place sitting Bortles for a year while letting him learn and improving their OL seems like the best course of action for the long term.

  17. jimmyhaffa says: Aug 28, 2014 7:52 PM

    Are they trying to tank the season to give Bortles a high draft pick weapon next year?

  18. zoxitic says: Aug 28, 2014 8:00 PM

    Boy, I guess not so much the “Reach” anymore, huh?

  19. tennesseeoilers says: Aug 28, 2014 8:11 PM

    Is it so wrong for a Titans fan to like a young Jaguar this much? … Yes, yes it is.

    Dang it!

  20. titansbro says: Aug 28, 2014 8:26 PM

    It’s preseason people, pump the brakes a bit.

  21. cobirdsfan says: Aug 28, 2014 8:29 PM

    Rooting for the guy… way to make the most of your reps, Bortles.

  22. mx429 says: Aug 28, 2014 8:36 PM

    Henne faked an injury with the Dolphins to get Ryan Tannehill in, probably gonna be the same here, but with much better results.

  23. sportstalkprofessional says: Aug 28, 2014 8:54 PM

    Bradley is anxious to get back to coordinating.

  24. ixdarexu says: Aug 28, 2014 8:57 PM

    Luck is a good qb for whatever tard was saying he isn’t a good quarterback. But it’s would benifit them to wait on bottles untill next year when they can add more pieces around him they also get blackmon back and give him the best chance to succeed its smart to wait it out.

  25. The Steelers are Marching and the world cowers. The three rivers were made from your tears and we build boats. We build lots of boats. We walk beside pristine trophy cases and engraved gold. They say it's lonely at the top, but we sure like the view. says: Aug 28, 2014 9:29 PM

    Yes he continued his strong preseason… with his first touchdown.

  26. wackyjag says: Aug 28, 2014 10:19 PM

    Blackmon isn’t playing another snap for the Jags…..

  27. billsfan1 says: Aug 28, 2014 11:35 PM

    Dear ESPN,

    Johnny football was not the only qb drafted this year….

    SIgned,

    Everybody in American not named Johnny Manziel.

  28. warhammer420 says: Aug 29, 2014 12:02 AM

    Smoke ‘em if ya got ‘em. Play the kid!

  29. wringworm says: Aug 29, 2014 12:11 AM

    …and David Carr led the rrrrrraiders to 4 scores against the Sea D. It’s the 4th preseason game people!!!!

  30. raymondtx says: Aug 29, 2014 12:32 AM

    Noooooooo!!!! He cant be this good, can he? This “genius coach” we have from the Belichick coaching tree passed on him.

    signed,
    Htown

  31. jagsallday says: Aug 29, 2014 12:42 AM

    Finally we can get some respect from the football league. I have been a Jag fan for years. Bortles is awesome. I live 10 minutes from the Stadium. And it feels great to be a Jag. I just wish we still had Jones-Drew.

  32. seadawgs72 says: Aug 29, 2014 1:55 AM

    Unless there’s some stud left tackle due to be in next year’s draft then i just don’t understand Bradley’s thinking here. As a Hawk fan i know Bradley is a helluva defensive coach but I’m starting to question this decision (& this is coming from a huge fan of Gus Bradley). If Henne was a true starter & someone Bortles could learn from I’d get it but Bortles will learn nothing from him. Bortles will still learn the NFL from the bench but hens only going to learn to play the NFL qb position by actually playing it. I’m still standing by my prediction that the Jags will be the most improved team in the NFL but it sure would be nice to see that improvement behind their future franchise qb. Hawk fan/go Jags.

  33. razzlejag says: Aug 29, 2014 6:01 AM

    The Jags OL isn’t ready to protect anybody. Joeckel-Beadles-no center-Linder-Pazstor or injury replacement…these guys need 4 games of live action for the coaching staff to evaluate them.

    If they are happy with the OL’s ability to protect BB, then he will slowly be integrated into the offense. If the OL continues to suck, Henne takes one for the team.

    Next offseason will be all about the OL.

  34. bigjayler says: Aug 29, 2014 9:09 AM

    I wanted Bortles for the Browns in the worst way. Now we’re stuck with Johnny Hype smh.

  35. goawayeverybody says: Aug 29, 2014 9:36 AM

    Put him out there and let him play! Chad Henne sucks!

  36. jagsfan2012 says: Aug 29, 2014 9:37 AM

    The boy looks good. The future’s so bright, gotta wear shades.

  37. boomgrounder says: Aug 29, 2014 10:04 AM

    Bortles is the real deal in TEAL! Jags OLine is in not ready to protect the franchise. Smart move by HC Gus Bradley. Wait until OLine is at least resembles a pro unit to put your Franchise QB starting behind them.

  38. seadawgs72 says: Aug 29, 2014 11:52 AM

    Ok I’ve heard enough Jag fans say the O line isn’t good enough to protect him so I’ll stop beating that dead horse. I just feel bad for Jag fans to have to put up with Henne for at least part of the season. On the bright side, your defense should be much improved unless they spend the whole game on field. Let’s just hope Henne can sustain enough drives to give the defense a blow.

  39. jpaq68 says: Aug 29, 2014 3:56 PM

    Where’s all of your “Bust Bortles” talk now, billswillnevermove?

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