The Steelers are worried about Blake Bortles. No, really.
The Jaguars quarterback got their attention with his 88 rushing yards last week against the Bills, even though he only threw for 87 . The fact he proved so mobile in the playoffs gives them something extra to worry about as they prepare for this week’s divisional round game.
“You’ve got to make sure you account for Bortles,” linebacker Bud Dupree said, via Joe Rutter of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “We’ve got to make sure we don’t let him scramble, that we’re disciplined in our rush lanes and make sure we bring him down.
“He’s a great athlete. He runs fast. He can make you miss. He’s big, and he even tries to run you over sometimes.”
That’s Blake Bortles he’s talking about. The Jaguars quarterback. Of course, he showed a less-flashy version of his mobile self in Jacksonville’s regular season upset, and they remember him scrambling for a first-down conversion along with the damage rookie running back Leonard Fournette did.
“He might not be the fastest guy in the world,” cornerback Joe Haden said, “but it you get a first down on third-and-8 or third-and-9, those kill a defense.”
He did have 323 rushing yards this season, seventh among NFL quarterbacks, and by gaining 144 of those on first downs, he set the stage for good down-and-distance situations. But he’s still Blake Bortles, which made the rushing yards last week a surprise, and not the most important stat for the Jaguars.