Bortles continues to quietly build his case for starting


Thanks to higher-profile first-round quarterbacks and the low profile that comes from six years and counting of no playoff berths, the Jaguars have been able to avoid plenty of the attention that otherwise would come from having the third overall pick in the draft supposedly parked behind a career journeyman.

That could soon be ending.  Recent rave reviews of rookie Blake Bortles combined with, via Michael DiRocco of, a strong showing in Saturday night’s intrasquad scrimmage could make Bortles’ elevation to starter a Week One inevitability.

It was inevitable from the day of the draft.  Teams don’t invest the third overall pick on a player who will languish on the bench.  Like the Browns and Vikings, however, it makes sense to keep expectations and attention low by putting the player in a no-lose situation.  If he doesn’t develop the way the team had hoped, he stays at No. 2, where he always was.  Which is a lot better than making him the starter and then conceding before his first regular-season game that the team made a mistake by putting him at No. 1 on the depth chart — and that maybe the team made a bigger mistake by drafting him.

Bortles has been playing so well that even the guy who currently holds the starting job admits it.

“I thought he did a good job,” Chad Henne said of Bortles’ performance in the scrimmage.  “All his reads were correct, going to the right places with the ball, and that’s all you want with a young guy: Make sure that the ball’s going to the right place and making good decisions out there.”

Coach Gus Bradley was more concise.

“The consistency, he’s starting to get it,” Bradley said of Bortles. “So that’s good.”

It’ll be even better if Bradley decides what his former boss, Pete Carroll, decided two years ago in Seattle — that the rookie deserves the job.  In 2012, Russell Wilson was a third-round pick.  For the Jaguars, it’s not nearly the same stretch to give the job to the third overall selection.

39 responses to “Bortles continues to quietly build his case for starting

  1. Nothing to lose by starting the rook. Be nice if that O-line were a bit more solidified, however.

  2. The Jags have nothing to lose by starting Bortles, why wait to become 0-4 before making a switch.

  3. It rarely happens in the NFL, due to money, but why even state where someone will play? May the best man win in any position! How did not picking Tebow work for the Jags? Made less money, and football is a business.

  4. Trying to start a controversy in JagsCamp. Unnecessary. He be is week one starter and if any of the WRs heal, will be solid enough to win games. I don’t want to see Bortles get a regular season start because he threw some good passes on a Saturday night in August.

  5. Not gonna happen. He’ll play later in the year, I’m sure. Starting him now would go against everything they’ve said to date. If they’re 2-6 at the halfway point, he’ll probably make an appearance.

  6. No where near as good as Teddy Bridgewater though
    You know the best QB to have never played a down in the NFL with the best wide receivers in the League The Best running back that is now going to catch more passes than any receiver in the NFL (except the Viking ones) The best defense, coaching blah blah blah the Packers suck their fans are fat
    Skol to the best paper team for 54 years ever
    then the season starts

  7. Look Maaaaan dont br trying to start no drama in Jax. Henne is our starter and Bortles is our number 2 QB. Were not even close to the circus you media dudes created for the Browns. Manziel has done nothing but be an attention seeker/grabber and MAJOR distraction. Jags staff is doing it the right way. You media guys ESPECIALLY ESPN really must be bored. Bradley and Caldwell have both continuously stated hes not starting anytime soon. So just stop it guys, your not a bunch of gossiping,gabbing schools are you? Well since I put it that way. YES YOU ALL ARE!

  8. I love how the jags are building under Bradley. I don’t keep up with them daily but I love their approach and being in Florida I hear enough

  9. I am not usually one that thinks it is a good idea to start your rookie QB game 1 year 1. I like the sit them approach. but these days you basically need a good backup QB to go in and start and play well enough to keep that rookie on the bench

    I don’t see anyone in Jacksonville that can do that, plus he was a top 3 pick. if you use a top 3 pick on a QB, or even a top 10 pick…you should be looking to start them immediately.

    his problem is going to be a mediocre OL and an offense that lacks a lot of weapons thanks to Justin blackmon and that suspension of his.

  10. I really like this kid. He’s in the best situation out of every QB drafted this year…minimal pressure, and in his hometown. Dare I say, skys the limit for this kid? I damn sure hope so, our brother fans on the east coast of the state desreve a winning season no doubt

  11. “…. nothing to lose by starting Bortles…” is really not very smart. Throw a rookie in before he’s ready and you can ruin his career and your team’s near-term future. It has happened many times in this league.

  12. Anybody who watched this guy at UCF knows how good he’ll be. He’s a hard worker, a smart leader, and a humble man.

  13. From a Vikings fan, I still think they should have drafted Teddy instead. Hope he’s the long answer and works out for the Jags though. Good luck!!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. My only question is , when will “TheGreatGabbert” change his sign on name to “TheGreatBortles” ?

  15. Most of you would be rapturous if your team won just one measly Super Bowl. We won it once, then again, and again, and again, yet again, oh, look, another one. You shrivel in our shadow. We define greatness. We built the NFL. We are the Steelers. says:Aug 3, 2014 3:40 PM

    This guy is such a joke.
    A lot of people are comparing him to rothlesberger. I agree.

  16. I don’t like the matte finish on the helmets. Not just the Jags but on all the teams that use them. What does this have to do with this post? Nothing, absolutely nothing.

  17. @codythao35 – If you think Teddy is better than Bortles, then why did 32 teams pass-on Teddy (including your vikings). You team felt that Barr is better than Teddy. There is a reason why Teddy fell down. Whether all the 32 GMs are correct or not, we will know soon. Based on Keim (Cardinals GM who is well respected) he felt he would have taken Bortles if available where the cardinals drafted.

  18. The difference between letting Wilson start, and letting Bortles start; the Seahawks weren’t a flaming trainwreck like the Jags are. No rookie should be thrown into that situation.

  19. Caldwell and Bradley are taking the wiseman’s philosophy… and I like that… Keep plans low profile, work quietly, be patient. This will very likely produce the expected and even better results… and even surprise the League without even thinking or planning about it.

    It is an approach that anyone who has followed the same mindset in their personal lives knows it works. The keys here is that: be quiet, patient, smart, determined.

    I think this year will be much better than the previous five. Not saying that they will necessarily be a playoffs team right this year, but they have changed the bearing of the ship into that direction. And next year will be even better…! They truly know what they are doing, and they know it works. It will work.

  20. I honestly didn’t see Bortles play much in college, but I remember watching the draft and when he did his interview after being selected my first thought was “wow, this guy looks and sounds like a QB”.

    While I am not a Jags fan, I hope that Bortles can lead them to some decent seasons. Their fans deserve some sunshine

  21. How can he even be considered to start…he hasn’t hung out with Bieber. Isn’t that what your suppose to do if you want to be a star quarterback? Darn! Johnny Football has been lying to us!

  22. Uhhh, I was at the scrimmage, and am a big Bortles fan, but dude is NOT ready to start. Henne is faster, reads and checks down faster, is more accurate, knows the system, and has a distinct command of the offense. Bortles had mostly short passes against guys who will moving refrigerators in a few weeks, and badly missed the one deep ball he threw. He’s slow in his reads and stares down receivers.

    Don’t get me wrong, he’ll be fine. Just needs some work. Replacing 4 out of 5 on your offensive line and the lone starter was injured all of last year, then switched positions doesn’t bode well for any QB.

  23. Now that we have seen him play in yesterday’s pre-season opener against Tampa, what would you guys say now…?

    I’d say, he seems to be ready to start, at least, mid-season, if not earlier if deemed necessary. I think he’s got what it takes to be a franchise QB definitely…!

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