The Patriots have the kind of defense that can make people look bad.
But after Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles went 5-for-17 passing against them in a joint workout yesterday, perhaps it isn’t all about the Patriots.
Bortles told Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union that he could “definitely” see progress from their offense during training camp, though it might be hard for others to see it.
“It was about what we can do, how we react in the situation and how can we continue to get better,” Bortles said. “Up front, [the Patriots] single everybody up and that made everything one-on-one as far as the blocking schemes and then they do a lot of different things in coverage with their safeties, whether they’re sprinting their guys down or staying high and doing different stuff. . . .
“There is no doubt there has been some bad stuff that’s happened that we have to fix and continue to work on, but I think if you watched 7-on-7s [Tuesday] or 1-on-1s, there weren’t a whole lot of times we got stopped. We just have to find a way to carry that over into the 11-on-11.”
Bortles has had an up-and-down camp, highlighted (on the negative side) by a five-interception day. And since he hadn’t talked to reporters since then, he had to explain that one as well.
“I think anytime you throw an interception, you learn from it,” he said. “It’s practice – not downplaying practice or justifying that it’s OK to throw five interceptions, but if there’s a time to do it, it’s then. You learn from it and then hopefully move on and grow from it and don’t do it again.”
If Bortles has learned from his turnovers, the season to show it is this one. The Jags gave him chances to succeed this year, by drafting a workhourse running back in Leonard Fournette instead of investing in a quarterback of the future with the fourth pick, when they could have had any one of this year’s class they wanted.
That gives Bortles some degree of leeway, but the time for excuses and explanations is nearing an end, and he’s going to have to show the improvement rather than talking about it.