The Jaguars answered who their quarterback of the present is by signing Blake Bortles to a three-year, $54 million extension last week. The team has made it clear, though, that they expect more from Bortles next season.
“We were excited about that,” Jaguars coach Doug Marrone said. “I think Blake has shown during the year that he was progressing, getting better. Obviously when you give a player a contract now, we are looking for more, which we always are. No different than any other position. We need to come in and we need to play better than we did before. Happy to get that done before coming out here. I think it is a good situation and one that we are both working to get better. I think with the continuity of the staff, having gone through the year, not losing anyone, and then for Blake having the same continuity with [Nathaniel] Hackett as his offensive coordinator, Scott Milanovich as his quarterbacks coach. We are looking to see great improvement from him going into this next season.”
The amount of faith the Jaguars have in Bortles will become more clear at the end of the three-day draft. Will they draft a quarterback? If so, will it be in the early rounds?
Minnesota and Philadelphia proved how important having a Plan B at the position is.
“I can’t speak for [Minnesota or Philadelphia’s] situation,” Marrone said. “I can only speak for ours. When you look to the draft, it is not like I know there is a lot of talk about this team and they are ready and they only need one or two or three pieces, whatever it may be, but that is not the way I am approaching this. I am approaching this as we have to better our football team. We have to do a better job, starting with me and the coaches. I think the draft process or free agency gives you the ability to go ahead and better your football team no matter what position it is. I don’t think anything is ever off limits when it comes down to trying to better your football team.”