The 2017 season in Jacksonville featured a new coach, a new offense, and almost a new quarterback. But Blake Bortles rallied after a preseason benching, and he’s now ready to take his game to a new level in 2018.
“When we started last year, it was kind of an elementary level, in terms of ‘I’m hearing the play, I’m thinking about the footwork I have to take, the identification, trying to remember what routes guys are running and all that,'” Bortles told George Diaz of the Orlando Sentinel. “Now, I think I’m kind of owning the offense and having a better understanding of it. Obviously, it is a continuous study and a continuous grind to continue to master it and stay on top of it, but I definitely feel more comfortable with it.”
That’s what the Jaguars wanted when choosing to sign Bortles to a three-year contract, opting for the devil they know over the potential free-agency and/or draft busts they don’t. In a league where continuity often is overrated, Bortles could be a key factor in the Jaguars getting back to the heights they achieved in 2018, and possibly beyond.
Given the high quality around him, it won’t take much from the quarterback position to make a huge difference. And if there’s a huge difference in Bortles’ play this year, who knows what the Jags will do?
But Bortles knows that, no matter what, he won’t have huge numbers. Asked whether he’d take himself on his fantasy football team, Bortles was candid.
“Probably not,” Bortles said. “Maybe Leonard Fournette.”