Nathaniel Hackett: Trust in Blake Bortles means we can be more aggressive

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Jaguars offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett has spent the last three years working with quarterback Blake Bortles and he sees major differences from the quarterback he met in 2015.

Bortles had one NFL season under his belt and Hackett told Albert Breer of SI.com that he had to “go back to the beginning” because Bortles didn’t know how to do much other than throw the ball to Allen Robinson. That often meant throwing the ball downfield into coverages prepared for that scenario and Hackett set to work on breaking Bortles of that habit.

The process still had its rough patches last season, but Hackett saw growth in moments when Bortles checked down to running backs or changed to run plays in order to avoid the risks he was too willing to take in the past. While that wasn’t enough to keep the Jaguars from playing conservatively in the AFC title game, Hackett promised a different approach this season because of what they saw from Bortles last year.

“We’re in a great situation, because a very good line, and we have very good running backs, which will allow us to run the ball,” Hackett said. “Now it’s going to allow us to be a lot more aggressive, because you can trust that Blake is going to make right decision more consistently.”

Trust wasn’t a word used about Bortles at this point a year ago and the Jaguars flirted with the notion of starting Chad Henne last summer before committing to Bortles. There won’t be any flirtations with other starters this summer, but it will be some time before we know for sure how much more of the Jaguars offense will rest on their quarterback’s shoulders this season.

11 responses to “Nathaniel Hackett: Trust in Blake Bortles means we can be more aggressive

  1. Trust and Blake Bortles in the same sentence. That’s pretty incredible.

  2. Bortles reminds me of Alex Smith.

    High pick, turnover machine in a dysfunctional organization, gets some stable established football people around him, then dramatically cuts the turnovers to become a conservative, mobile, good, if not spectacular, QB with a long career.

    Bortles has a little bit to go, but the Alex Smith arch seems achievable.

  3. In my opinion the problem IS Bortles. Every off-season we hear him talk about how he’s done all this work in the offseason and he feels more comfortable and blah blah blah. Then he comes out every season and stinks it up. If he does the same thing this year the Jags will dump him. They could replace him with a mediocre QB who doesn’t turn the ball over every quarter and be just fine. Bortles’ days as a starting QB would be done and he’d just be another highly-drafted journeyman who did nothing in the NFL. In my estimation, this falls squarely on Bortles’ shoulders. He’s been in the league long enough to stop making all his dumb mistakes. When he throws the ball he’s like a box of chocolates–you never know if it’s going to the receiver or the defender. I don’t know what all his “work” is in the offseason unless it’s playing Madden. This is a watershed year for him. If he bombs this year, he can kiss his career goodbye.

  4. “Now it’s going to allow us to be a lot more aggressive, ”

    OK, throw a lot more and see what happens. Either Bortles has greatly improved and will put up big numbers.
    Or more likely he’ll be exposed as the sub par QB he is and his number will be poor, except when padding them in garbage time.

  5. He didn’t come out and “stink it up every year.” First year was a typical up and down rookie year; year 2 was very good, albeit a lot of it was in garbage time; year 3 was horrible, total regression; year 4 he was pretty good, taking them to within 2 minutes of the Super Bowl.

    I’d rather this guy than, say, Jameis Winston. Who wouldn’t?

  6. some folks just don’t learn;

    the Jags are about to waste a generation of good players who have fashioned a championship window on the absolute worst starting QB in the league;

    last season the defence carried his mistakes past LAC and then a crippled Steeler defence just barely;

    when they needed him to make just one play against a relatively weak NE defence Bortles failed again, miserably;

    the defence cannot beat championship calibre teams week in and week out, not without at least a caretaker QB who can if nothing else keep the offence on the field long enough for the defence to catch its breath without his giving up a lead letting the other side go up two scores on an unforced turnover;

    Bortles is little better than Hackenberg masquerading behind an outstanding defensive team;

    one day the Jags will realise what the rest of the league and all the children and dogs in the free world know, before their window shuts;

    the Chiefs did, along with Minnesota and Chicago, Arizona and Buffalo, SF, even the Jets;

    the Bengals, Chargers, Broncos and browns, not so much;

  7. Blake will make all the nay sayers and haters cry this season and for many more to come. He has an elite team built around him minus an elite WR Corps. I hope he shows out this year so I can watch all the haters hate even more with envy and jealousy. Dude actually had 3 different OCs his firat 3 seasons now Hackett has had him for one full season and made a big change in his decision making. Only time and more experience will determin his future but IMO he’s gonna beast on the competition and shut a large amount of haters up. GO BLAKE BORTLES AND GO JAGS! PS. Myles Jack #44 wasn’t down!

  8. if jagwar4u can stop popping bubblegum for a minutes and dispense with the pre-adolescent slang (‘haters’) he may come to realise Bortles has already been given too many chances to succeed and failed miserably consistently in each instance;

    he is simply not a championship calibre quarterback and so will NEVER beat a true super bowl calibre QB;

    that means he must confine himself to being a caretaker QB dependent upon his defence to carry him;

    however, even a caretaker QB must make one or two plays;

    last season in general and against NE in particular Bortles has proven time and again he is wholly incapable of doing even that;

    there’s no ‘hate’ involved there, simply incontrovertible fact;

    put all the eye shadow and lipstick you want on a pig and it will still be swine;

    just as swine will never match pearls, Bortles will never outdo a true championship calibre QB and not even most caretaker QBs;

    after last season’s championship round, every team in the league will play the Jags so that Bortles will have to beat them;

    the Jags will be lucky to make wild card even if their star RB doesn’t get hurt again carrying the ball too much to cover for Bortles inabilities;

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