The Jacksonville Jaguars have given quarterback Blake Bortles a vote of confidence.
At least, team general manager David Caldwell has.
While it was announced by executive vice president Tom Coughlin earlier this month that Bortles was the team’s quarterback, Caldwell, who drafted Bortles out of UCF in 2014, took it a step further to ensure the fans, the media and Bortles understands the organisation is still invested in the fourth-year player.
“I’ve said this time and time again: ‘I think we can win a lot of games with Blake; I think we can win a Super Bowl with Blake,” Caldwell said on jaguars.com. “I think he needs to improve and I think we need to improve around him, too, in order for that to happen.”
Caldwell added that while Bortles – like many of the NFL’s other 31 starting quarterbacks – has deficiencies, he “is still young. He is still growing.”
Growing is one thing. Making improvements are another. While Bortles did not have the same season in 2016 statistically that he did in 2015, there were many occasions when he looked more like a rookie lost in the system. If there is bright side to 2016, he threw 16 interceptions, two less than last season. He also held up better in front of a patchwork offensive line. He was sacked only 34 times, much better than the 51 times he was dropped in 2015.
Some of the improvement may have something to do with new head coach Doug Marrone, who served as the team’s offensive line coach prior to replacing Gus Bradley. More improvement up front and a reconditioning of Bortles’ skill set in the offseason could mean a return to the 4,400-yards season and 35 touchdowns he enjoyed in his second season in the league.
Bortles’ ineffectiveness could be linked to the former coaching regime. According to the story on Jaguars.com, Bortles looked sluggish during the first 14 games of the season, but seemed to turn a corner in the final two games, throwing for 626 yards and two touchdowns and no interceptions. Marrone took over for Bradley after Week 15 of the season.
Coughlin has had the luxury of having Mark Brunell as his quarterback when he coached in Jacksonville and then worked with Eli Manning, where he won two Super Bowls, while coaching the New York Giants. Any semblance of either one of those signal callers in their prime would be a good thing for both Bortles and Jacksonville.News Now - Sport News