The Jaguars are seriously fine with a Bortles “redshirt” year. Don’t believe it?
Jacksonville Jaguar head coach Gus Bradley appeared on the NFL Network and re-emphasized what he and General Manager Dave Caldwell have stated since shortly after drafting quarterback Blake Bortles. The Jaguars as an organization feel good about sitting Blake Bortles for the entire 2015 NFL season.
Coach Bradley started by saying this was something they had already talked about before the selection. This decision was made easier by the re-signing of incumbent quarterback Chad Henne. A NFL.com story quoted Coach Bradley.
“We really felt comfortable with (Henne) coming back with another year in the system. I think it gave us flexibility. When Blake was there available for us, we really wanted to capture that opportunity.”
The Jaguars had only game tapes, scouting reviews, and his combine performance to formulate what they feel Bortles was capable of before the draft. They now have had the opportunity to watch his ability on the field, even if it’s only in shorts. They also feel that even with the success Bortles had in college, that a year to sit and learn under Henne will be beneficial. To not only learn the offensive scheme, but to fully understand the difference in speed and complexity that comes with the pro games.
“And we do feel good about where Blake’s at, but we feel like this time that he has under Chad, a year to develop, will be really good in the end result.”
The Jaguars’ philosophy is not without merit. For every first round rookie quarterback who has entered the league and started immediately with success (Cam Newton, Matt Ryan, Andrew Luck), there are the players that were overwhelmed and it ruined their confidence, (David Carr, JaMarcus Russell, and aside from Newton, all the other QBs from the 2011 draft, Jake Locker, Christian Ponder, and the Jaguar’s own Blaine Gabbert).
The Jaguars most likely are still another year, maybe two, from having the players to compete for a world championship. Why rush it? I think the Jags are making the right move.