Blake Bortles is getting a lot of attention this offseason, and for good reason. The fate of the Jacksonville Jaguars in the coming years rests almost squarely on his shoulders. General manager Dave Caldwell and head coach Gus Bradley and putting their jobs in his hands and the rest of the team is looking to him for leadership.
So it’s fair to say that the 2015 season hinges on Blake Bortles. His development, more than anybody else’s, has the most impact on the fate of the season. Whether he is capable of taking that next step matters a lot for the sake of the franchise as they seek to right themselves after many lost seasons.
2014 was an impromptu season for the rookie and the Jaguars were pleased with some of the positive aspects of his game he could highlight that season. 2015 will be his first real test, though, as he takes true control of the offense and comes into the game understanding his role and the roles of his supporting players more.
So far, it looks like he is doing everything right to assume leadership and help usher in a new era for the Jags. He has the support of the team and the coaching staff behind him and he is working hard to improve his game. The next step will be execution.
Many teams fall short in executing their goals. There are many intelligent coaches in the NFL and there are many great players, but finding a way to meld them together and get a team to execute the game plan can be the deciding factor between the great teams and the continually mediocre teams. Blake Bortles’ role in melding Gus Bradley’s vision with the team cannot be understated. He will have to work hard to execute on both passing downs and on rushing downs. He will have to inspire on the sideline and he will have to encourage on the field. More than anything, he needs to make sure that the Jaguars are achieving their goals.
It’s a lot to ask of a player who will be just 23 at the start of the season. Yet it’s the situation the Jaguars are in and it’s the path they chose to go on.
The trust is on Blake Bortles. It’s up to him to deliver in 2015.
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