Blake Bortles is drawing criticism from many people for a bad 2016 season. Here we look at Bortles in comparison to some Super Bowl winners.
Blake Bortles is trying to become a better quarterback. He is working out in California at 3DQB. As bad as his 2016 season was, it’s important to gain some perspective by looking at how Bortles compares to some other Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks on run-first offenses.
"Although Gibbs helped craft a passing-oriented attack during his time in San Diego, his Redskins teams were known to incorporate a smash-mouth, rushing-oriented attack …. By building a strong offensive line (known as “The Hogs“) Gibbs was able to control the line of scrimmage, allowing workhorse running backs such as John Riggins, George Rogers, and Earnest Byner to power the ground game. Gibbs added a deep passing attack …., utilizing agile receivers such as Art Monk, Gary Clark, and Ricky Sanders."
Gibbs won three Super Bowls with three different quarterbacks. He won with Joe Theismann, Doug Williams, and Mark Rypien. In this writer’s opinion, Bortles is a better quarterback than any of them. Below, we take a look at some raw numbers.
How Bortles Compares To These Super Bowl Winning Quarterbacks.
First, Bortles has better raw numbers than either Washington quarterback, though they did play in a different era. Last season, he threw for 3905 yards and for over 4000 yards in 2015. Rypien threw for 3768 yards in 1989. Theismann had 3714 yards in 1983. Williams never threw for 3000 yards in Washington.
Bortles is a bigger physical presence in the pocket. He is listed as six feet, five inches tall and weighs 236 pounds. Williams and Rypien are just shorter and lighter than Bortles. Theismann was just six foot and 192 pounds. In today’s pass-happy NFL, having a quarterback with a bigger physical presence can be important.
Bortles is criticized because of the interceptions that he throws. He has 51 career interceptions and 69 touchdowns in Jacksonville. Rypien had 75 interceptions and 101 touchdowns in six seasons for Washington. Theismann had 138 interceptions with 160 touchdowns in 12 career Washington seasons. Williams had twenty interceptions and 27 touchdowns in four seasons in Washington. This decidedly gives the edge to the Washington quarterbacks.
Finally, Dave Caldwell told John Oehser of jaguars.com in January
"“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. “I think he needs to improve and I think we need to improve around him, too, in order for that to happen.”"
This year’s draft proves that the Jaguars are getting better and Bortles is doing what it takes to improve. If he can get his statistics more in line with other quarterbacks with a run-first offense, he could change re-frame the criticism around him.