Blake Bortles has one season to prove he is worthy of remaining the starting quarterback of the Jacksonville Jaguars. He got off to a good start on the first day of training camp.
“So far, so good,” writes Jacksonville Jaguars senior writer John Oehser. This in response to whether Doug Marrone thinks quarterback Blake Bortles has picked up where he left off in OTAs. “He’s done a good job this offseason maintaining the footwork, the mechanics and the progression of what he’s been doing,” says Marrone of his polarizing quarterback.
Others take things further. ESPN’s Michael DiRocco writes that “Blake Bortles shines” after the first day of training camp. Sharp passes and fade routes dominate DiRocco’s assessment.
For those who follow the Jaguars, this is all good news. From writers to coaches, Bortles is (at a minimum) not regressing. If anything, he’s putting the pieces together.
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For a fourth-year quarterback, that’s everything a team could hope for. After three years of up-and-down with Bortles, year four has to reveal that he can be a competent player and put in the work to become a top-flight quarterback. Most fans will simply settle for being in the top half of quarterbacks.
With one of the better arsenals of offensive weapons in the NFL, Bortles has few excuses. Some of those passes on day one of training camp were passes that required receivers to make plays on the ball. That’s what they are paid to do and they can make Bortles look a hell of a lot better than he may be, but that is the nature of a team game. Bortles has to do at least half the work and give his playmakers a chance.
So far, it appears he has progressed enough to do that. There are no promises once the preseason and regular season roll around, but this is at least a first step.