The Florida west coast meets the Florida east coast in a Jaguars versus Buccaneers preseason showdown. Both teams hope to become relevant again after long dry spells.
The Bucs had a breakout season last year. The Jaguars would love to end the drought this season. The two teams have many similarities. The most obvious similarity is at the quarterback position. Both quarterbacks are young, high draft choices, and attended Florida Universities. Both were drafted with the hope of ending a long line of average to poor quarterback play.
Jamies Winston for the Bucs is well ahead of Blake Bortles. A draft time risk due to character concerns, he has no serious issues as a Buc. He entered the top Ten of Fantasy Football picks for 2017. ESPN.com reported on the Fantasy Football site that Winston has struggled badly with accuracy but makes up for it with the long ball. They called him the poor man’s Cam Newton. He has difficulty with interceptions and can be a slow starter at times. However, he has all the intangibles. Most importantly, Winston is a charismatic team leader and shines on the field of play. He is the first to congratulate players that make good plays and is a source of constant encouragement on the sideline.
Blake Bortles is described on Bleacher Report as a nice man who is error prone and mechanically flawed. They added that each season there has been an expectation that Bortles would improve and each season he has not. He is not accurate with his passes and throws too many interceptions. Also, Bortles seems to be confused and uncertain on the playing field. He is slow to make decisions. The slowness combined with poor throwing mechanics makes it difficult for the offensive line to hold back defenders. John Oehser on Jaguars.com stated that Bortles spent two months during the off season working on his mechanics. He has a laid back personality and isn’t a cheerleader on the sidelines.
BORTLES AND WINSTON
Bortles and Winston are both potential franchise quarterbacks. Of course they both have issues to overcome. At this time Winston is ahead of Bortles in his development. If he can improve his accuracy and decrease his interceptions he could easily become a top five quarterback. Bortles has some catching up to do. First, Bortles must improve his footwork and throwing motion. Also he must read defenses quickly and speed up his decision making. In short, if Bortles can improve in these two areas he will be the Jaguars quarterback for many seasons.
TIME WILL TELL
The Bucs and Jaguars preseason game is a great opportunity for both quarterbacks to show what they can do. I have cheered for both teams since the franchises came to the NFL. They are my favorite NFL teams. My hope is that both quarterbacks will do well and be starters for their teams for many years. I hope for a Jaguars versus Buccaneers Super Bowl some day!