The Jacksonville Jaguars made the decision to continue starting Blake Bortles at quarterback, but they need to let him throw it if they are going to have a chance in 2017.
That’s how many times Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone wants to throw the ball per game this season.
While he was being a bit tongue in cheek, it’s clear Marrone wants to turn the Jaguars into a running team.
Zero,” Marrone replied when asked how many times he wants Blake Bortles to attempt a pass each game. “I’d like to run the ball every play. I want to go back to the old way. I want to change the game.”
The sentiment makes some sense – the Jaguars are allegedly going to have a much better defense this season and a strong running game has always been the best complement to a good defense.
If the last two preseason games are indicative of anything, it’s that the Jaguars are going to need some time on defense to get everyone on the same page.
This takes us over to the quarterback, a position the Jaguars “settled” on this weekend when they named Blake Bortles the starter. We’ve spent the last few weeks debating whether or not Blake would even be on the roster, but now the 2017 seasons rests on his shoulders.
Pete Prisco over at CBS Sports shared his thoughts on the Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback “competition” and he made a point to mention the team’s questionable play calling in last Thursday’s preseason game:
"It would be nice if the team allowed whoever plays quarterback to actually throw on first down. Marrone loves to run the ball, but the lack of imagination doesn’t help the quarterbacks, but instead hurts them. Marrone also has to quit pounding the turnover crap into their heads. You can’t play tight. Mistakes are going to happen if you take chances, and Bortles clearly has been coached not to take those chances, and has looked gun shy this summer. He won’t let it go.The Jaguars actually ran a draw on third-and-17 with Bortles against the Panthers last week. Seriously, at a time they were trying to evaluate their quarterbacks they handed off in that situation."
This is the NFL. You can’t hide the quarterback. Inside the building, the coaching staff knows this, but it’s still startling to see them run a draw on a long third down in a meaningless preseason game.
If they want Bortles to build some confidence, they have to loosen the reigns a bit and let him throw it on early downs. The team is going to ride-or-die with Bortles so at least pretend that you think he can lead this team.
Hey, there’s still a chance Bortles figures things out this year and becomes a viable quarterback. Maybe.