Coloring With Teal: A Pretend Debate regarding Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles


The Jacksonville Jaguars just finished their biggest second-game-of-the-season second game against the Tennessee Titans (*gag*) and lost 37-16. Today, CWT is going to hold a FAKE debate with one of the top writers of our friendly competitor websites.

Hello, Readers!

Okay, so, remember last week when we had beaten the Houston Texans in their house with their discombobulated (when was the last time you saw that word in an online article?) quarterback situation? Ten sacks and everyone was all “WHAT!! JACKSONVILLE IS SOOOOOOOBACK!!” and “Sacksonville!”?

And then Sunday happened. You know, when we slipped and fell on our faces, losing to the Tennessee “I Don’t Like Your Team” Titans? And not close, like 17-16, but 37-16 instead? AT HOME!

So now we are left to spend the rest of next week staring at our belly buttons and wondering what happened and where the rest of our now-forfeit season is headed.

My, how the tables have turned in just one game.

Goodbye, AFC South Assumed Division Champions Jacksonville Jaguars After Week One.

Hello, You Are Who We Thought Your Were Jacksonville Jaguars After Week Two Against The Titans.

Well, anytime the team loses, the first thing we should do, obviously, is ask if the team should change quarterbacks. Remember last week when the Patriots lost and there were calls to bench the 2017 Super Bowl MVP Tom Brady? No, seriously, it was real.

… since this is a made-up conversation and I get the sense that he likely would have concluded that we should “agree to disagree”…

To that end, I have opened a dialogue with our Friendly Competitor Big Cat Country writer who will remain unnamed since this individual has not yet officially agreed to my idea. I have suggested a semi-regular, friendly debate about topics important to the Jacksonville Jaguars. For the purposes of this article, I will call this individual the pseudonym Y. Y. Dana R.. Since our Friendly Competitor has yet to ‘green light’ this ambitious project, today I will hold an imaginary debate in the form of rebuttals to opposing opinions. To this effect, my opponent’s answers will be captured from articles posted very recently on Big Cat Country’s website.

Today’s topic: Should Blake Bortles be Benched after today’s performance?

Me: Good afternoon. First, let me congratulate you on a wonderful development in your life.

Y. Y. Dana R.: (No official remark. We assume, based on our own experience, that he is appreciative and excited about the affects this new family addition will have on their lives).

Me: Well, let’s get to this week’s debate topic. Do you think Blake Bortles should be benched after this week’s 20/34, 223-yd, 1-TD , 2-Int performance against the Titans in Week 2 of the 2017 season? (Full Disclosure: I did not watch the game action. I watched the game updates ribbon on ESPN while having lunch at a regional pizza chain.)

Y. Y. Dana R.: Link

"It begins and ends with the quarterback play in a loss where the offense looks as inept as it did today. The receivers and tight ends dropped plenty of passes, but the interception was fully on Bortles. He was inaccurate, locked in on receivers, and never looked comfortable."

Me: So you think that a quarterback should be benched after one game of turning the ball over?

Y. Y. Dana R.: Link

"Doug Marrone has been head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars for four games now. In the first three games, Blake Bortles didn’t throw a single interception. His yards-per-attempt and completion percentages varied wildly from game to game, but the simple fact remained — zero interceptions.Today he threw two.A common thread through Bortles’ first three seasons under former head coach Gus Bradley was that there was no public accountability in postgame press conferences. The team would talk a big game before and after the season, but when it came down to the week-to-week there was very little in the way of placing the blame of poor offensive production or turnovers at Bortles’ feet.It was assumed that changed with Marrone as the new head coach. This is the guy who said verbatim: “If you continue to turn the ball over, you won’t be our quarterback.”"

Me: So he had a bad game. After two games of average play from Bortles, I find it hard to believe that Chad Henne would provide the *spark* some coaches look for in a quarterback change. Do you really think Chad Henne is a better option?

Y. Y. Dana R.: Link

"9. Chad Henne: Next.8. Blaine Gabbert: NEXT.7. Blake Bortles: I can’t put him any lower than this list or else it would look like I’m trolling for clicks, but would I rather have Rob Johnson or Jay Fiedler on this team? (Hell, I’d probably take Quinn Gray at this point.)"

Me: Okay, fine. So, in your opinion, Blake is ever-so-slightly better than Chad. But do you really think that Bortles should spend the season looking over his shoulder, worrying about whether a single bad performance will get him pulled? Do you really think that that is good for Blake’s long-term success with the Jaguars?

Y. Y. Dana R.: Link

"I’m sorry, but the quarterback situation was inconsistent at best all offseason, dating back to OTAs in March. As early as June, new head coach Doug Marrone said he’d bench Blake Bortles if he continued to turn the ball over and he spent the next two months throwing countless interceptions in training camp, joint practices, and even one in an open competition preseason game."

Me: I disagree. Bortles seemed to have responded during practices after the third preseason game, albeit as told through Coach Marrone’s perspective, after which he’d been named the starter for the first game of the regular season. Furthermore, you yourself pointed out that in the three of four games coached by Marrone and quarterbacked by Bortles, this is the first game in which Bortles turned over the ball. Remember, just last week, future Hall-of-Fame quarterback Tom Brady was hearing calls for his benching after the Patriots laid a 42-27 “stinker” loss to the Chiefs in Week One. Again, Bortles is far from a HoF-er, but I’ve already argued on the fact that Bortles doesn’t have to be an HoF-er in order to be successful in the NFL and with the Jags. Don’t forget, also, WR Allen Robinson‘s loss from the offense is not going to be quickly padded over with a young team still finding is footing after Gus “Let’s Hug” Bradley’s years. It is going to take a few games.

Y. Y. Dana R.: (No particular response, since this is a made-up conversation, though I get the sense that he likely would have concluded that we should “agree to disagree”.)

Jacksonville Jaguars
Jacksonville Jaguars /

Jacksonville Jaguars

Me: So, let me offer final thoughts. In short, one game does not a season make. I think it will take a couple more games before the Jaguars know what they have in Blake (2017-edition). It’s far too soon to yank the embattled quarterback. Doing so will disrupt the offense unit in a way that will ultimately lead to a weaker record and loss of position within the AFC South division. This is a decision I doubt CoughCaldArrone will take lightly or swiftly this season. I’m sure they are monitoring the current crop of college QBs, and I’m sure that Bortles will be called into Marrone’s office tomorrow, but I doubt that the hook to pull him is anywhere near ready to yank Bortles from the game huddle.

I’d like to thank the spectre of the Big Cat Country for participating in this mock-debate without their express knowledge. It is our hope that the BCC writer of interest will be interested and able in the future to engage in a more ‘real’ debate regarding our beloved Jacksonville Jaguars. I enjoyed debating Y. Y. Dana R. today. Outside of that, we again congratulate any life-changing events that may or may not have happened in such an individual’s life. Go Jags!