Blake Bortles knows when was breaks the huddle this year and walks to the line of scrimmage, things will be different. The Jacksonville Jaguars have new players at key positions, with an opportunity for the offense to be better than it was last season.
Donte Moncrief comes over from Indianapolis to add another tall (6-foot-2) receiver on the outside. Austin Seferian-Jenkins was brought in from the New York Jets to another young set of hands at the tight end position. Andrew Norwell and his massive size were signed from Carolina to fill a weakness at left guard.
Blake Bortles was complimentary of the changes to the offense, telling the media last week he believes these moves made by the organization will benefit not only him but his teammates. Moncrief gives the team another solid veteran who can help the wide receiving corps, he explained.
"“I think he is going to give us another target in the red zone. I think with the loss of Marcedes [Lewis] and his big body and A-Rob’s [Allen Robinson’s] jumping ability, I think now with Keelan [Cole], Austin [Seferian-Jenkins] and now we have Donte, we have three big guys that can go play one-on-one, catch fades and do different things in the red zone,” Bortles said.“I will tell you that the most impressive thing about him is how hard he has worked. All offseason, during phase two, running routes – the effort and precision in his route-running have been extremely impressive.”"
Moncrief wasn’t the first option in the Colts’ offense during his four seasons in Indianapolis, but he did average over 12 yards a catch and did account for 18 touchdowns. He comes in with a chance to become the Jaguars’ No. 1 receiver and will compete with Marqise Lee for that role.
The Jaguars hope to get more out of the tight end position this season. Seferian-Jenkins will need to show improvement from last season where he had seven yards a catch in the Jets’ offense. Bortles said being around his new tight end has given the two of them to build chemistry off the field.
"“I think he is going to do a lot for us,” explained Bortles. He is going to become a mismatch nightmare, and we are going to be able to move him around in different places and get some good matchups with him. Kind of like what I said earlier with him and Donte [Moncrief], I think they will do a lot in the red zone this year.”"
What the team will miss from not having Marcedes Lewis on the field is one of the best blocking tight ends in the game. Someone will need to step forward and assume that role in Nathaniel Hackett’s offense.
Bortles’ role with this team changes a bit going into his fifth season. Now a veteran of this organization and a leader on and off the field, he said working with younger players is something he welcomes, helping them to become better. It is also a chance to see how the former first-round draft pick has matured into a complete player.
"“You make those guys look good at times and they make you look good at other times by making catches on bad balls and stuff like that. I think continuing to work with them and continuing to help them and answer questions they have and talking through things. They are on top of everything, though,” Bortles said."