Should the Jacksonville Jaguars explore signing a better backup quarterback before the start of the regular season?
The Jacksonville Jaguars are prepared to enter the 2018 season as one of the most dangerous teams in the league. Jacksonville has a talent-laden roster, and most positions are deep on the depth chart.
But should the Jaguars alter the most scrutinized area on the team, the quarterback position? Bleacher Report’s Gary Davenport outlined one move each NFL team should make before the start of the regular season, and says that Jacksonville should “…get a better backup QB”:
"We live in world where the Jacksonville Jaguars are a Super Bowl contender with a depth chart at quarterback topped by Blake Bortles and Cody Kessler.That may be the most surreal sentence I have ever typed.It won’t take much for the Jaguars’ dreams to come crashing down though. The Jaguars made it to the AFC Championship Game last year in spite of Bortles, not because of him. And if Bortles gets hurt or struggles and Kessler sees the field? Well, let’s just say fans may start reminiscing…about Blaine Gabbert."
Here we go again with this ill-conceived notion that the playoff run last season was fueled despite of Blake Bortles, and not because of him.
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Bortles played lights out in December when the team was moving towards clinching the AFC South, and led his team to two playoff wins in different ways. When the offense wasn’t clicking against the Buffalo Bills, Bortles made crucial plays with his legs all game long. In a divisional round game against the Pittsburgh Steelers that turned into a shootout, Bortles answered the bell again.
Because of that, Blake Bortles earned a new three-year contract and the starting job again in 2018. This is still his team, and with that, there is not another high-profile quarterback on the roster, with all due respect to Cody Kessler.
Kessler is entering just his third season, and it is still undetermined what his ceiling is, considering the disaster situation Kessler was forced to try to steer with the Browns. Insinuating that Kessler is worse than Blaine Gabbert is a disservice to Kessler, who held his own with very little help in Cleveland.
Davenport suggests that Bortles may be pulled as starter if he begins to struggle, but that is not going to happen. It would take a monumental slide of Bortles’ play for him to be yanked off the field this year, and the team’s faith that won’t happen is why a backup with more prominent starting experience wasn’t signed.
The Jacksonville Jaguars could have signed or drafted a quarterback this offseason to potentially push Blake Bortles for the starting job. But the staff believes Bortles can lead the team to the next level, and Cody Kessler fills the role of backup better than most believe.
It would be a surprise to see the Jaguars make a move at the position before the start of the regular season, barring the dreadful injury bug.