With the understanding that it’s early in training camp, embattled Jaguars QB Blake Bortles was by all accounts, bad during their Saturday night practice in front of season ticket holders; like five interception bad. And, at this stage, the “slings and arrows” will be coming from everywhere:
This is not fake news- Bortles with pick #5 of night to match his jersey number. That should fire up season-ticket holders. #Jaguars
— Eugene Frenette (@GeneFrenette) July 30, 2017
Look, we aren’t going to write here that means it’s over already for him in Jacksonville.
No, what we are going to write is: where is the legitimate backup competition to push Bortles and if necessary, replace him down the road?
In fact we have written already that the Jags could have considered a certain controversial former 49ers QB before, and could consider him right now, too, because he’s still, available.
We also wrote recently, that it’s not just Colin Kaepernick or Vince Young, but several qualified experienced QB’s who’ve started significant games in the NFL, and who are just sitting out there.
So, why is it, with Bortles’ dramatic regression as last season progressed leading to the firing of offensive coordinator Greg Olson early in the season and then, head coach Gus Bradley with two weeks to go in 2016, that he wasn’t facing the same fate?
Instead, earlier this off season, they picked up the fifth year option on his rookie contract.
Still, when Tom Coughlin was brought on board to run the football operation, and isn’t responsible for having drafted Bortles third in 2014, it seemed only logical that in free agency or the April draft, they would bring in someone to push him.
Didn’t happen and still, hasn’t happened.
The Jags believe that veteran Chad Henne is sufficient with his over 50 career starts, but he has taken one regular season snap in the last two years. And, no qualified analyst would look at his body of work and say, “Yes. He’s the guy that can take the job from Bortles and lead Jacksonville to a winning season.”
They also drafted Brandon Allen in the sixth round out of Arkansas a year ago, but he isn’t going to push Bortles or magically, lead the Jags to a big season, either.
So, if you are Jaguars fans, you aren’t out of line to be frustrated and asking; where’s the competition at QB? In fact, you are on point to ask that. And at this stage, they could still do something about it if, Coughlin and Co. wanted.
Again, it’s Jacksonville’s third practice of training camp, but Bortles is only lending to the growing calls for him to be dumped with night’s like Saturday.
The worse news is there’s not much behind him to go to.