Meet the new Jaguars QB. Same as the old QB.
Jacksonville coach Doug Marrone said he would take his time making a decision on who will be the team’s starting quarterback but in the end, he really didn’t brood over the matter for very long.
After about 24 hours of contemplation, Marrone has decided that Blake Bortles is still the best option, so on Saturday Marrone officially named the struggling fourth-year pro as his Week 1 starter.
Surprised? Don’t be. We noted here earlier in the week that Bortles was still very much alive in this race and really, when you deeply consider the alternative, this is the right call.
Look, the Jaguars know what they’re going to get out of Chad Henne, and it’s nothing special. He’ll complete a lot of passes but he won’t necessarily make the big plays that win games.
Bortles hasn’t done a lot of that either of late but he has the potential to do it and still has lots of upside and he can still reach that potential if he cleans up his mechanics and decision making.
That’s on him, but it’s not all on him. If the Jaguars are going all in on Bortles again and this announcement suggest they are then their coaches have to start honing those mechanics, too.
This is, of course, was always going to be a pivotal year for Bortles and now it’s more pivotal than ever. The Jaguars have picked up the fifth-year option on his contract but his future is not secure.
He has a chance to secure it now and the Jaguars decision to change their offensive identity and become more of a power running team should help hi do that.
The Jaguars are running a scheme now – or at least they intend to – that should take a lot of the pressure off Bortles to carry the load offensively and make plays he shouldn’t.
The bottom line here, though is that Bortles has been given a second chance, a reprieve if you will and he has to take advantage of it. That’s mostly on him.
Bortles has a lot of work to do to regain the form that made him such a prize coming out of college, but he has a lot of weapons around him and really has no excuse to fail.