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Jacksonville Jaguars

Bortles poor play forces Marrone to open up QB competition

Florida Football Insiders

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Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire

Enough was enough on Thursday night in Jacksonville, as once again QB Blake Bortles demonstrated he’s not only not improved for 2017, but he looks a lot like the guy who stunk it up for most of 2016. So, his head coach, Doug Marrone, made it clear to everyone post-game , Bortles may be headed to the bench.

While he didn’t come out and say the fourth year quarterback from UCF is being replaced, clearly Bortles’ 8-15 showing for 64 yards and no third down conversions in the first half Thursday night against the Bucs has opened the door for that.

What Marrone did say was he met with both Bortles and veteran backup Chad Henne and starting now, it’s a competition in Jacksonville.

For his part Henne, does have a lot of starts in his career (53), and immediately came in an laid a ball perfectly into the hands of wide receiver Keelan Cole for what should have been a second quarter TD. Alas, Cole flat dropped it behind the defense and the Jags even missed the field goal to stay scoreless in the whole first half.

As we wrote two weeks ago off their night scrimmage, Bortles was by all accounts awful throwing five ints in the practice. And, it only reinforced the short-sighted view by new boss Tom Coughlin that he wouldn’t bring in legitimate competition in free agency or draft another QB in the high rounds last April.

Off a 2016 year where his QB rating was 78.8 and he won three games, Bortles was basically asked to do very little throwing the ball in the preseason opener in New England last week. Then, when he woefully under threw Allen Robinson, who was behind the Bucs D in the second quarter, the boo birds cascaded in the stands.

Now, the Jags have to figure it out before the starting offense plays most of the three quarters next Saturday against Carolina. Also, as previously scheduled, their camp is now closed to the public and practice is also closed to the media from here on out.

This means that it will likely remain a mystery next week, as to who will start the third preseason game for Jacksonville. But, don’t be surprised if that’s Henne.

The Jags have too much talent, especially at receiver, to not try to spark things with a change.

The spark is out for now, and maybe for good, in Jacksonville for Bortles.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Concern continues for former Jaguars DB Donovin Darius

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Former Jaguars first-round pick and star defensive back of the late 90s- early 2000s, Donovan Darius, remains under a mental health watch after being arrested for DUI in North Florida Sunday and, further, concerns that he was suicidal.

ESPN Jaguars reporter Mike Dirocco had more details on the Sunday arrest and later hospitalization of Darius who was a first-round pick of the Jaguars in the 1998:

According to a police Source, DiRocco reported that Darius had crashed his vehicle around 10 a.m. Sunday and told paramedics that he had ingested 20 – 30 pills trying to kill himself. 

Police did find empty pill bottles in Darius’ car and could not follow through with a field sobriety test, as apparently Darius could not stand on his own and was incoherent. Darius was transported to a nearby hospital and is currently being held on Florida’s 72-hour “Baker Act,” which allows authorities out of concern for a person’s well-being or that he’s a danger to others, to hold and evaluate them.

Darius was also charged with misdemeanor DUI, although he didn’t appear in the Duval County Jail.

Darius started 117 games in his nine-year Jaguar career. His biggest season was 2004, where he had 89 tackles recorded five interceptions and recovered four fumbles. Dariuss played in four playoff games all coming in his first two seasons. That included an interception against the New York Jets in Jacksonville’s AFC Divisional round playoff loss 34 – 24.

Darius’ last season with Jacksonville was 2006, where he played in 10 games. Darius played in three games in the 2007 season for the Dolphins before being released and retired after that.

The 44 year old Darius has remained involved in the Jacksonville Community including being part of a sports camp for youth last November:

Darius was recognized on the field at halftime of the Gator Bowl game at TIAA Bank Field (photo above) back on January 2nd between Tennessee and Indiana.

Duval County records do not yet have a court date yet for Darius, and it will be up to mental health officials to evaluate whether he can safely be released later this week.

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Jaguars rookie DE Josh Allen on display in Pro Bowl

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Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

This afternoon in Orlando Jacksonville Jaguars rookie first-round pick Josh Allen will get to show NFL fans why he’s one of the best kept secrets on the defensive side of the ball in the league.

Allen will be participating, as a reserve for the AFC Squad in the annual Pro Bowl All-Star Game.

This, as he was a replacement for Kansas City Chiefs defensive lineman Frank Clark, because the Chiefs will be participating in Super Bowl 54 this week. The rookie 7th overall pick out of Kentucky has had a deserving season with 10.5 sacks, which was the most among rookies in the AFC in 2019 and is also a Jaguars single-season rookie record.

Allen also had 22 QB hits and another 11 tackles for loss even during a trying Jacksonville season.

Further, Allen was drafted a year ago by the Jaguars front office of Tom Coughlin and GM Dave Caldwell to be a potential replacement at defensive end for a couple of Jaguars, who may not be around much longer. One of those is their top pass-rusher of the last three seasons Yannick Ngakoue, who is slated to be an unrestricted free agent coming up in March.

Of course Jacksonville could still find a way to re-sign Ngakoue, or even place the “Franchise Tag” on him, if they so desired. That would be a somewhere around an $18-19 million for 2020.

Then, you have fellow veteran pro bowler Calais Campbell who has earned the Pro Bowl honor for the third consecutive year and is arguably the Jaguars best free agent acquisition in team history. Campbell made this year’s AFC Pro Bowl Squad with 6.5 sacks and has the longest current streak of 11 seasons with at least five of them.

However, he is slated to make $14.5 million this season and at his advanced age (he’ll be 34 this fall) may not be worth that salary to Caldwell and the organization.

Jacksonville could elect to restructure Campbell’s contract especially because he is a liter not only are the defense but in their locker room back to Alan he’s certainly has tremendous potential but if the combo oven gokwe and or Campbell aren’t there it would make much more difficulty for him to have a success that he had in 2019.

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