Connect with us

Jacksonville Jaguars

Some of the hate for Blake Bortles should tone down after Sunday

Olivia Stacey

Published

on

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Blake Bortles seems to be the quarterback everyone loves to hate. Unless you’re a Jaguars fan, of course.

Entering Sunday’s playoff game against the Steelers, Bortles faced some harsh criticism — he was called “trash” among other names that aren’t worth repeating.

After Bortles rushed for 88 yards and threw for only 87 in the Jaguars’ wild-card 10-3 victory against the Bills, many thought the 25-year-old quarterback would hold the team back from having a chance against the Steelers.

Some analysts, opposing players and football fans said he would choke. But he didn’t.

Instead, he calmly took the field, doing exactly what any franchise quarterback would need to do. He made several big plays, avoided turnovers and didn’t panic — leading the Jaguars to a 45-42 win in the divisional round of the AFC playoffs.

He was especially productive in the fourth quarter, converting several key third downs.

At the end of the day, Bortles was 14 of 26 for 214 yards and a touchdown. He also ran for 35 yards on five carries.

“I’m just happy to win,” the quarterback said after the win, via USA Today. “I have no animosity against anyone who said anything. I’m happy to be able to come here and do this with this team. There are a lot of guys home on the couch watching this. I’m sure they are wishing that they could play. I know in years past I have been. So the opportunity to be able to continue to play feels awesome. … Everybody is in the NFL here. It’s the highest level of football there is in the world. It’s tough to say that someone is not a good football player or is trash. Everybody is a professional football player and is able to do it for a living. I will always be respectful of everyone we play.”

Sunday’s win was a moment Bortles, and Jaguars’ fans have waited on for quite some time. In his first three seasons, Bortles didn’t perform up to the expectations of a No. 3 overall draft pick. His ability to develop into a franchise quarterback was questioned by many, as the Jags were quite often the laughing stock of the NFL.

As fans and media analysts debated if Bortles was the one for the job, the organization had a chance to make some moves last year. With the number four pick in the 2017 NFL draft, Jacksonville could have drafted Deshaun Watson, who had just led Clemson to a national title or Patrick Mahomes out of Texas Tech who had outrageous college stats.

However, the Jaguars stood by Bortles, and chose powerful running back Leonard Fournette last April. And as Jacksonville prepares to face the Patriots in the AFC Championship, it’s looking like more and more that was the right move.

While Bortles still has his work cut out for him, he’s shown he can do enough to support a team with a dominant defense. He’s limited his mistakes and remains confident enough to take big shots when needed.

“I like to watch a lot of NFL Network and ESPN, and when you talk about defense and Ben (Roethlisberger) all week and the only thing you have to say about Blake is negative, one thing I learned is when you talk negative about him, he just comes out and proves you wrong,” cornerback A.J. Bouye told USA Today. “I got a lot of respect for him.”

After yesterday’s upset over the Steelers, maybe others will have some respect for him too.

Olivia is a multi-faceted sports reporter based in Tampa Bay where she has covered events from the College Football National Championship to the Stanley Cup Final. A native Floridian, she grew up rooting for Tampa’s sports teams, and graduated from East Lake High in Tarpon Springs. Olivia continued her education at the University of Florida where she received her broadcast journalism degree.

Advertisement
1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. crosseyedlemon

    January 15, 2018 at 6:35 pm

    As a coach would you rather have a hard working QB with no sex appeal such as a Billy Kilmer and Blake Bortles or some prima donna who is more interested in his public image than making a commitment to his teammates?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Why is Jalen Ramsey Twitter feuding with NFL Network analyst?

Florida Football Insiders

Published

on

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

There is no mistaking that Jaguars defensive back Jalen Ramsey is talented, and in 2017 he was named as an All-Pro by his peers and most recenlty in the player polled “Top 100.” So, that’s a validation that doesn’t need a whole lot else.

Yet, an NFL Network analyst and a former NFL defensive back himself, is questioning part of his game.

And, Jalen Ramsey got annoyed. Like, really annoyed.

It all began when, Bucky Brooks, who hosts a successful podcast and appears regularly on the NFL Network questioned another player, DB Casey Hayward of the Chargers, and whether he was a “transcendent talent” in coverage.

The exchanges with Hayward on Twitter Thursday went on for a bit and then, Ramsey jumped in here:

 

And, when Brooks tweeted about Ramsey and why he was drafted two years ago in the top five by Jacksonville, things cranked up on social media:

Next, Ramsey questioned whether Brooks believes Ramsey is only a product of the Jaguars “defensive system” and not of his ability to shutdown the opposing team’s top wideout, one on one:

Brooks referenced former fellow Noles All American and Pro Football Hall of Famer, Deion Sanders as one of those rare “lock down” corners, and of course, that someone that Ramsey, two years removed from FSU, wants to be compared to with his own game.

Brooks then explained further about his own analysis and teams/GMs/personnel executives thinking:

In the end, Ramsey, who is not bashful about expressing his opinions on or off the field, finally gave some props to Brooks for having an informed opinion:

The bottom line is that analysts get paid to analyze. And the good ones are always soliciting the opinions of others, who are actually coaching and working in the NFL Front office.

And further, if Ramsey keeps “locking down” the likes of the Texans DeAndre Hopkins, and the Colts T.Y. Hilton, who he sees twice a year, then he will continue to get the respect he wants. And, he’ll get the second contract dollars that come with it, too.

Continue Reading

Jacksonville Jaguars

NFL Network will show Jaguars preseason game at Minnesota nationally

Florida Football Insiders

Published

on

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Coming off a tremendous surprise turnaround season that included a division win and two playoff victories, the Jaguars have everyone in North Florida buzzing for 2018. And the NFL Network is interested enough that it has announced it will be showing their second preseason game, at the Vikings, to the nation on Saturday August 18th.

This information was included in the NFL’s announcement that NFL Network will televise a total of 15 preseason games live, nationally:

The Jaguars will practice against the Vikings in Minnesota on Wednesday and Thursday (8/15-16) prior to playing the game at U.S. Bank Stadium. Minnesota, who won the NFC North and made the NFC Championship Game last year, signed arguably the top free agent on the market last March. That’s when they inked former Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins to a massive three year fully guaranteed $84 million deal.

Jacksonville will open the preseason the previous week against the NFC South champion Saints at newly renamed TIAA Bank Field in North Florida.

The good news in addition to the practice time with the Vikes, most of the starters on both sides of the ball will see action into the second quarter, if not halftime of the second preseason game.

This will be good work for QB Blake Bortles and his new assortment of targets like WR Donte Moncrief and TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, who both signed with the Jags in March.

And for the stout Jaguars defense led by DT Calais Campbell, LB Telvin Smith and CB Jalen Ramsey (all of whom made the Pro Bowl last year) will get a good opening half challenge from Cousins, and receivers Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen. It will also be curious to see if second year former FSU star running back Dalvin will be fully recovered from his ACL tear. And, we’ll see if the Vikings want to give him some work or rest him completely in August.

Continue Reading

Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars DT Marcell Dareus involved in two sexual assault allegations

Florida Football Insiders

Published

on

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Jaguars traded for defensive tackle Marcell Dareus last year to re-unite him with former head coach Doug Marrone and give him a fresh start on living up to his first round draft pick expectations.

Unfortunately, less than a year later, Dareus is involved in not one, but two sexual assault complaints.

First, it was learned Wednesday afternoon that a woman in Houston, TX, has accused Dareus of having unprotected sex with her in April, while she was unconscious. And she further claims that Dareus gave her a sexually transmitted disease. The unidentified woman filed a civil lawsuit seeking $15,000 in damages.

“News 4” in Jacksonville reporter Chris Parenteau had more on that allegation:

News 4 reported on it’s evening newscast Wednesday that there’s no criminal complaint with Houston Police against Dareus at this time.

The accuser’s attorney did give this statement to the station Wednesday afternoon:

“There are civil and criminal laws in both Florida and Texas that address circumstances where someone knowingly exposes another to sexually transmitted diseases. As of now, we are not aware that any criminal charges have been filed in this matter. Our focus is on protecting our client’s right to recover damages for the severe physical and emotional harm that’s been caused to her.”

The situation is further confused by the accuser in the Houston case admitting to having consensual sex on multiple occasions with Dareus after the alleged incident.

Meanwhile, there is another allegation that came to light on Wednesday, involving Dareus and others, that an alleged sexual assault occurred at a Tampa mansion in January of 2017. In a civil complaint originally filed in December of last year, an unidentified Las Vegas woman says that Dareus and members of his “entourage” sexually assaulted her after a night of partying.

The woman accused Dareus formally in an amendment to her civil suit in Hillsborough County Court in January. Dareus and his lawyers are trying to get the lawsuit dismissed at an August 9th hearing.

Dareus played in 12 total games for the Jaguars after the trade with the Bills. He had one regular season sack, but excelled in the playoffs with sacks in the Pittsburgh win and the narrow loss to the Patriots in the AFC Championship Game. He had 10 total tackles in the three post season games.

The 28 year old Dareus, a first round selection in the 2011 NFL Draft, is scheduled to make $10.2 million dollars this season in Jacksonville.

The Jaguars only comment to the media on Wednesday evening was that they were aware of the allegations and monitoring the situation.

Dareus’ agent had not returned calls or emails seeking comment from them or Dareus on the civil lawsuits and sexual assault allegations.

Obviously, in addition to the seriousness of the allegations, even in civil court, the NFL will likely be investigating the situation soon under the league’s personal conduct policy.

Continue Reading

Trending