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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jags QB Blake Bortles has regressed…what’s going on?

Florida Football Insiders

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Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire

For those in North Florida who are going to pay attention to Jags-Titans on Thursday Night football (after all, it is Florida-Georgia weekend in Jacksonville), the biggest topic is: what has happened to Blake Bortles?

Clearly, the play on the field has lacked most Sundays, including this past one against the Raiders where he was just over 50% passing with 2 more ints, giving him nine on the year. There really has been only one game, London against the Colts, where Bortles played well for most of it and didn’t have an interception. That’s right, the other five games he has at least one pick.

But most evident and damning coming out of Sunday to those have been watching coaches game tape, etc. is  glaring examples that he’s missing open guys, throwing it to obviously covered guys (like a toss into triple coverage in the endzone for an INT Sunday), and more importantly, mechanical things like this:

That doesn’t need a lot explanation, other than to say it’s obviously poor fundamental “wind up” technique. And, it’s contributing to Bortles not being able to complete passes, especially downfield.

The Jags clearly have talent on their offense. Yes, the O-Line isn’t tremendous, but a lot of teams in the NFL have to deal with and overcome that component with coaching, game plan, adjustments, etc. Jacksonville isn’t doing much of any of that to show improvement in their offense.

Back to Bortles and the air attack or lack thereof. He’s got to be smarter with decision making and Thursday night he’ going against a pretty average Titans pass D that just surrendered a 353 yard 3 TD pass day to Andrew Luck and a below average Colt O-Line.

There’s no excuse for he and the Jags to not have some effectiveness throwing the ball in Nashville. We’ll see.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jags WR Marqise Lee returns to practice

Abbey Radeka

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

After losing veteran Alfred Blue in the first half of the 24–10 Thursday night loss to the Eagles with an ankle injury, the Jaguars are looking for offensive depth. In some fortunate news, WR Marqise Lee is off of the PUP list and has begun practicing today, roughly one year after suffering from knee damage that sidelined him for the entire 2018 season.

Head coach Doug Marrone made the announcement before practice on Saturday.

First Coast news reporter Ben Murphy got a video of Lee at practice receiving a pass from QB Nick Foles.

Last year, Lee was injured in the first quarter of a preseason game against the Falcons. He was hit by reserve defensive back Damontae Kazee on this play after a reception.

Lee suffered a torn ACL and went on injured reserve missing the entire season.

Lee became more prominent in Jacksonville’s pass offense in 2017 with 56 catches for 702 yards and three TDs. The Jags are surely going to rely on him this season which could mean he’ll see the field a bit in their third preseason game to get him readjusted to competitive game play.

However, they might not want to risk another potential injury before the season begins. We could see it going either way. We do know that he’ll be a great weapon for Nick Foles to utilize this season.

The return of Lee is coming off the heels of some other good news for the Jags announced earlier this week. Starting left tackle Cam Robinson was also removed from the PUP list on Monday after suffering a torn ACL in Week 2 last season. He has since made enough progress participate in some individual drills and should be ready, along with Lee, for their season opener against the Kansas City Chiefs.

In other injury-related news, we await how serious Blue’s ankle injury is coming off this second preseason game. Meanwhile, the likelihood is that Leonard Fournette, backed up by Thomas Rawls, will be the two running backs when the Jaguars play at the Dolphins next Thursday night.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars searching for RB depth after second preseason game

Florida Football Insiders

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Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

With preseason game number two in the books, it’s apparent the Jaguars have real issues with running back depth due to injury. This after veteran Alfred Blue left the first half of the 24 – 10 Thursday night loss to the Eagles with an ankle injury and did not return.

Blue carried the ball four times for just five yards has Jacksonville offense once again sputtered behind a makeshift offensive line. Coach Doug Marrone was so concerned about that line situation and their ability to protect/block that starting quarterback Nick Foles and running back Leonard Fournette never saw the field for a single play during Thursday night.

That means that veteran at Thomas Rawls (above Thursday) was called upon to carry the ball a little more, and he did so, seven times for 19 yards including a long run of 11 playing in the first half.

Rawls is a 5th year veteran who had some modest success with the Seahawks, including rushing for 830 yards his rookie year in 2015 with a 5.6 yard per carry average. His numbers tapered off in 2016 – 17 with ankle and foot injuries, as he only played in 21 games in those two years. Rawls was later released and picked up by the Bengals, but injured again last season, and never carried the ball in Cincinnati.

Obviously, the Jaguars are wanting to implement Fournette, as the primary ball carrier, but they will need someone else to spell him on a series or two. Also, Fournette has had durability questions, as he missed parts or all of eight games last year with a hamstring injury.

The Jags were also hoping to bring along Temple rookie running back Ryquell Armstead, but after he carried eight times for 22 yards last week, he suffered a concussion in the preseason opening loss to the Ravens. Armstead hasn’t practiced since, and is still being evaluated with no further update Thursday.

Speaking of updates, we await how serious Blue’s ankle injury is coming off this second preseason game. Meanwhile, the likelihood is that Fournette, backed up by Rawls, will be the two running backs when the Jaguars play at the Dolphins next Thursday night.

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