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Jaguars bench QB Blake Bortles and name new offensive coordinator

Florida Football Insiders

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Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

There are changes are plenty for the Jaguars, as they try to jump-start their offense on the heels of a seventh straight loss Sunday.

First, as we reported Monday morning, Jaguars coach Doug Marrone fired offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett after the 24-21 defeat at the hands of the Bills.

Hackett said that he was blindsided by the move and thought that it was going to be a discussion about a quarterback change:

Well, that change is happening too, as Jacksonville will go to backup quarterback Cody Kessler to start this week’s game with Indianapolis.

It’s not the first time that quarterback Blake Bortles has been benched, including in this season. Kessler, who the Jags got in a trade with Cleveland, replaced Bortles in the second half of the October Texans game completing 21 – 34 for 156 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

Kessler also started eight games for the Browns two seasons ago, and he has seven touchdowns and four interceptions in his career.

Marrone also announced that quarterback coach Scott Milanovich will call the plays starting with this week against the Colts. Milanovich, who’s a former NFL quarterback and also was the head coach of the Toronto Argonauts before coming to Jacksonville, is following a similar path as the now-fired Hackett.

Hackett was Bortles his quarterback coach in 2015 and 16 and when offensive coordinator Greg Olsen was fired during the 2016 season, he became the offensive coordinator. Hackett was kept on in the OC role for 2017 by Marrone, when Marrone was kept as he full-time head coach in 2017.

The Jaguars enjoyed good success on offense throughout 2017 and two playoff games a year ago.

Obviously, with the team floundering and having lost seven straight, they’re desperate to try anything. The Jaguars also have veteran former Steelers backup QB Landry Jones that they might be willing to turn to.

Bortles days in Jacksonville maybe numbered and he could be completely over. He agreed to a new contract extension after last season, but that was mostly front-loaded in 2018.

However, his career record through yesterday is 24-48 with a 3-8 mark this year. He has just 13 TDs to go with 10 INTs on the season.

The Jaguars chose not to try to draft a quarterback last April, including when they had an opportunity to take Lamar Jackson from Louisville late in the first round.

They elected instead to stick with Bortles and use Kessler as the backup.

Now, if Kessler is able to succeed, it will further call into question whether Bortles has a future in Jacksonville at all.

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