Blake Bortles Won't Be Jacksonville Jaguars Starter...Yet

Posted: Sep 16 2014, 2:47am CDT | by , in Latest Sports News


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Blake Bortles Won't Be Jacksonville Jaguars Starter...Yet
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Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley told The Florida Times-Union Sept. 15 that Chad Henne still get the not over rookie Blake Bortles as the Jags' starting quarterback.

Blake Bortles' fans will have to wait some more. Chad Henne is still the starting quarterback of the Jacksonville Jaguars.

This was what Jacksonville head coach Gus Bradley told's Ryan O'Halloran on Sept. 15:

"If the Jaguars opened their home season Tuesaday 1 at p.m. against (the) Indianapolis (Colts), Chad Henne would be the starting quarterback.

"But what about Sunday at 1 p.m.? It's Henne...we think.

"Given numerous chances to close the door on chatter about Blake Bortles being promoted to face the Colts, coach Gus Bradley would only say Henne is the starter 'right now,' and a 'conversation hasn't come up,' about switching quarterbacks.

"Something has to change for a Jaguars offense that is broken -- they have 30 fewer first downs, 415 fewer yards and six fewer touchdowns than their opponents during yet another 0-2 start.

"The Jaguars hope Sunday's 41-10 loss to the Washington Redskins represents rock bottom and maybe the climb up includes Bortles.

"The Bortles dynamic was a primary topic for Bradley.

"Question: 'Does Henne start against the Colts?'

"Bradley: 'We've been dealing with all-scheme -- offensively, defensively, special teams -- and we haven't had a chance to talk about personnel. That's the truth right now. We're evaluating.'

"Question: 'When you complete the evaluation, will you change your mind?'

"Bradley: 'Like I said right now, we're evaluating the tape and scheme and what took place and those conversations haven't come up.'

"Question: 'The comments aren't exactly a glowing endorsement for Henne, right?'

"Bradley: 'Like I said right now, we're evaluating the tape and scheme and what took place and those conversations haven't come up.'

"If Henne remains the starter, the Jaugars have to figure out ways to protect him from pass rushers and urge his receivers to get open more often."

ESPN Jacksonville Jaguars reporter Mike DiRocco agrees with O'Halloran's assessment:

"But in the end, the Bortles calls likely will go unanswered this week. It's not going to be a popular decision, but it's the correct one right now. The coaching staff can talk about Bortles' development and fundamentals being the reason to keep him on the bench, but the best reason -- and the one they won't likely admit publicly -- is the surprisingly poor play of the offensive line.

"The line wasn't expected to be one of the best in the league, but the adddition of left guard Zane Beadles in free agency, the continued development of left tackle Luke Joeckel (the No. 2 pick in 2013), and the addition of hard-nosed tackle rookie right guard Brandon Linder was supposed to make it better than last year's unit. So far through two games it has looked worse.

"Granted, the (Washington) Redskins continually rushed five players, but the Jaguars didn't win many battles. Right tackle Cameron Bradfield couldn't hold his own in one-on-one battles with Ryan Kerrigan (four sacks) and eventually got benched for little-used veteran Sam Young. Center Jacques McClendon kept getting pushed back and eliminating the possibility of Henne stepping up into the pocket and eventually was benched for rookie sixth-round pick Luke Bowanko."

On the other hand,'s Gene Frenette says Bortles is a risk worth taking:

"So it's understandable why Bradley and general manager Dave Caldwell are reluctant to throw Bortles in with a shaky surrounding cast. Plus, they don't want to overreact the way former coach Jack Del Rio did to Luke McCown's four-interception game against the New York Jets.

"But here's the difference: Bortles didn't go through an offseason lockout. He had a lot more time to learn Jedd Fisch's offense, and he didn't look much like a rookie in progressing through the preseason. He appears a lot more prepared to take on such a formidable challenge than (Blaine) Gabbert ever did.

"...I'm not convined Bortles can automatically fix this mess. What I do know is the Jaguars need a pick-me-up, and there's no logical jolt other than the guy who brings intstant excitement when he's on the field."

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The Author

Poch de la Rosa follows all major U.S. sports: NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and the NCAA. His favorite teams are the Colts, Braves, Pacers, Sharks and Irish, respectively.




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