Blake Bortles is having a hard time cementing his place amongst the Jaguars. The QB’s stats from last season are lacking in flair. His 59 percent completion rate from the previous season isn’t terrible but one expects better. Though, if sports betting odds are to be taken seriously, the optimism for Blake might be dying.
Monday should have been Blake Bortles’ coming out party. The training session should have been his to command and to show doubters and critics that he was back on top. The New England Patriots were as good a competitor as any to test his mettle. After all, the quarterback hasn’t had much of an opportunity to show his stuff against true competition at training camp practice this year.
All the Patriots saw was a man trying really hard to bring his performance up to standard but who wasn’t quite succeeding. And again, Bortles wasn’t terrible. That is rarely the case with the athlete. But anyone with a clear eye will tell you that Bortles was uneven. He kept making many a short-to-intermediate pass, eventually garnering a completion rate higher than 50 percent.
But it says something that he was still fumbling during extended team drills. Jaguars Coach Doug Marrone wasn’t blind to Bortles’ situation and he said as much after the joint practice. The two talked afterward. Doug doesn’t think things are so terrible.
Bortles wasn’t operating at his strongest. But at least he was in control, remaining cool and calm even as he fumbled here and there. You need that sort of dedicated and confident defense. And at least Doug knows where Bortles is.
So the session wasn’t exactly wasted. If Doug Marrone knows where Bortles is struggling, he can craft the tools necessary to help him. If Bortles can deliver that same level of control and if he maintains his dedication, then there’s every reason to believe that he will work out the kinks in his performance soon enough.
Blake Bortles threw five interceptions against his own defense during a training camp practice in July. That was enough to draw further scrutiny to his person. But it wasn’t enough to suggest that he had no place in the Jaguars’ long-term plans.
Bortles has spent three seasons in the NFL during which time he garnered the most turnovers of any other athlete in the league within that same time span. He did not really showcase that talent in the 11-on-11 drills on Monday during which he only threw one interception.
Bortles struggled to fling a pass at Wide receiver Allen Robinson, failing to add enough zip to the ball to find his target, which is probably why Malcolm Butler managed a successful lunging intercept.
It wasn’t that long afterward that an accident with an offensive lineman caused Bortles to trip. He was fortunate that his teammates leaped into action quickly enough to recover the ball before further damage was done.
Doug will tell that the fumble wasn’t Bortles’ fault. Someone stepped on his cleat. But he will also tell you that the incident did not do Bortles’ reputation any favors. Sure, Bortles connected with receivers on a number of occasions. But no one will remember any of that in light of his more egregious mistakes.