Sam's Commentary

November 15, 2016 Commentary Archive

Jaguars Stick With Bortles

by Sam Kouvaris
Posted November 15, 2016 ===========================================================================

It might be the most important position in sports and consequently, maybe the hardest. Quarterback, on any level, is different from every other position. That's probably why Hall of Famer Troy Aikman said, "If you've been a quarterback, you're a brother of mine." Quarterback's get too much of the credit for winning and a fair helping of the blame when their team loses. Blake Bortles, in his third year in the NFL, seems to have taken a step back from last year. But it still could be considered a "sophomore slump" if you look at his progression. He's thinking too much, defenses are changing their coverages, and his favorite receivers are being double-teamed. Production is down, footwork is off and throwing mechanics are bad.

Sounds pretty dire? But Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley, and apparently GM Dave Caldwell don't think Bortles is far off from other quarterbacks in the league of his age and experience level.

"We went back, Dave (Caldwell) and I were just watching in his office on some throws that were made around the league," Bradley revealed Monday after the 24-21 loss to the Texans. " Let's just look at the misses and see what's taking place and you see it. A lot of quarterbacks are doing it across the league. I think it's to try to create a picture to see where we're at with him. I think he's doing some really good things."

"Some" is the operative word there, but when they see Bortles in practice his whole game comes together. On the field, it's the consistency that he lacks to win games.

"You go back, and it's a head scratcher," Gus explained. "Because you do see some great throws and some great decision-making. Other ones, just got away from him."

There are a million reasons you can come up with as to while Bortles isn't playing well. Everybody has their own theory from different defenses, bad mechanics, a different address and what's described as an "active" social life. Whatever the reason, there's no question he's struggled in 2016. Statistically, he's just fine, but much of his yardage and most of his TD passes have come when the game is already decided. The Jaguars haven't won a game when Bortles throws for 300 yards. In the past two games, he's missed some long TD throws to wide open receivers. Gus broke it down, talking about whether the route was on the hash mark, did the ball drift, did you not track it, etc. but if you've ever thrown that kind of pass, even in the backyard, you know it's a total feel thing. Blake isn't playing with much feel right now, so missing those throws isn't that surprising.

What is surprising, but probably good for Blake is Bradley's steadfast commitment to him as the Jaguars quarterback. Despite his failing this year, Bradley says Bortles is the Jaguars quarterback for the right reasons.

"I think he's [saying] 'what do I need to do, is there something I'm missing, I know I'm missing plays obviously that but what else, can I work harder, I believe I'm working hard, is there another step, can I work even harder in some areas?' So those kinds of questions he's asking," Gus said.

Regarding his commitment to the game and to improving, Bradley says Bortles is completely on the other side of the equation, totally committed.

"Football is extremely important to him. Extremely important. I don't know if he's got a lot of other things other than football right now and he seems to think about it a lot. Driven in how can he improve and what can he do to help this team."

Which all adds up to Bortles remaining the starter.

"Well, I have great confidence in him. I think when I speak for everybody, we all have great confidence with him. I think when you say if you're not seeing the consistency in Blake I think we just need to keep working on that and gaining confidence in it, but I don't see anything in the future that shows Blake Bortles is not our guy."

Overall, Bradley is coaching the team with the confidence he can get it done and no hint that he might not be here after the season. He says he's not dwelling on the past and looking to the future.

"You try not to look back too much," he said when asked if it's hard to focus on the next game instead of lamenting the seven losses. I think that could be dangerous and a waste of time. I think you need every minute of every day to prepare for the next opponent. So whatever you can do, if you can keep your mind there and guiding towards that direction, that gives you the best opportunity. Everything else is just really a waste of time."


Commentary by Sam Kouvaris

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ARCHIVE of The College Weekly Report

11-13-2016 - Jaguars Lose: Same Song, Wrong Notes
11-12-2016 - Jaguars Vs. Texans: 4 To Watch 4
11-11-2016 - Jags' OC Hackett "Excited" About Offense
11-09-2016 - Sports And Politics: Not So Strange Bedfellows
11-08-2016 - Bradley Says Jaguars Character In Tact
11-07-2016 - Jaguars Beat Jaguars In KC
11-03-2016 - Babby's Idea Screams "Minor League"
11-02-2016 - Cryotherapy Jax: Recovery Is The Key To Peak Performance
10-31-2016 - Bradley, Bortles Say Hackett Brings "New Vision"
10-29-2016 - Bradley Says Jaguars Lacked Focus
10-28-2016 - Khan Says Bradley's Staying
10-28-2016 - Time's Up: Jaguars Should Move On
10-25-2016 - "Unacceptable" According To Bradley. Is It Really?
10-24-2016 - Jaguars, Bradley Wobbling On The Tracks
10-23-2016 - Jaguars Embarrassed By Raiders, 33-16
10-18-2016 - Jaguars Run Game Needs Help
10-17-2016 - Jaguars Win, Need Work
10-15-2016 - Jaguars Bye Week Approach Slightly Different
10-11-2016 - Bradley: "It feels different out there"
10-10-2016 - Historic Ponte Vedra Inn And Club Survives Matthew
10-10-2016 - PV Residents Say Beach Is Resilient
10-10-2016 - Sawgrass CC: No Issues
10-04-2016 - Jaguars: 2 Weeks To Clean Things Up
10-02-2016 - Jaguars Beat Colts
10-01-2016 - Plenty Of Jaguars Fans In London
10-01-2016 - Jaguars In London: Routine Is Key
10-01-2016 - Jaguars/Colts: 4 To Watch 4
09-29-2016 - Bortles: "Stupid things, easily correctable"
09-29-2016 - Jaguars Say London Is More Like A Home Game
09-28-2016 - Palmer's Local Friends: "You'd have loved him even if he wasn't a golfer"
09-28-2016 - Bradley Knows Now Is The Time
09-26-2016 - Arnold Palmer: No One Like Him
09-26-2016 - Jaguars Squander Chances, Lose To Ravens
09-24-2016 - Jaguars/Ravens: 4 To Watch 4
09-20-2016 - Bradley, Jaguars At A Crossroads
09-18-2016 - Jaguars vs. SD: Nothing To Like
09-18-2016 - Jaguars/San Diego: 4 To Watch 4
09-16-2016 - Graeme Mcdowell Owns Restaurants, Wants To Play Golf
09-12-2016 - After Further Review: I Feel A Little Better Because They Don't
09-11-2016 - Exciting, Encouraged: Jaguars Still 0-1
09-10-2016 - Jaguars: 4 To Watch 4
09-10-2016 - Will Gus Bradley's Coaching Experiment Work?
09-08-2016 - Jaguars And Packers, More Similar Than You Think
09-06-2016 - Jaguars Roster: Bigger, Faster, Stronger
08-31-2016 - Are The Jaguars 'Hoping" For Success
08-30-2016 - Jaguars Know Bengals Effort Won't Fly
08-29-2016 - Wake Up Call For Jaguars Vs. Bengals
08-28-2016 - Jaguars "Fact Finding" vs. Bengals
08-23-2016 - Arrow Up On Jaguars
08-20-2016 - South End Zone Project: Khan Wants To Get It Right
08-13-2016 - Jets Game, Training Camp, Jaguars Still Working
08-03-2016 - Bortles Better, Defense Better
07-31-2016 - Stadium Improvements March On
07-29-2016 - FSU/Boise St. To Play Here In 2019
07-28-2016 - Air2G2 Local Company Making Good
07-27-2016 - Smith "Grateful and excited" to be in The Pride
07-27-2016 - Time for Jimmy Smith in The Pride
07-22-2016 - Jaguars Ready To Win Says Malik Jackson
07-22-2016 - Khan On 2016 Roster: "Scary Good"
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06-16-2016 - MJD on Jaguars: "They can win the South"
06-15-2016 - Foley To Leave Florida In A Good Spot
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06-03-2016 - Hurns Deal Good All Around
05-31-2016 - Jaguars TE Thomas: We can be better
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05-24-2016 - Jaguars Start OTA's "Good not great."
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05-13-2016 - Play Suspended At THE PLAYERS in Rd. 2
05-13-2016 - Wilcox Hole In One At 17
05-13-2016 - THE PLAYERS Round 2: Low Scores Again
05-12-2016 - First Round Players Notes
05-12-2016 - Day Early Leader At THE PLAYERS
05-12-2016 - Spite A Favorite, And Not Just For Golf
05-10-2016 - Fowler Still "Likes the Vibe"
05-10-2016 - Formula To Win THE PLAYERS? None
05-09-2016 - More Players At THE PLAYERS On Monday
05-09-2016 - Furyk Returns Optimistic At PLAYERS
04-30-2016 - Caldwell Takes Jack: "Risk To Be Great"
04-29-2016 - Jaguars' Ramsey: Best Player In The Draft
04-27-2016 - Khan On Draft Day: "Don't Be Impulsive"
04-23-2016 - Raising Money, Always Funny, Bill Murray's In Town
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04-16-2016 - Armada Get 1st Win 2-1 vs. Miami FC
04-14-2016 - Rashean Retires As A Jaguar
04-09-2016 - Masters Traditions Like No Other
04-01-2016 - NFL Contributes To HS Player Safety
03-28-2016 - USA Soccer To Play Here September 6
03-26-2016 - When Watching Tony Kornheiser, Buyer Beware
03-24-2016 - Khan Still Moving Forward
03-23-2016 - Dave Caldwell's Jaguars Vision
03-23-2016 - Bradley: Stay to the Plan
03-09-2016 - Mayor Curry To Run Gate River Run
02-27-2016 - "The Hayt" Tests College Players At Sawgrass CC
02-19-2016 - Earnhardt, Kyle Busch win Duels at Daytona
02-18-2016 - Jaguars Re-sign Chad Henne
02-18-2016 - Champions Ride for Safety
02-12-2016 - The Players Military Appreciation Day
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02-04-2016 - FSU Class Among The Best In The Nation
02-04-2016 - Gators Bolster Offense on Signing Day
01-29-2016 - Stadium Clubs "Reimagined"
01-25-2016 - Remembering Rex Morgan
01-21-2016 - "Krossover" Helping Hs Hoops Teams
01-13-2016 - Cyclists And Motorists Looking For Compromise
01-07-2016 - Jacksonville in the D-League?
01-07-2016 - Smith Fired in Tampa: Jax DC?
01-05-2016 - For Gus' Sake, I Hope He's Right
01-04-2016 - Coughlin Out At Giants HC
01-03-2016 - Jaguars Lose To Texans, Work To Do
01-03-2016 - Jaguars Playing Today, Thinking About Tomorrow

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