The Jacksonville Jaguars have a serious quarterback problem. And Blake Bortles’ declining play is only part of it.
We know what happened today against the Houston Texans. We saw Blake miss the defender on an awful pick-six. We saw the wobbling ball on what should have been a 60-yard touchdown by Marqise Lee. We heard the announcers in near disbelief as they tried to wrap their heads around Bortles confessing he’s not a natural thrower of the ball prior to his 38th NFL game.
But like I said, that’s only part of it.
Bortles isn’t going to get benched. He’s the guy unless he’s injured. And that lack of outside motivation is going to hinder his growth.
I’m not saying Bortles doesn’t want to be great. I’m not saying he lacks the physical tools. But I do believe that outside motivation — namely the fear that you’ll be benched — puts a ceiling on your development. Throw in the fact that after every single subpar performance your boss publicly says you have all the job security in the world and there we are.
If you genuinely liked your job and wanted to be really good at it, would you be as good at it as if you knew that continually inconsistent performance could (and likely would) lead to you being fired?
That’s part of the culture that is completely unacceptable and not conducive to growth. There is no accountability for the most important position on the team — and it’s either because Chad Henne is awful and you built a team where there is no possibility for it or you think sticking with your guy will yield results despite years of evidence to the contrary.
And I don’t blame Blake. I really don’t. This is management’s job. This is the job of the coaches and the front office. Blake sucks, that’s fine. But it’s management’s job to make sure there’s a Plan B.
Gus Bradley is gone after this year. Dave Caldwell probably is too. I would imagine one of the priorities of the next coaching staff is to find a competent veteran quarterback who can be that Plan B... otherwise, the more things change the more they’ll stay the same.