Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley met with the Buffalo media ahead of their matchup on Sunday against the Bills in a conference call and had some interesting things to say about the season so far, criticism of his job and quarterback Blake Bortles. There will be a lot to unpack once I get the full transcript, including comments about how he only hears criticism about his job when reporters bring it up… which made me laugh.
One of the more interesting comments Bradley however centered around quarterback Blake Bortles and what we’ve seen from him so far this year. Many of us can agree Bortles has regressed significantly from his 2015 form, but Gus Bradley didn’t seem to really agree about that.
Gus Bradley on Jaguars QB Blake Bortles: "I don't know that he's taken a step back... In some of the categories we look at, he’s improved."— Matthew Fairburn (@MatthewFairburn) November 23, 2016
You’ll remember a few weeks ago Bradley noted in a press conference that he sat down and looked at other quarterbacks in the NFL, noting other quarterbacks in the league also miss throws. This was said in a manner that was almost dismissive of Blake’s continuously inaccurate throws on passes that NFL quarterbacks are supposed to hit. There is protecting your guys in the media, but then there is also just a failure to properly self-evaluate. We’re well beyond the protecting your player when we start getting into the territory where you’re explaining a way someone’s poor play because others, which much less frequency, do it too and when you’re rationalizing why a player hasn’t taken a regression, which is inarguable.
Sure, Bortles is improved in some categories like… completion percentage and some other irrelevant stat that clearly doesn’t matter because they’re 2-8.
People can argue all they want about making a mountain out of a mole hill with the culture Gus Bradley has established, but this is just more of it. Everything bad is buttered up and ultimately no one is held accountable.