The Jacksonville Jaguars had their first full padded practice on Saturday evening in front of just over 4,000 season ticket holders. Thankfully for the Jaguars, the customers in attendance had already paid for their season tickets, else they might have had a hard time selling to the fans who witnessed the horrible day from starting quarterback Blake Bortles.
Bortles missed on several throws and was intercepted five times on the evening, two times during 7-on-7 skeleton drills and three times in 11-on-11 team drills. According to Ryan O’Halloran of The Florida Times-Union, who has been charting Bortles in team drills, had him at 30 snaps in 11-on-11 going 13-of-22 passing with three interceptions.
That’s right at 59 percent completion, which is about Bortles career average.
I’m not going to try to spin Bortles’ awful practice into something it wasn’t, because, folks, five interceptions in one practice is actually bad.
It is just one practice, so it shouldn’t change your overall feelings of the season. But it’s pretty typical of Bortles however to have high peaks and low valleys, as evidenced by his first two days of practice, ending with his final day of practice for the week.
There is no real way to spin throwing five interceptions in practice, especially when by all accounts they were due to poor decision making rather than things like tipped passes. It’s bad, folks, but then again this is what Bortles is. He’s a crash and burn type quarterback, who when he bottoms out he really bottoms out.
The more important news from Saturday evenings practice is that it was a rough overall night for the offensive line, in both pass protection and run blocking. First-round pick Leonard Fournette did break a big 50-yard run, but those are hard to judge in training camp because it’s still not live contact. He did show that burst to the outside and second gear in the open field, however.
But more importantly, if the offensive line can’t find their bearings soon, that’s the real concern with the team. Bortles is who he is, and there’s not much you can do about that, which is why the team’s game plan appears to be limiting him. For that to work however, you need the offensive line to show up and block.