Doug Marrone has been head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars for four games now. In the first three games, Blake Bortles didn’t throw a single interception. His yards-per-attempt and completion percentages varied wildly from game to game, but the simple fact remained — zero interceptions.
Today he threw two.
A common thread through Bortles’ first three seasons under former head coach Gus Bradley was that there was no public accountability in postgame press conferences. The team would talk a big game before and after the season, but when it came down to the week-to-week there was very little in the way of placing the blame of poor offensive production or turnovers at Bortles’ feet.
It was assumed that changed with Marrone as the new head coach. This is the guy who said verbatim: “If you continue to turn the ball over, you won’t be our quarterback.”
But after Bortles’ worst game under Marrone, the new head coach is a lot like the old head coach — no public accountability, deflecting blame to others, and apologizing for what the team didn’t give Bortles on the field.
When asked why he felt Bortles was unable to provide a spark for this offense, Marrone was evasive.
“I think when you look at, again, a lot of emphasis is going to go back to that. It’s kind of the question about the quarterback, you know? Sack-fumble, blind side is hit. What are you going to do there? It’s not like he’s not trying to make it. He’s made some plays on his feet. The second one, I mean, the guy is open. It’s a play-action pass, people shouldn’t have their hands up. That’s up front. That can’t happen. The next one I’ve got to take a better look at it, but anytime that ball touches anyone’s body, some of the catches we have to make. Some of the things we have to do offensively. We have to put our players in good shape, but, you know, it’s hard to call plays when you’re starting out first-and-20, things like that. Those are tough things and you’re making decisions like do we try to come at it and try to take some shots down the field? And we give the sack up and now it’s field position again. These are things that are going through our minds when we’re out there.”
Marrone was asked by name about Bortles and he goes out of his way to blame quite literally everyone else on the team.
Cam Robinson allowing a sack.
The offensive line not keeping defenders’ hands down.
Marqise Lee not catching a ball that hit him in the hands.
Marcedes Lewis committing a penalty.
Chris Ivory committing a penalty.
Bortles does not deserve all of the blame. His receivers dropped passes and his linemen missed blocks. But I don’t understand why this coaching staff is so scared to publicly place some of the blame on the quarterback.