One of the biggest questions for the Jacksonville Jaguars entering the 2018 season is once again about quarterback Blake Bortles. The Jaguars committed to Bortles for at least the next two seasons in the offseason with a new contract, so now everyone is wondering if Bortles can build off his 2017 season and potentially push the Jaguars over the hump.
So the big question on the first day of organized team activities (OTAs) was of course the difference in Blake Bortles this year compared to last.
“I don’t look for it. I only look for things like red flag type of things,” Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone said on Tuesday after practice when asked about the differences for Bortles. “I have not seen that. Last year he came in, and he comes in pretty consistent with attitude and his work ethic. He wanted to do well, he wanted to be the best. He wanted to do well for his teammates. He does the encouraging part.”
I’d say having no red flags is a pretty big difference, considering how training camp and the preseason went last season, even if it is only the first day of OTAs. Remember the five interception practice that got shut down and Bortles nearly losing his starting job to Chad Henne?
“I think that if I have seen anything that would be the difference it’s that he has a better understanding of what we were doing on offense because last year was the first year. Now is a chance to go, for us to go,” Marrone continued. “I have always believed that when your quarterback is ahead of everyone and the rest of the offense has to catch up, that is a pretty good thing. You don’t want the quarterback trying to catch up to the rest of the offensive players. I think that Blake is in a good spot from there as far as what he knows of the offense, what we want to do. It’s just another year. I think that’s why you see those quarterbacks that stay in these systems for a long period of time and play for a long period of time that do such a good job.”
Bortles will be entering the same offensive system this offseason for the first time in his NFL career. If nothing as, as Marrone said, it should at bare minimum put Bortles further ahead during OTAs than he would have been in the past.