Jaguars coach calls out Blake Bortles: ‘We expect more’

Through eight starts, the question remains whether Blake Bortles is definitively the Jaguars’ quarterback of the future.

What we do know is he’s struggling in the present.

The No. 3 overall draft pick, who started off fairly strong in Jacksonville, has plummeted in recent weeks, regressing to the error-prone ways that are typical of rookie signal-callers. Bortles has thrown 15 interceptions — compared to just eight touchdowns — and absorbed a whopping 27 sacks while under center.

To Jags coach Gus Bradley, that’s simply not up to standard.

“He can play better. … At times, he holds the ball a little too long. … His decision-making isn’t as quick as we need it to be. … He’s young, but we expect more,” Bradley said, per the Florida Times-Union.

Bortles underwhelmed in the team’s Week 12 loss to the Colts, completing 15-of-27 passes for 146 yards, zero touchdowns, and one interception, while taking four sacks.

The one interception represents an improvement for Bortles, however. After throwing ten picks in his first five starts, he’s tossed only five over the last four weeks — all losses.

If you’re a Jaguars fan, there’s the silver lining to another shipwrecked season.

“He appears to be strong and very confident,” Bradley said. “I think he wants to give more and wants to produce more. . . . We’ve seen progress in his decision-making; he’s throwing fewer interceptions.

“We don’t want to take away his freedom to make plays.”

Zack Kelberman
An award-winning sportswriter, reporter and blogger, Zack currently serves as the Miami Dolphins live correspondent and Team Stream curator for Bleacher Report. He's also a freelance NFL writer and the founder/editor-in-chief of Helmet2Helmet. His work has appeared on media outlets such as ESPN, Sports Illustrated, FOX Sports, MSN.com, FanSided.com, and About.com. Zack can be reached on Twitter (@ZackKelberman) or via email (zpkelb@gmail.com).