It was a pretty brief time on the field, but it was clear from what I saw that Jacksonville Jaguars rookie quarterback and top pick Blake Bortles is ready for action.
Of course, it’s just one pre-season game, and only 11 pass attempts, but Bortles appeared very confident out there in his first action of the season and made some really nice throws.
Specifically, my favorite play from Bortles was one where he took a deep drop, nearly slipped and fell, caught his footing, and fired a strike to the receiver downfield.
The future should be bright for Bortles in Jacksonville. For so long, this franchise has looked for a quarterback that could lead it back into contention in the AFC after David Garrard used to have the Jaguars in the playoffs and giving Peyton Manning fits in the AFC South.
Bortles has three more weeks of preseason action to unseat Chad Henne for the starting position, and I think he can do it. He looked very sharp in his first NFL action, albeit against backups, and provides a spark of energy for a Jaguars franchise that desperately needs it.
Let’s face it, Chad Henne isn’t taking this team anywhere. The best way for a young quarterback to learn is to learn on the job. Many felt like Bortles was the most pro-ready quarterback coming out and he proved last night to me that he is in fact just that.
Completing 7-of-11 passes, Bortles looked poised and wound up with 117 yards on the night to go along with seven yards rushing. It’s too early to overreact to anything but if Bortles is ready to play, there’s no reason they should continue fiddling around with Henne and making the fans wait.
The time for Blake Bortles is right now, and I think the Jaguars know it.