Blake Bortles wasn’t originally in the Jacksonville Jaguars’ starting plans for 2014, but his play early in the pre-season has proven he’s starting quarterback material right away.
On Thursday night against the Chicago Bears, he was able to show off his incredible arm and feel for the game. Bortles impressed everyone from the first snap, even playing with back of the depth chart players.
Talent wasn’t a concern for the former UCF against Chicago – he looked prepared for the moment.
He finished the night with a line of 11/17, 160 yards, but it was the play behind the numbers that proved what kind of quarterback Bortles is going to become in the NFL. Everyone knew he projected well to the next level, but this early performance has boded well for his chances to start with the Jaguars.
Here’s what the Jaguars could do: start Chad Henne, get tired of his poor play, and insert Bortles in the starting lineup in Week Six. But why?
Henne has proven that he isn’t the long-term answer to the Jaguars’ offensive issues. Having him start the 2014 season dooms not only the Jaguars’ hopes for the 2014 season, but the fans’ excitement for a half-way interesting season.
Bortles brings fire.
Bortles brings passion to a fan base.
So, why not give him a chance to lead an NFL team from day one? It certainly wouldn’t hurt.
Gus Bradley’s team is about excitement. He wants his guys to get on the field every day and play with a passion unlike any other team in the division. Having Blake Bortles at the helm can only help things.
The great thing about Bortles playing in Jacksonville early in his career is the fact that there is absolutely no pressure when it comes to winning. The team knows they aren’t on the level of the New England Patriots, so what’s to lose? Bortles can play comfortably, he can take it easy, and let his skills win games.
With his skill-set, winning will come.
Letting the Bortles get in rhythm with the three rookie receivers that will be starting is critical, and there’s no need to delay the process. Coach Bradley needs his receiving corps comfortable for the next several years, and starting them with the guy they’ll be seeing for the majority of that time only makes sense.
What’s to lose? Blake Bortles has shown he can’t do any worse than Chad Henne…give the guy a shot, Gus!