Blake Bortles says Jaguars are ‘a small step away’ from contending

By Jesse Reed
Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Blake Bortles and the Jacksonville Jaguars are trying to break out of a nearly decade-long slump as a true contender in the NFL, but the second-year quarterback believes they’re not far away from changing course.

Speaking with media on Wednesday, Bortles talked about how close the Jaguars are to success.

“If you’re getting blown out every week, you have a lot to work on and a lot to improve,” Bortles said, via the team’s website. “When you’re as close as we are, I think it’s a small step away. I think it’s developing that consistency, and being able to do it week in and week out. It is frustrating, but we give ourselves through Monday. You have to be over it and ready to start game planning on Tuesday.”

Jacksonville is 2-6 this season but has been close in a number of its losses.

Dating back to 2007, when the team won 11 games and went to the divisional round of the playoffs, the Jaguars haven’t won more than eight games (and that happened but once). The past three years the franchise has won an average of just three games per season.

Needless to say, turning around a culture of losing hasn’t been easy for head coach Gus Bradley. But at the least we know Bortles is still seeing things through the “glass-half full” lens. He’s right to be eager for the future. The Jaguars have assembled quite a bit of young talent. Bortles himself has developed nicely, but he still has a penchant for turning the ball over (10 this year).

The young passer must cut down on the mistakes if the Jaguars will indeed turn the corner from perennial cellar-dweller to contender. It shouldn’t surprise anyone if he does and Jacksonville features one of the more explosive offenses in the league in the next couple years. Featuring Bortles and his young star receivers Allen Hurns, Allen Robinson and tight end Julius Thomas, it’s not as crazy as it sounds.