Blake Bortles might not be the starting quarterback of the Jacksonville Jaguars for much longer after two lackluster preseason performances.
After Bortles put up a stinker of a show in the team’s second preseason game Thursday night, head coach Doug Marrone made it clear the position is wide open.
“[The QB position] is right up there for grabs, and either person can take it,” Marrone said, per John Oehser of the team’s website.
The other quarterback in this equation is Chad Henne, who was also pretty blah in Thursday’s game.
In two preseason games, Bortles has completed 11-of-18 passes, which looks great on the surface. But he’s only gained 81 yards on those attempts, has thrown no touchdowns and has missed some wide-open opportunities, including what might have been a touchdown to Allen Robinson (watch here).
Needless to say, he’s going downhill fast, doesn’t have the support of his head coach and appears to have lost confidence.
As Bortles fights for his job, he says he’s tuning out all outside distractions.
“Whether you think you are mentally strong as you possible can, if you read negative stuff about yourself long enough there’s no way to not believe it,” Bortles said before Saturday’s practice, per John Reid of the Florida Times-Union. “I don’t watch cable sports news channels and I got to stay off social media and all that stuff because it does nothing for you. Anything you guys say, I have no idea. I think it’s all I can do is go out there and go earn, prove and show them with each play I can do it and I can consistently do it.”
It’s a solid strategy. Lord knows, there much of anything positive out there in social media or news sites.
This scribe has personally called for the Jaguars to cut Bortles this summer to avoid potentially being stuck with a $19 million salary in 2018 (more on that here).
One more awful outing by Bortles will likely seal his fate. He’ll either be cut or given the Robert Griffin III bubble-wrap treatment in 2017. On the other hand, if he can somehow fight through these doldrums and find his game again, then perhaps his career can begin anew.