Jaguars OC: We can trust Blake Bortles more consistently

Jan 14, 2018; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles (5) prepares to throw the ball during the first quarter in the AFC Divisional Playoff game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars nearly reached Super Bowl LII despite an apparent lack of trust in quarterback Blake Bortles. Apparently, that has changed.

Offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett told Albert Breer of The MMQB that a “very good” group of running backs and linemen will have a positive impact on Bortles.

“Now it’s going to allow us to be a lot more aggressive, because you can trust that Blake is going to make the right decision more consistently.”

That doesn’t mean Jacksonville believes Bortles has finally become the elite player hoped. After all, he’s been one of the worst-rated quarterbacks in the league.

Last season, per Pro Football Focus, Bortles ranked 34th among all quarterbacks against the blitz, 31st in short passes and 27th on downfield throws. His adjusted completion percentage ranked 19th.

That’s not a trustworthy player. And it was obvious in how Jacksonville treated him during the 2017 campaign.

However, thanks to a second offseason with Hackett as the coordinator, Bortles might actually be improved. If┬áhe’s even a league-average quarterback, the Jags will have a legitimate chance to win the AFC.