If it wasn't already clear that the Jaguars are building around defense and the running game, the team's brass has made it clear recently. HC Doug Marrone was recently asked how many passes he'd like QB Blake Bortles to throw this season and replied, "zero." GM Dave Caldwell guaranteed NFL Network's Mike Garafolo that Bortles' attempts will drop from last year's 625. We currently have him projected for 512. Even if Bortles' efficiency improves in 2017, the likely massive decline in volume will hurt his fantasy production.
Jaguars HC Doug Marrone told the team website that there's "no doubt" QB Blake Bortles has improved his throwing mechanics this offseason. Bortles spent time working with QB gurus Tom House and Adam Dedeaux, and Marrone spoke with seemingly mild optimism about the effects. It's certainly too early for anyone to get excited, but any growth in Bortles' game would be welcome for the offense on whole and his passing numbers. We'll see how things look as workouts really get going.
The Jaguars have exercised their 5th-year option on QB Blake Bortles. That would pay Bortles about $18 million in 2018. Note, though, that the option doesn't become guaranteed until the 1st day of the 2018 league year. So the 2017 campaign remains make-or-break for Bortles in Jacksonville. The team helped him last week by adding RB Leonard Fournette, OT Cam Robinson and WR Dede Westbrook.
The Jaguars have named Doug Marrone their new HC. He served as interim HC for the final 2 weeks of this past season, leading Jacksonville to 1 of its 3 wins. Marrone's only other experience as an NFL HC came in Buffalo during the 2013 and 2014 campaigns. He compiled a 15-17 record with the Bills, with those squads finishing 19th and 26th, respectively, in total offense. The 2013 squad led the league in rushing attempts and ranked 2nd in rushing yards. RBs Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller both topped 1,000 total yards that year. Marrone could bring a run-heavier attack to the Jaguars, who have ranked among the bottom 8 in run rate in 5 straight seasons. Marrone's biggest undertaking, though, will be fixing QB Blake Bortles.
The Jaguars have fired OC Greg Olson. The offense has been the biggest issue during Jacksonville's 2-5 start. The Jags sit 25th in yards per game and 24th in points per game. Olson will be replaced by former QBs coach Nathaniel Hackett. He spent 2013 and 2014 as the Bills' OC. Neither of those teams finished in the top half of the league in total yards or points. The change in coordinator is unlikely to spark the Jags' offense.
Jaguars QB Blake Bortles told Hays Carlyon of the Florida Times-Union that he has already seen growth in the chemistry of his receiving group. "All of the receivers have been in our locker room at some point this offseason,” he said Monday. “It’s been cool to see them work together and talk through some stuff as well. The chemistry is continuing to grow, not only on the field, but off the field as well — in the weight room and in the locker room. That builds trust." Bortles added that he has spent more time in Jacksonville as well, while HC Gus Bradley believes the QB "has had his best offseason" among 3 in the pros. All of that bodes well for a Jaguars pass offense that broke through in 2015 and delivered strong fantasy value from Bortles, WR Allen Robinson and WR Allen Hurns. All 3 will likely land in starter range when we pump out our 2016 projections.
Jaguars QB Blake Bortles was 1 of the biggest surprises of the 2015 season, chucking for 4,428 yards, 35 scores and finishing as a top-4 fantasy QB. But HC Gus Bradley still sees room for improvement, namely in pocket presence and ball-security. "I was disappointed in the number of sacks, because a lot of them were preventable. Some of them were on him, and those disappointed me because he knew better," Bradley said. "Some of the turnovers were disappointing, but his decision-making will get better, too." Bortles took 51 sacks and tossed 18 INTs in 2015 -- both league highs. He turns just 24 in April, though, and Bradley sees plenty of growth potential. "With his work ethic, his intelligence ... he hasn’t hit his ceiling, and that should be encouraging," the coach said.
Jaguars QB Blake Bortles (shoulder) is active for today’s game against the Texans. He put in a full week of practice and is on the spot-start radar vs. the league’s 30th-ranked QB defense.
Jaguars QB Blake Bortles (shoulder) is probable for Sunday’s game after a full week of practice. There's no reason to believe that shoulder will be an issue. Bortles is on the spot-start radar against Houston's 30th-ranked QB defense.
Jaguars QB Blake Bortles (shoulder) was listed as a full participant in Wednesday's practice. He's clearly on track to play against the Texans this weekend, and it doesn't look like the shoulder will be a major issue. That puts Bortles on the spot-start radar in a plus matchup.
Jaguars HC Gus Bradley revealed Monday that QB Blake Bortles suffered a Grade 1 shoulder sprain in Sunday's loss to the Bucs. It's the least severe grade, and Bortles played through it yesterday. But a shoulder injury is always a concern for a QB. We're tentatively expecting Bortles to play against Houston this weekend, but we'll track his status over the next few days.
Jaguars TE Julius Thomas is set to make his 2015 debut against the Bucs today, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. "Not expected to be limited," Schefter adds. Thomas has been practicing for a few weeks and resumed catching passes this week. He's a risky fantasy start in his 1st action of the year, but there's upside against a leaky Bucs pass defense. Thomas' return also boosts QB Blake Bortles outlook.
Jags QB Blake Bortles expressed confidence in rookie RB T.J. Yeldon. “He’s been impressive,” Bortles said. “Even in the walk-through we went through [Wednesday] — they threw a couple of blitzes at him and he was in the right spot picking the right guys up. I’m excited to see what he can do with multiple carries, catches and protection [pickups].” Yeldon played only 16 snaps during the preseason, but he’s poised to see 15+ touches right out of the gate. The Alabama product is a viable RB2.
Jaguars QB Blake Bortles was dealing in Friday night's preseason game against the Lions. The 2nd-year signal caller completed 20 of 29 passes for 241 yards, 1 TD and 0 INTs in 2-and-a-half quarters of action. He added another 38 yards on 4 carries. Bortles looked confident in the pocket, comfortable in the offense, fit some balls into tight windows and used his athleticism when he had to. It was as impressive a performance we've seen by a QB this preseason. It's never wise to put too much stock into exhibitions, but Bortles seems ready to take a giant leap in his 2nd season. We just bumped him up our QB rankings.
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