From 3rd overall hometown pick to fighting for his starting role, Blake Bortles has to earn it this time around. Veteran Chad Henne is competing to be named the Jaguars’ quarterback. From what I know, Tom Coughlin doesn’t give up on talent and he does what he can to help a player get better. Doug Marrone, although you may recall his unsuccessful stint in Buffalo, is a widely respected coach that is cut from the same cloth as Coughlin. Plus, Buffalo hasn’t really been a success story for awhile.
Now, we all know that Henne is best suited to be a backup. There’s nothing wrong with a rebuilding team cutting ties with a possible bust that wilts under pressure. Hurtful, I know. What may be deflating if that were the case, Henne would be the guy. Now, I have no problem with this stop-gap option, because his job is to get the ball out of his hands A.S.A.P. If only Bortles could come to that understanding. Not to say that I’m personally calling him a bust, because I’m not there just yet.
If the QB battle is close, as underwhelming is it may be, Bortles has to get the nod or else they’re throwing in the towel. As for the leash, I would give him a game and a half. I’m talking about 2 interceptions in each game and wild inaccuracy. I’m talking about getting blown out, the defense is playing tough, the talent is there on offense, but the quarterback is a glaring weakness. So, kind of what he’s shown to us already. The only good that comes with Henne, is that the young team will look to a veteran and learn what it means to be a professional in this business. They may look and say, “Chad’s been in this game for awhile. He’s got a chance to start again. The guy is a pro that just does his job and steps in for moments like this.”
Like I said, I would prefer to roll with Bortles. I know there’s a ton of ugly footage out there on him, but damn, who’s the last quarterback in the state of Florida to make a name for himself? This includes Jacksonville, Miami and Tampa Bay. I like the prospects of Ryan Tannehill and Jameis Winston. I think both will have careers that hover between the ranks of 9-16. They both have weapons and good offensive coaches. So far, Tannehill has played around league average in his 5 seasons. I’ll take 16th over the teams without one for us to rank. Winston is making gradual improvements, and they maybe one of the most improved teams in the league. If I had to guess, the majority of fans and media would choose Winston over Tannehill. They’re in the same range.
I know Jay Cutler is the guy now in Miami, for 2017 that is. I do expect Tannehill to win his job back next season after Cutler gets in one last season. Maybe two if he excels with Adam Gase. It’s fair to foresee a QB controversy based on success. After all, this was a playoff roster last season. If you ask me, I prefer Tannehill of out the two for consistency, youth and upside. Once someone has retirement in their mind, more times than not, I will take the other option. Hmm…it would be a crazy story if Cutler got the Dolphins back into the playoffs.
Anyways, as for the state of Florida, David Garrard was the last Pro Bowler. His predecessors in Jacksonville were Byron Leftwich and Mark Brunell. Jeff Garcia got to start some games for the Buccaneers. Miami fans keep referring to Dan Marino in the ’90s. He gave them 16 Hall of Fame seasons. Tannehill was draft in 2012, Bortles in 2014, and Winston in 2015. The QBs that played in between these eras:
Buccaneers: I’m not naming all of these players. Some you may remember, some were solid, but no star QB since Doug Williams in the early ’80s. Yes, they had Steve Young but then traded him to the Bay Area.
Dolphins: Jay Fielder, A.J. Feeley, Gus Frerotte, Joey Harrington, Cleo Lemon, Chad Pennington, and Matt Moore
Jaguars: Aside from Blaine Gabbert, they’ve actually had some solid options that we mentioned above.
If Bortles turns things around, the Jags will have their quarterback of the present and future. If he doesn’t, then the Jags will find their future in the 2018 draft.
Not to open a can of worms, I do wonder though, would the Jaguars consider Colin Kaepernick?