2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Jaguars QB Bortles making strides in backup role

By MARK LONG - AP Sports Writer
    2014-08-19 17:39

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) - There are plenty of signs that Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles is making steady strides as a rookie.

One of the most telling ones came in the third quarter of last week's preseason game at Chicago.

Bortles got to the line of scrimmage on a second-and-1 play, recognized the coverage, checked from a run to a pass and then found his third option down the left sideline for a 29-yard gain.

Between the pre-snap read, the audible, the in-play progression and the throw, it was a perfect performance by the third overall pick in May's NFL draft.

''We're excited about how he has progressed,'' offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch said Tuesday. ''I think it's a situation now where each day we are just looking for improvement, and he has challenged himself to get better every day. So, really I'm not exactly sure where I expect him to be, so he is doing well for where he is at.''

Despite getting repetitions with the first-team offense in practice this week and a planned quarter of work with the starters at Detroit on Friday night, Bortles remains the backup.

At least for now.

Bortles' preseason play has earned high praise from coaches, teammates and fans, but it hasn't changed the team's belief that he's a work in progress. General manager Dave Caldwell, coach Gus Bradley and Fisch want to foster a pressure- and expectation-free environment around Bortles that allows him to focus on refining his mechanics, mastering the playbook and making a smooth transition from a college spread scheme to a pro-style system.

''He just has to continue to build and learn,'' Fisch said. ''He is throwing the ball with a little bit better velocity, maybe using his lower body better. ... He keeps getting better in terms of understanding the offense. His knowledge base is improving, so he can play faster, make corrections on the fly and make adjustments.''

Much like he did against the Bears.

Bortles completed 11 of 17 passes for 160 yards in the game, bringing his preseason totals to 18-of-28 passing for 277 yards.

He felt like he took steps forward from Tampa Bay (preseason opener) to Chicago.

''I thought my footwork was a little cleaner,'' he said. ''There are still some things I need to work on and clean up, but I thought for the most part that's been a big emphasis on what I've been trying to do for a while now. So, I thought it was a little bit better, but I still have a long way to go.''

Playing with and against starters is the next phase of Bortles' development.

He got about seven snaps with the first-team offense in practice Monday and Tuesday, but will get a bigger test with several series against the Lions.

''Yeah, obviously it's a little bit faster,'' he said. ''It's just a good opportunity to go out there and get that exposure and go see that and get to play against it. In the end, we're calling the same plays and you're running the same stuff. It's just that guys are a little bit faster. You have to adjust to that and get some exposure to it.''

The Jaguars are committed to Chad Henne at least to start the season.

Henne has been solid in the preseason, completing 16 of 24 passes for 160 yards and a touchdown.

Henne has said repeatedly that his job is to keep his job, but he also has welcomed Bortles and offered to help him anyway he can - even though he knows the rookie will replace him at some point.

''We're just out there trying to help each other out, competing each and every day,'' Henne said. ''The biggest thing is guiding him along and I just try to help him with the footwork and knowing where to go with the football. He's done a great job. We're both humble and that's what's great about this position.''

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Matt JonesMay 20 02:15p

Washington Redskins RB Matt Jones said that he loves the offense and has a chip on his shoulder after not being used properly while in college. 'My college career [ More ]

Derek CarrMay 20 08:53a

Updating a previous report, Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr (finger) is experiencing numbness in his right ring finger. He hopes to avoid surgery through rest and rehab, and no [ More ]

Derek CarrMay 19 06:13p

Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr (finger) has a right ring finger injury that could be surgically repaired. A return for training camp is still achievable, however, according to a source.

L. WashingtonMay 19 05:23p

Pittsburgh Steelers WR L'Damian Washington (undisclosed) was waived/injured Tuesday, May 19.

Shayne GrahamMay 19 03:03p

New Orleans Saints PK Shayne Graham was released Tuesday, May 19. Subsequently, free-agent WR Lance Lewis (49ers) was signed.

Joseph BarksdaleMay 19 02:23p

Free-agent OT Joseph Barksdale (Rams) will sign a one-year deal worth $350,000 with the San Diego Chargers, according to a source. The deal also comes with more than $1 million in incentives available.

Tom BradyMay 19 01:43p

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady will continue to appeal his four-game suspension, despite owner Robert Kraft saying the team will not appeal the discipline levied against them.

Jed CollinsMay 18 03:32p

Dallas Cowboys FB Jed Collins was released Monday, May 18, and FB Tyler Clutts was re-signed to an undisclosed contract.

Tyler CluttsMay 18 03:32p

Dallas Cowboys FB Jed Collins was released Monday, May 18, and FB Tyler Clutts was re-signed to an undisclosed contract.

Lache SeastrunkMay 18 02:42p

Tennessee Titans RB Lache Seastrunk was released Monday, May 18.

Jimmy GaroppoloMay 17 08:42p

New England Patriots QB Jimmy Garoppolo's quick decision making and accuracy fit well with New England's playbook that includes quick-rhythm passes as part of the foundation, and Bucky Brooks [ More ]

Zach HockerMay 17 04:42p

The New Orleans Saints have signed free-agent PK Zach Hocker (Dolphins).

Joseph RandleMay 16 07:32p

Dallas Cowboys RB Joseph Randle has the skills to lead the team's backfield in 2015 but he'll need to work on his off-field issues, according to Jon Machota of [ More ]

Matt CasselMay 15 07:52p

Buffalo Bills QB Matt Cassel is likely to enter Week 1 of the season as the team's backup quarterback, in the opinion of The Buffalo News' Vic Carucci. He [ More ]

Santana MossMay 15 07:12p

Free-agent WR Santana Moss (Redskins) is not ready to hang up his cleats and retire this offseason. 'I'm a free agent right now, you know how they do [ More ]

Robert TurbinMay 14 05:32p

Seattle Seahawks RB Robert Turbin (hip) underwent hip surgery this offseason, according to sources. No timetable was disclosed for his recovery.

Tom BradyMay 14 03:52p

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady has officially appealed his four-game suspension.

Greg SalasMay 13 02:23p

Free-agent WR Greg Salas (Jets) signed a one-year deal with the Detroit Lions Wednesday, May 13. Financial terms were not disclosed.

John ConnerMay 13 12:03p

Free-agent FB John Conner (Jets) signed with the Buffalo Bills Wednesday, May 13. FB Corey Knox was waived to make room for him.

Tom BradyMay 13 10:03a

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady's four-game suspension could be reduced significantly, and possibly overturned, a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter. Brady has put together a renowned legal team to appeal his suspension.

D.J. SwearingerMay 12 05:22p

Free-agent SS D.J. Swearinger was officially claimed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Tuesday, May 12.

Fred JacksonMay 12 03:13p

Buffalo Bills RB Fred Jackson may not make the final roster if the Bills end up keeping only three running backs, according to Mike Rodak of ESPN.com. RB LeSean [ More ]

Lance MooreMay 12 01:23p

Free-agent WR Lance Moore (Steelers) signed a one-year deal with the Detroit Lions.

Justin BlackmonMay 12 11:02a

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Justin Blackmon was denied reinstatement by the NFL this offseason, according to The Associated Press' Mark Long. It's unclear whether Blackmon failed a drug test or [ More ]

Joseph RandleMay 12 10:42a

Dallas Cowboys RB Joseph Randle could see the bulk of the carries as the season weighs on, in the opinion of beat writer Todd Archer. Archer pegged Randle for [ More ]

Jimmy GaroppoloMay 11 09:42p

New England Patriots QB Jimmy Garoppolo is expected to start while QB Tom Brady serves his suspension for 'DeflateGate'. Brady was suspended four games by the National Football League [ More ]

Tom BradyMay 11 07:12p

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady will appeal his four-game suspension, according to his agent.

Tom BradyMay 11 05:52p

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady has been suspended four games for his involvement in the deflated-football incident in the AFC Championship. In addition, the Patriots will lose their [ More ]

D.J. SwearingerMay 11 04:12p

Houston Texans SS D.J. Swearinger was officially released Monday, May 11.

Carey SpearMay 11 01:22p

Cleveland Browns PKs Travis Coons and Carey Spear will compete for the kicker job this offseason, and the competition is wide open at this point, according to special teams coordinator Chris Tabor.

Garrett HartleyMay 11 01:12p

Cleveland Browns PK Garrett Hartley was released Monday, May 11.

Kyle ArringtonMay 11 10:32a

New England Patriots CB Kyle Arrington was released Monday, May 11, according to a source. The team left the door open for him to return.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group