Written by Adrian Beecher
Is there a quarterback controversy in Jacksonville? If there wasn't before Friday night, there is one arising now. After the performance Blake Bortles put on, completing 7 of 11 passes for 117 yards and a passer rating of 99.4, named starter Chad Henne has to be nervous.
Henne struggled in his first appearance of the season, completing 4 of 7 passes for just 30 yards. One of Henne’s 4 completions came in the first quarter on a second and 10 with 10:39 on the clock.
As we look at Bortles, his vision of the field Friday night was impeccable and very easy to see, as he completed multiple passes over the middle of the field. Bortles shining moment of the night came with just over six minutes left in the third quarter with a 7 to 3 lead over the Buccaneers.
As Bortles stepped back to pass he looked down field and fired for his wide receiver Mike Brown over the middle who leaped into the air and snagged the 31 yard reception with three Buc’s defensemen closing in. On the play though Bortles would be tested as Tampa Bay Defensive Tackle Akeem Spence put a late hit on the QB resulting in a 15 yard roughing the quarterback penalty. Much to the delight of the hometown fans and Head Coach Gus Bradley, Bortles jumped right back up ready for the next play.
“It was awesome. It was a lot of fun to get out there in a game situation and get to run around with the guys.", said Bortles post game of his first NFL in game experience.
The season is young and the kinks in the system are being worked out in Jacksonville. But with a 16-10 win over the instate rival Buccaneers under this young teams belt to start the preseason, this team looks more rejuvenated than ever. Only time will tell if Coach Bradley's comment’s after this year’s NFL Draft of Bortles not starting until next year really hold true. For now the Jaguars faithful can rest easy knowing that at this point it looks like they have a bright future ahead of them at the position under center.
The Jaguars will now hit the practice field at Training Camp hard as they prepare for a trip to Soldier Field in the windy city to face the Chicago Bears. Kickoff for the Jaguars matchup with the Bears is set for Thursday night August 14 at 8pm on ESPN & the watch ESPN App.