Blake Bortles: Jaguars ‘tired of being below average’
Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles has the unenviable task of not only rebuilding his throwing mechanics this offseason, but also convincing those around him that it will be worth the wait.
In a session with reporters in Jacksonville on Wednesday, Bortles was a little more straightforward with his message.
“This is my job, my passion,” Bortles said. “I’m going to exhaust every resource I have to make this thing work.”
He added: “Guys are sick and tired of being below average.”
To believe in the Jaguars this season is really to believe in Bortles, who can point to an age-23 season in 2015 when he threw 35 touchdowns and 18 interceptions en route to a 5-11 record as the main reason for hope. During that season, Bortles’ touchdown percentage more than doubled his rookie year total. The development of receivers like Allen Hurns and Allen Robinson formed the bedrock of an offense that could one day produce a playoff berth.
Last season did not do that belief any favors, as Bortles regressed alongside one of the least effective running games in the league. By now, none of this is news.
“One thing about it, people and everybody are going to have their opinions,” Ivory said. “Mainly, the people that know nothing about football. They don’t know the things we go through to get to this point. What we actually face before we come out for those games.
“Most of the stuff the people on the outside see are the mistakes and the bad things you do. It’s not always going to go the way you want. I think a lot of people that like to see guys get a 1,000 yards each year, but it just don’t work that way.”
The situation for Ivory will be entirely different in 2017. Unfortunately, the first year of his five-year, $32 million contract yielded just 439 yards and three touchdowns. The uncertainty of a 29-year-old power back necessitated the selection of Fournette in the first place — an unmistakable attempt to reverse the third-lowest scoring rushing offense in the league last year. It would not be cost effective for the Jaguars to cut ties with Ivory given his current contract situation, though, and as Jacksonville.com pointed out, Ivory has been taking almost all the starter’s reps this spring.
If the Jaguars can afford it, there’s nothing wrong with having a spare workhorse. During his time with the Jets, Ivory could have a profound impact on games if he got rolling. Ivory had one big-time game last year, a 107-yard performance against a very good Chiefs defense and had four games out of 11 where he averaged more than four yards per carry.
“To all my supporters and fans, I want you to know that I chose to undergo surgery to treat a minor injury that was very successful. I want to and will be the best version of myself that I can be for the upcoming 2017 season.
“I will attack this rehab, refine my body and work as hard as I ever have to become the best Defensive Back in this league and to make everyone, including my family, teammates and city, proud of who I am.
“I can’t wait to be back on the field with the team and show the world how we’re rocking this year.”
With all the pressure mounting on Jacksonville’s defense to be great, nipping any nagging injury in the bud during the summer break was the right move. Ramsey, who played up to lofty expectations last year with a pair of interceptions (one brought back for a touchdown), 14 pass breakups, a forced fumble and 55 solo tackles. The club spent lavishly this offseason atop the cornerback market, pairing Ramsey with former Texans standout A.J. Bouye in order to build on their cheap nfl jerseys strengths.
Most of the time, core muscle injuries simply need rest and time. With a month-and-a-half break coming up, Ramsey has just that.