Less Bortles Is More Bortles

Blake Bortles had ups and downs as a rookie last season. He will get a virtual "do-over" in Year 2 as the team plans on taking more off his plate.

As a rookie in 2014, Jacksonville Jaguars then rookie quarterback Blake Bortles was asked to do entirely too much.

During the start of Ben Roethlisberger’s brilliant career, he was little more than a game manager who showed up big when the game was on the line. Big Ben is the player that Blake Bortles is most often compared to.

Instead of taking pressure off Bortles last season, he was basically asked to be an Aaron Rodgers type of playmaker without even mediocre weapons around him.

Last year is in the past, and it’s now time to look at the present and there is time for a “do-over” for Blake Bortles rookie season.

Sure, you’re only a rookie once, but it’s not too late to take a lot of Bortles plate by executing with the running game.

Toby Gerhart didn’t work out last year and the team turned to other options such as Denard Robinson, who played surprisingly well behind a sketchy offensive line. This year the team added Bernard Pierce in free agency and more important, T.J. Yeldon in the draft. Yeldon is expected to be the No. 1 option in the backfield and no matter who is carrying the ball, they need to keep the offense on schedule.

When the Jaguars offense was "on schedule" last season, it was at its best and so was Blake Bortles. Not being ready to throw the ball 30+ times each game is not a knock on Bortles. Most young quarterbacks aren't ready for that. The Jaguars don't need to hide their quarterback, as much as protect him.

Even with Julius Thomas at tight end, the Jaguars still have a set of weapons that's in the bottom-third of the NFL. With that, why would they depend entirely on their young quarterback who's trying to figure out the game to win them solely on his arm?

The Jaguars are confident that Blake Bortles is going to be a great player. He has the mental makeup, arm strength and leadership characteristics anyone would want at the position. Taking a little off his plate isn't admitting failure, it's playing it smart.

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