Jacksonville Jaguars Executive Vice President Tom Coughlin was in vintage form on Friday when he met the media on Friday. Coughlin told those in attendance that if the team is going to win, it must show a tougher side. It is something Coughlin has preached over the years, both as the first head coach in Jaguars’ history and later as the leader of the New York Giants where he won Super Bowls in 2007 and 2011.
The one thing Tom Coughlin would not commit to was his feelings on quarterback Blake Bortles. The third pick in the 2014 NFL Draft regressed in his performance in 2016, begging the question of his future with this franchise. When introduced to the media last month with new head coach Doug Marrone, Coughlin said Bortles was the quarterback of this franchise. Now, it appears he may have wavered a bit in his feelings toward the signal caller.
Asked whether he is committed to Blake Bortles as the team’s starting quarterback, Tom Coughlin opted not to say “yes” or “no.” The end result was a convoluted way of saying, “Maybe.” The comments can be seen on profootballtalk.com.
“There’s plenty of work for everybody to do, Blake included,” Coughlin told reporters. “To raise the game to a higher level, it takes all components as well. That’s why I mentioned the protection first of all. Being at the right place at the right time, the timing, taking care of the football, which is paramount to that position. There can be no way the ball is turned over to that extent. I think he’d be the first one to say that he has a lot of work to do, but we all have a lot of work to do; I’m going to put it that way.”
Mike Dempsey, the host of Jaguars Today on 1010XL AM and 92.5 FM here Jacksonville told Mike Florio the expectations for this past season came from the fact Bortles threw 35 for touchdown passes and Allen Robinson had 1,400 yards in receptions and 14 touchdowns en route to the Pro Bowl. These numbers were a far distance in 2016.
The Jaguars’ defense took a step forward in Gus Bradley’s last season as head coach, but the offense did not follow the same path. The offense could not get on track, especially the running game where both TJ Yeldon and free agent acquisition Chris Ivory were ineffective.
Dempsey said Bortles needs fine tuning on his mechanics to get back to his numbers from 2015. Bortles spent the offseason prior to 2015 with quarterback guru Tom House. Dempsey eluded to the idea that Bortles may be someone who will need his mechanics monitored each offseason.
Bortles is in the final year of his rookie deal. The team has been mum on whether they will extend his contract after this coming season.