The Jaguars will enter their 20th season in the NFL. They were blessed early in franchise history with Tom Coughlin as the head coach. The team made it to the playoffs in their second year in the league with three more years of progression from 1997 to 1999. They have struggled to find consistent quarterback play over the last three seasons, which led to them having one of the lowest scoring teams in the league. Their defense has also finished in the bottom two in the league in points allowed in back-to-back seasons. Gus Bradley, whowent 4-12 in his rookie year, returns for his second season as head coach. Jedd Fisch also returns as the offensive coordinator. Jacksonville showed no improvement in offense with him making the calls, but realistically he didn’t have much talent to work with. They finished 31st in the league in rushing yards per game (78.8) while only averaging 3.3 yards per carry. The Jaguars were 22nd in the league in passing yards (3,441) with only 16 TD’s. Their offensive line allowed the second most sacks (50) in the league, which led to 21 Int’s. Bob Babich will also return for second season as the defensive coordinator. The Jaguars were 25th in the league in passing yards allowed per game (247.6) with a league low 31 sacks and 11 Int’s. They were 29th in the league in rushing yards allowed (2,108), but they allowed only 4.2 yards per carry, above the league average. The lack of success was because of a high volume of attempts (31.7) due to the game score. Additionally, Jacksonville allowed the fourth most rushing TD’s (20). Even though the Jaguars didn’t play well defensively, they did a very good job game planning in many weeks where they took away the opposing teams #1 option on offense. This team needs to upgrade in all areas on offense; plus they have below average talent almost everywhere on the defensive side of the ball.
Blake Bortles (QB) – I really like what I saw on tape of Bortles. University of Central Florida ran the new up and coming pro offense (read option). Bortles has very good size (6’5″ and 232 lbs.), and although it would appear that he doesn’t have a lot of quickness and speed based on his NFL combine (4.93 40 yards dash and 4.21 20 yard shuttle), he did make some plays with his legs in the running game. UCF used him primarily out of the shotgun. He showed the ability to read defenses and make quick throws to all parts of the field. Blake had very good body language with shoulder and head fakes to help push the deep safety to one side of the field. He started 27 games in his last two seasons at college where he went 22-5. Bortles threw for 7,598 yards with 56 TD’s and 19 Int’s. He also ran for 561 yards on 195 carries and 15 TD’s. His arm is just above average, and he doesn’t spin the ball well. His success was against lesser opponents, but he had reasonable numbers against two top Division 1 opponents (Ohio St. – 25/41 with 249 yards, 2 TD’s and 3 Int’s and South Carolina – 25/36 with 358 yards and 2 TD’s and 2 Int’s). Blake will need to work on his mechanics to develop more accuracy in the NFL. I expect Bortles to win the starting job over the summer. Jacksonville knows the limitations of Chad Henne, and they also know that realistically they aren’t playoff contenders. So it only makes sense for Bortles to develop his skill set behind center with the upside talent at WR. His success will be limited to the blocking ability of his offensive line and the development of his wide receiver core. Jacksonville has only average 15.5 points per game over the last three seasons. Blake has low upside based on previous history by Jacksonville quarterbacks. It would be tough to expect him to have any fantasy value in 2014.
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