After winning the AFC South and advancing to the AFC Championship Game last season, the outside view of the Jaguars is quite different this July than it was a year ago.
Quarterback Blake Bortles admitted as much during an appearance on NFL Network when he said the Jaguars aren’t going to surprise anyone this season and will “definitely get” the best from their opponents every week as a result.
The view of Bortles hasn’t completely changed, however. Some still question whether the quarterback is good enough to take the Jaguars where they want to go. Bortles said such critiques aren’t something he spends a lot of time thinking about after spending four years playing for George O’Leary at UCF because he knows he can’t stop anyone from airing those thoughts.
“There’s times when I deserve it,” Bortles said. “And I don’t have a problem admitting that I didn’t play good. And I don’t have a problem with people critiquing me when I don’t play good. It’s just never really bothered me. I love going to work every day. I love playing football, and the locker room, so why let something affect me that I have no control over?”
Outside doubts about Bortles didn’t stop Jacksonville from signing him to a contract extension and there’s been a lot more positivity about the quarterback from the organization than there was last year. Should Bortles back that up on the field this fall, he may be able to avoid questions about his critics at this time next year.