As our guest on Jaguars All-Access Monday Night, Quarterback Blake Bortles was his usual complimentary self when talking about his success, giving credit to his teammates. That continued in a rare Tuesday interview at the stadium.
When talking about the running game, Bortles could not have been more positive about the offensive line or running back TJ Yeldon.
“He picked the offense up quick, he’s been unbelievable,” Bortles said about his rookie teammate.
It could be that the Jaguars will use Yeldon more in short yardage situations going away from the set idea of either Toby Gerhart or Denard Robinson. The one thing they’ve worked on already this week is the running game, something they’ll need to keep the ball away form Phillip Rivers this week. The focus has been on finishing “on the edge” according to Bortles, noting the offensive line coach Doug Marrone used that term to show where the success can come from.
When it comes to the wide receivers, Bortles feels like he can count on all of them, but Allen Robinson has a unique ability to go up and get the ball. At 6’3″, Robinson also has great leaping ability, so even in coverage; he’s able to come away with the ball.
“It’s about confidence,” Blake said about the second year receiver. “You can see it grow. “By the day, by the throw and by the catch. He has an unbelievable head on his shoulders, wanting to get better. He’s a great teammate.”
Bortles had the same positive things to say about Allen Hurns, admitting that he was puzzled the first time he saw him at OTA’s in 2014.
“I remember thinking to myself, how did this guy not get drafted,” Bortles recalled. “He has high character, tough as nails. He’s great.”
Both Robinson and Hurns could be especially effective in the red zone, something the Jaguars have struggled with this year. Blake says it’s a pretty simple fix: play better.
“It’s execution, It’s the details. We’ve shown potential, we’ve had some success there. All the pieces are in place. It’s about execution.”
And while he’s aware of his numbers, admitting they all point to something, completion percentage insn’t something he’s fixated on, especially if the team is having success.
“If they’re not high, that’s OK if we’re scoring points. It’s about getting things done.”
At 4-6, the Jaguars have won back to back games for the first time in nearly two years and are one game back of the Texans and Colts in the AFC South. At Thanksgiving, teams are either in it or out of it, and the Jaguars are in it at this point, but Bortles says they’re not focused on it.
“Everybody sees the big picture. We’re not worried about what’s going on outside this building. We have things we can be better at.”