As the week progressed for the Jaguars, their routine started to take over and the focus went from what went wrong in New England to what can happen in Indianapolis. Head Coach Gus Bradley saw the progression from one emotion to the next.
“I would say that Monday it was tough when we went through everything and Tuesday you started to see them go down there and they were good, ” Bradley said after Wednesday’s practice. “Then Wednesday they showed up and it’s back to work. They were great. I was very, very pleased with today.”
Sometimes when things don’t go right, a team wants to fix it right away. In baseball, it could be the next night. In basketball and hockey it comes up pretty quick. But usually in the NFL, you have to wait a week. On one hand that’s good, but Bradley says on the other hand, the quicker they now move on the better.
“I think our team feels like they wish we could play tomorrow,” he explained. But we need these practices and they’re excited about the opportunity.”
For the second week in a row, Blake Bortles will take the field with a QB counterpart who’s an established star. Last week he was quick to point out that he wasn’t playing Tom Brady. This week, Andrew Luck, a little banged up (shoulder), is another player who can make the opposition look silly. The comparisons of young quarterbacks are inevitable and when you put Bortles in a division game, he’ll be head to head with Luck despite just now entering his second full year as a starter.
“I think similar feeling but I think way more prepared going into games now than I was 16 games ago,” Blake answered when asked if he felt different from when he went in last year against the Colts. “I feel a lot more prepared. I think just a better weekly routine of how to prepare; a better process has been put together. It’s still every week and every opportunity you get to go play is exciting, no matter if it’s your first or last. It’s an awesome feeling to be able to play football on Sundays.”
Bortles admitted it was a “Bad read and a ba throw to kind of compound it,” last week when he threw the interception to Devin McCourty at the end of the half. But he said he moved passed it right away.
Keeping with his development and going through his progressions is what Offensive Coordinator Greg Olson is looking for. It’s not getting the tight end the ball or avoiding mistakes. It’s just getting better every day, every play.
Olson outlined what he expects from his quarterback. “Blake’s concern is understanding where he’s at in his progression and one, two and three, and understanding match-ups when he does have the match-ups that we’re looking for with Marcedes and getting it to him.”
As far as having a tough time running the ball because defenses are filling up the line of scrimmage and daring Bortles to beat them, Olson said that was expected.
“We knew that going into the season that would be the case. Anytime you have a young quarterback, I think you’re going to have loaded boxes until you can prove that you can beat them consistently in the passing game.”