Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Four Downs

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Four Downs

Article excerpt

Byline: Ryan O'Halloran



One of Gus Bradley's best moves as the Jaguars' coach was handing the keys to quarterback Blake Bortles at halftime of the 2014 Week 3 loss to Indianapolis. Bortles made his first start seven days later at San Diego. He and the Jaguars return to Qualcomm Stadium Sunday to face the Chargers.

Asked this week what he remembers of his first start, Bortles said: "The first throw of the game. I threw it about 15 feet over A-Rob's head."

Bortles is right. Throwing off his back foot, he airmailed a pass to Allen Robinson, who was running a skinny post. Bortles was 29-of-37 passing for 253 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions in a 33-14 opening week loss to the Packers.

"Seems like forever ago," Bortles said. "It's cool to see how much we've grown."

Much has changed in two years. Check out Bortles' offensive line that day: Left tackle Luke Joeckel (now the left guard), left guard Zane Beadles (San Francisco), center Luke Bowanko (injured), right guard Brandon Linder (now the center) and right tackle Sam Young (free agent).



Jaguars offensive coordinator Greg Olson addressed his fourth-and-1 play call Thursday. Bortles had a run-pass option and Green Bay's all-out blitz look resulted in a short throw to Allen Hurns that lost a yard.

"I told the players I take full responsibility for that as the play-caller and coordinator," Olson said. "We wanted to have some options. We knew there was a possibility of them bringing a blitz. They didn't bring the all-out blitz we were anticipating."

Bradley said earlier this week the Packers switched the pressure look the Jaguars anticipated seeing.

Added Olson: "Anytime you lose a game, especially on a fourth-and-1 at the end like that, you lay awake at night and think about the different calls we had in that situation. It's my job to put the players in the best position possible to be successful and I did them wrong on that one."



Jaguars weak-side linebacker Telvin Smith made multiple statements with his play against Green Bay that he won't be pushed off the field by rookie Myles Jack. …

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