The Jacksonville Jaguars ended the 2013 season with a paltry 4-12 record, missed the playoffs for the sixth straight season, and drafted quarterback Blake Bortles with the third overall pick in the 2014 NFL draft. Even with the aforementioned details, the Jaguars are not rushing Bortles into the starting position just yet.
According to Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley, Bortles will play tonight’s preseason opener with the second team as veteran quarterback Chad Henne will get the start (Courtesy of Jaguars):
We’re not going to (work Bortles) with the starters this game. We’re looking at (Bortles playing) the second quarter. We’ll see how it goes in the third quarter, but we’d like to get him some extended reps.
Although Bortles will not start the first preseason game, it does not mean that he could not ultimately win the starting job by week 1. Ultimately, however, it seems that Bradley and the Jaguars want to develop Bortles before thrusting him out onto an NFL field just yet.
Henne is a serviceable quarterback, but he will never be able to bring the Jaguars to where they want to ultimately go. Bortles, however, may have the tools to bring the Jaguars to the playoffs in the coming seasons if he has the right team and personnel around him.
Although fans will want to see Bortles in action from the start, it may take a while before he gets the starting nod over Henne during the regular season. Tonight will give fans the first glimpse of Bortles in NFL action.