Oh, what the hell. Go ahead and admit it. Stop hemming and hawing and say out loud, “Yes there is a quarterback controversy! We want Bortles!”
I don’t care how many times Coach Gus Bradley says it -- “There is no controversy. Chad Henne is our starter.” – we know there is. Henne may well be the starter. He may start all season for the Jaguars. It’s Bradley’s call, not ours. But just because Bradley says it there’s no controversy doesn’t make it so. He may actually believe it or he might be following that old coaches’ habit of . . . well, let’s just say coaches have been known to be less than candid with the media and fans. (That’s as nice as I can be without saying coaches lie all the time.)
Certainly all of the makings for a perfect controversy are there. There’s the mediocre veteran quarterback in Henne who in the exhibition opener played like a mediocre veteran quarterback. Then there’s the hotshot rookie quarterback in Blake Bortles – he was the No. 3 overall draft pick – who looked like a hotshot rookie quarterback in the exhibition opener.
I’m guessing Henne isn’t as bad as he looked against Tampa Bay. And I doubt Bortles will consistently play as well as he did against the Bucs – at least not for a while. And, yes, it was an exhibition, which means little, if any, game planning and going against some guys who won’t be cashing NFL paychecks this fall. But it was the first time Bortles had ever played against pros who truly wanted to a knock his head off and that has to mean something.
I appreciate and understand Bradley’s game plan in wanting to sit Bortles all season and let him learn. That’s the ideal situation and works if Henne plays reasonably well or if Bortles simply isn’t prepared to go up against real NFL defenses. But if there’s any truth in the small sample we saw last Friday night then Bortles gives the Jaguars the best chance to win, and isn’t what that’s ultimately all about?
I do realize that Bradley might be willing to sacrifice now for the future, but how much?
I also know I – and so do many of you – I want to see Bortles now.
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