Monday, August 18, 2014
Bortles' first-team experience was quick
By Michael DiRocco
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Blake Bortles finally took his long-awaited reps with the Jaguars’ first-team offense on Monday.
It didn’t last long.
Bortles took three snaps during an 11-on-11 red zone period and coach Gus Bradley said he was pleased with the way the rookie quarterback handled himself. That was just as important as the result of the plays.
"I think the speed of the game, it was good for him to see that," Bradley said. "I was sitting back there and I thought it was really good for him to go against the ones like that to get a feel for the speed, to get a feel for the rush.
"Sitting back there and watching it, I just felt like that was good for him."
Bradley said Bortles got several reps with the first-team receivers during 7-on-7 and he anticipates Bortles getting the same amount of work with the first-team offense on Tuesday. Bortles, who was not available to the media on Monday but is scheduled to have an interview session on Tuesday morning, is supposed to play about a quarter with the first-team offense during Friday’s preseason game at Detroit.
Quarterback Chad Henne said he had no problem with Bortles taking first-team reps in practice or against the Lions because it at least gives Bortles an idea of what to expect for when he eventually gets on the field.
"He definitely needs that opportunity," Henne said before Monday’s practice. "You never know what’s going to happen in the season, whether I go down or I’m not playing well and he needs to step in. It’s a good test. It’s a good defensive front and getting some work with the ones is definitely beneficial.
"Gus talked to me about it and he wanted to make sure I was fine with it and I said, ‘Absolutely.’ Blake needs to see what it’s like with the ones and feel that tempo and just get some good time with the offensive line and where he’s going to set up and where he’s going to throw the football."