Sunday, October 23, 2016

Not so Sunny in Central Florida.

Was intently watching today's matinee featuring the Jacksonville Jaguars taking on the Oakland Raiders, and something painfully obvious struck me, something those pertinent in the Jaguars dealings would've insinuated for quite some time and that's Quarterback Blake Bortles has not met the natural progression expected from a former third overall pick in 2014. To consider the Jacksonville Jaguars a 'model' franchise wouldn't be a fair assertion for a franchise that has accumulated their last winning season in 2007, however in deference to the current Jaguar administration, draft experts were giddish towards the prospects of what the UCF alum could provide.I vividly recall tuning into combine reports on the NFL network and hearing the likes of Mike Mayock admiring the mobility for which Blake plays(played) with and how when combining the mobility with his rocket of an arm, comparable to Ben Roethlisberger were being echoed. Granted all of this chatter was vocalized in April of 2014, and some parts of the experts analysis is now clouded, one glaring concern I had then is very applicable to this day and that's how were the scouts supposed to provide accurate scouting reports when Bortles was controlling a less then reputable Central Florida program that doesn't play the same competitive schedule as some of the FBS big wigs do, so it's difficult to form an accurate representation of what he could become when he's not matching wits every Saturday with his fellow future NFL comrades. The same issue I took with Bortles then was carried forward to the 2016 draft when the Philadelphia Eagles elected to take a waiver on North Dakota State quarterback Carson Wentz. The question I choose to pose is how do we as fans of the National Football League assess a qiarterback when he plays the majority of his competition against most who are destined for the Canadian Football League. The answer is we can't and while full credit goes out to the Eagles staff for identifying Wentz's attributes which are noticeably better than that of first overall pick Jared Goff but let's not kid ourselves, Philadelphia played nothing more then a lucky hunch and it paid off, and for the select few that will point to analytics justifying the selection, shame on you. #gotlucky.

Back to the premise of the article, the concerns and possible avenues the Jaguars can explore pertaining to floundering quarterback Blake Bortles are limited.  We live in a society flooded with egotistical ownership and I don't doubt for a second that it'll be difficult convincing the upper hierarchy to part ways with Blake but for an organization on the precipus of doing great things, I chalk it up as  a necessary evil, The running game is also suspect, I felt it was part of due course that I mention that as not all of Jacksonville's struggles are on his shoulders however with the recieving core compiled, their's no excuse for why he can't channel his inner Andrew Luck and orchestrate the offensive endeavours with minimal help from the back field. Allen squared,  better known as Hurns and Robinson and more then capable of handling the load and it's up to the lanky # 5 to confidently and accurately distribute the ball.  This is his third year in the league for Bortles and unarguably the masses haven't privy to any substantial growth. Gus Bradley who will find himself on the proverbial hot seat particularly if Jacksonville isn't post-season will unfairly pay the price for a harsh reality I touched on earlier and that is the unwillingness to admit mistakes in professional sports. The model or better put succesful organizations can cut ties at the appropriate time, look no further then the Green Bay Packers who endured an unceremonious departure with the legendary Brett Favre in favor of the now future Aaron Rodgers and I'd say without any qualms that any resentment the Packer faithful had towards Mike McCarthy quickly dissipated.  Fans respect loyalty and latch on to "names" within the confines of the particular sport but what fans appreciate even more is the art of winning. As someone, as evidenced from prognosticating the Jaguars at the top of the AFC South heading into the campaign, I had higher expectations and if this season is ultimately a lost cause,, I'd like to advocate for the following entering 2017. Alert the press now but exactly with the way the 2015 season played out for the Atlanta Falcons, I foresee the Dan Quinn led gridiron falling victim to similar fate. A collapse of epic proportions ensued today against the San Diego Chargers and the same Achilles heel reared it's ugly head today. The defence is a mashed together unit that in the first four to five weeks stood on their heads but has recently come back to reality and an offensive line that would make the '01 Cincinatti Bengals O-line look Hall of Fame Worthy. Atlanta has more deficiencies then most want to admit which is why if Dan Quinn can correctly identify the transgressions, he can capitalize on Ryan's inflated value by sending him to a quarterback hungry team in Jacksonville. If that option falls through, the second avenue I'd like to see the Jaguars venture down through is Mike Glennon. Over the course of history, some quarterbacks seemingly can never get out of unswimmable waters and that directly applies to the North Carolina State Wolfpack alum who I'll go on record by stating is a NFL starting quarterback employed by a team who has enlisted zero confidence. Mike can't be any worse then the current general under center, so why not Jacksonville....start up a negotiation with your Florida neighbours and conduct a mutually beneficial deal.

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