As a proud member of the UCF community, of course I'm excited to see Blake Bortles playing his professional football down at Everbank Field. In many ways, he brings with him the same set of tools that his predecessor brought, which is probably scary for some Jaguars fans. Both Gabbert and Bortles have the size and arm strength to stand in the pocket. Both can run a little bit when things break down. Both experienced late success in their respective college careers.
But I think Blake has some intangibles that Blaine didn't have. Already, he's done a lot of media. He seems interested in making Jacksonville his home, and he seems genuinely excited to be here. I never got that sense from Blaine, who was aloof with the media and didn't spend much time here in JAX when the season was finished.
Blake has a quiet confidence about him that I think will only grow as he gets an opportunity to learn from the coaching staff and Chad Henne, who has proven himself to be a great asset to the team. With the starting job clearly his and an improved roster around him, it wouldn't surprise me at all to see Chad come out of the gates with some good numbers.
How long until Blake gets his shot? I think our staff is patient, and they have a plan. If Chad is healthy and the team is competitive, he will play. Blake will need to take as many mental reps as he can and keep himself prepared to play in the event of an injury.
But if this all plays out the way the Jaguars would like to see it go, then I think he'll get a year of seasoning under his belt and head into next year ready to compete.
Either way, I think it was a great pick for the future of the franchise. I'm excited to see where we go from here, especially with weapons like Robinson, Lee, and Johnson in camp as well...