Jaguars open up QB competition after 12-8 loss to Bucs
Jaguars open up QB competition after 12-8 loss to Bucs
Coach Doug Marrone opened up the team’s quarterback job after Bortles’ latest inconsistent performance Thursday night, giving Chad Henne a chance to start.
“I’m looking for someone who is going to lead this offense,” Marrone said. “I’m not happy with the performance. Everyone saw it out there. Whatever you want to call it, I’m still trying to evaluate who the best person is at that position.”
Bortles completed 8 of 13 passes for 65 yards in a 12-8 preseason loss to Tampa Bay and headed to the sideline after four possessions that ended with punts. He missed Allen Robinson on two plays, including a woefully underthrown ball down the seam.
“Just didn’t make a whole lot of plays,” Bortles said. “Missed a couple of throws down the field, and we were very stagnant as an offense.”
Henne got some work with the first-team offense, fueling speculation that Bortles had lost his grasp on the job. Even though the move had been planned beforehand, it gave the appearance that Marrone and football czar Tom Coughlin had wavered in their commitment to Bortles. Marrone confirmed it after the game.
“We’re going to figure this thing out,” Marrone said. “It’s just simple. I’m not going to try to make this thing complicated. I’m looking for the best person to lead our offense.”
Marrone and Coughlin had publicly supported Bortles all year, even picking up the fifth-year option in his rookie contract. But Marrone pulled the third overall pick in the 2014 NFL draft last week following two interceptions. Marrone said Bortles’ “arm looked tired.” Bortles denied having any issues.
Bortles does not have a touchdown or a turnover in two preseason games.
“It’s hard to not hear people booing,” Bortles said. “But if they’re cheering or booing, it’s kind of irrelevant, at least for me it is. I think you’ve got to treat adversity and prosperity the same way. They’re not booing for no reason. They’re booing because you didn’t do your job.”
Henne’s first pass should have resulted in a touchdown, but Keelan Cole dropped it at the goal line. Henne finished 6-of-10 passing for 44 yards.
The Jaguars also could have a kicking competition.
Jason Myers missed a field goal and an extra point. He has missed three of four field-goal attempts in two exhibitions. The Jaguars do not have another kicker in camp, but that could change Friday.
“I think that’s something that we’ll talk about,” Marrone said.
Jameis Winston continued his solid preseason, completing 21 of 29 passes for 196 yards for Tampa Bay.
Winston had two passes dropped, including what would have been a 43-yard touchdown strike to Mike Evans in the first quarter.
The Buccaneers scored on their first three possessions, getting a short touchdown run from Doug Martin and two field goals from Nick Folk. Tampa Bay dominated Jacksonville in two quarters that featured mostly starters, outgaining the Jags 240-59 and looking like the much better team.
“We’ve got to finish,” Winston said. “We’ve got to have touchdowns in the red zone.”
Coach Dirk Koetter praised Winston’s performance aside from an ill-advised throw that ended up being a sack.
“Other than that one play, he was extremely sharp,” Koetter said. “But we have extremely high standards for him as he does for himself. He took us right down the field, had a lot of run checks, converted on third downs. He did the things that quarterbacks like him are supposed to do.”
Rory McIlroy ready to roll back the years in search of more Major glory at the Open
- Former world No.1 without a Major victory in four years.
- McIlroy looking to play carefree as he goes in search of second Claret Jug.
Rory McIlroy knows what he needs to do to win the Open this weekend: Play as if it does not matter and go for broke.
The world No. 8 has won four Majors but, by his high standards, is in a bit of a slump, having not got his hands on one of the four big titles since 2014. That win came at the US PGA Championship at Valhalla, which came barely a month after his only Open victory at Royal Liverpool.
He tees it up at Carnoustie today with five top-fives this season, but only one win. However, with ever expectant fans and a game that when on song is better than anyone else’s there is expectation he can claim Major No.5 this weekend.
The Northern Irishman’s first Open came at Carnoustie 11 years ago and he is aiming to play the famous links in the same carefree attitude he did as a teenager, and hopes that lands him another Claret Jug.
“I do need to get back to that attitude where I play carefree and I’m just happy to be here,” the 29-year-old said.
“(2007) was my first Open — I was just trying to soak everything in and I was just so grateful to be here. I think that’s a big part of it — if you’re happy in what you’re doing, you’ll be successful.
“As you get a little older, you get a little more cautious in life — it’s only natural. For me, it’s more about playing with the freedom and I don’t want to say being naive but there is something nice about being young and being oblivious to some stuff.
“When we last played The Open here, I was bouncing down the fairways and didn’t care if I shot 82 or 62 because I was just happy to be here. The more I can get into that mindset, the better I’ll play.”
For McIlroy that may well involve using the driver more than some of his rivals. The heatwave the UK has been experiencing has seen the fairways run firm and fast with many of his rivals such as Tiger Woods saying they will mostly hit irons off the tee. But for McIlroy the game plan will change from day to day.
“There’s not going to be one player in this field with a game plan on Wednesday night who will to stick to that the whole way around for 72 holes,’’ McIlroy said. “It’s just not going to happen with wind conditions, with pins. You start to feel a little bit more comfortable with a few shots, and you might start to take some on.
“It’s going to be really interesting, I think, because the golf course is playing so firm and fast, there’s some guys that will see it completely different to the way I see it and vice versa. It’s going to be really interesting to see how it all plays out.’’