The Jacksonville Jaguars will close out the preseason this evening at 6 p.m. ET against the Atlanta Falcons, and while we still won’t be able to see intriguing rookie wide receiver Allen Robinson, we will get to see an awful lot of intriguing rookie quarterback Blake Bortles. In fact, the Florida Times Union’s Ryan O’Halloran reports that Bortles will start today’s preseason finale against the Falcons, which doesn’t come as a surprise. Starters, especially at the quarterback position, rarely play, and veteran Chad Henne is going to be their starter despite Bortles’s scintillating preseason play and far superior physical tools (he’s most likely the better QB already).
Bortles has done a great job of soaking up the Jaguars offense after being a raw passer in college, and there’s no doubting his physical talent. This is a guy who is incredibly calm in the pocket, and he possesses a live arm with plenty of rushing ability. While Bortles should continue to develop his decision-making and anticipation, he looked like a pro knifing through the Tampa Bay Buccaneers porous pass defense in the preseason opener; their Cover 2 scheme was no match for him.
It’s really an obvious decision for the Jaguars to start Bortles today, but it’s nice to hear confirmation of it anyway. They need to get him as much action as possible in games that don’t count, although I’m sure many would argue that it would behoove them to give him some more action in the games that do count.