Jacksonville Sports Day

JAGUARS: Open Competition at QB Follows Second Preseason Game

File Photo by Nancy Beecher

The Jacksonville Jaguars lost to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 12-8, at EverBank Field . The lack of offense triggered an open competition at quarterback leading into the season’s third preseason game against Carolina.

Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone said in his post game press conference that  quarterback spot was now open. Blake Bortles is now in a battle with veteran backup Chad Henne for the starting spot.

“It’s right up there for grabs and either person can take it,” Marrone said. “It’s very simple: Who is the best person to put in that position?”

Bortles played into the second quarter Thursday night and finished 8 of 13 passing  for 65 yards.

“I’ll approach it the same way,” Bortles said after the game. “I’ll approach tomorrow as I treated yesterday and as I treated today. I don’t think anything changes from my mindset or anything there. I think it’s my job to go out there and earn the respect and trust of those guys as well as the coaching staff, and that’s what I’m kind of on a mission to do.”

Henne came into the game late in the first half to work with the first-team offense Thursday night. He threw two first-half passes, which were dropped in the end zone by Keelan Cole and Allen Robinson as the Jaguars trailed 12-0 at halftime.

“I’m going to watch during the week and not put myself into a situation where you kind of get backed up, and at the end of the day, you have to change it,” the Jaguars’ coach said. “That’s the worst thing you can do, so you just go out there and say, ‘Hey, this is what we’re going to do during the week, and we’re going to see how this thing goes.'”

Marrone says he doesn’t feel that the uncertainty at the quarterback position will have an effect on the rest of the offensive.

“I don’t worry because I think we’ve got other things going on around the team, too, like the same situation,” he said. “I really don’t think that has to be explained. I think everyone understands the situation.”

A decision has to be made sooner rather than later.

“You have to be able to make a decision and you don’t want to get yourself to a point where you make too quick of a decision,” he said. “At the end of the day, you just have to evaluate it and make a decision on what’s best for the team moving forward. I think it’s very simple. I’m looking to see who can lead from that position.”

JAGUARS NOTEBOOK: Second-year safety Jarrod Wilson intercepted Buccaneers QB Ryan Fitzpatrick on the 1-yard line early in the third quarter. Wilson, who was originally signed as an undrafted free agent, appeared in all 16 games during his rookie season in 2016….in the first quarter, defensive end Calais Campbell blocked Bucs kicker Nick Folk’s extra point try on Tampa Bay’s opening offensive drive…..On 3rd-and-7 in the second quarter, second-year defensive tackle Sheldon Day brought down Buccaneers QB Jameis Winston for a four-yard loss to force fourth down. Day, an alumnus of Notre Dame, appeared in all 16 games during his rookie season in 2016…The left tackle job became settled when veteran Branden Albert abruptly announced his retirement three days into camp, handing the job to rookie Cam Robinson. Patrick Omameh  appears to have firmly established himself as the starter at left guard.

JAGUARS SIGN HARRIS: The Jaguars have signed sixth-year running back DuJuan Harris. The team waived injured cornerback Charles Gaines. Harris, 5-7, 206, began his professional career with the Jaguars in 2011, when he played in five games and tallied nine rushes for 42 yards during his rookie season. His six-year career includes two years in Green Bay, one stop in Seattle and, most recently, two seasons with San Francisco. The Brooksville, Fla. native rushed for a career-high 38 times for 138 yards last season with the 49ers, and added eight receptions for 115 yards and one TD.


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