JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Jacksonville Jaguars fans are undoubtedly optimistic about rookie quarterback Blake Bortles after his performance in Friday night’s preseason opener against Tampa Bay, but they’re going to have to wait a little longer to see him with the first-team offense.
Coach Gus Bradley said Saturday afternoon that it’s not going to happen this week in practice or in the Jaguars’ preseason game at Chicago on Thursday.
"I told you yesterday we have the philosophy of getting our ones in there -- like [Allen] Hurns, Marqise Lee, Allen Robinson, [Brandon] Linder, Chris Smith -- and he’s going to get reps with the ones," Bradley said. "It’s just I wouldn’t count on it this week."
Bortles completed 7 of 11 passes for 117 yards while playing with the second-team offense in the Jaguars’ 16-10 victory over the Bucs. Three of his four incompletions were drops, including two by Mike Brown. Bradley was certainly pleased with the way Bortles played but made the point that it came against the Bucs’ second-team defense, which pretty much stuck to basics.
"I thought he played with really good poise, good command -- but it’s a little bit unrealistic," Bradley said. “I think there was one blitz from Tampa the whole day, one pressure. So it was all four-man rush and good protection.
"I think it’s kind of what we had hoped to see from him: the poise, the command of the offense, doing what we expected him to do. Showed some toughness. Took a hit. Made some really good throws. His timing, accuracy, decision-making, it was good."
Some other takeaways from Saturday:
Rookie receiver Marqise Lee was not a factor against the Bucs. In fact, he wasn’t even targeted in the passing game with the first-team offense, and it apparently had a lot to do with his effort. Bradley indicated that Lee wasn’t consistent with the way he ran routes. "One of the things we’re looking at is the consistency," Bradley said. "Run your routes like every time it’s coming to you. You can’t change speeds. You can’t decide when and when not to, but I’ve told you before that I’ve seen him switch a switch where he’s more focused. I’d like to visit with him about what happened yesterday. He did play good, but I just think that he could have done some things even more precise. It wasn’t exactly where we need it to be."
Bradley said running back Toby Gerhart (hip flexor) could return to practice this week. Gerhart ran on Saturday morning and the training staff wants to see how sore he is on Monday. If Gerhart responds well, he’ll run again Monday and could return to the practice field in time to get a few reps against Chicago on Thursday.
Receivers Cecil Shorts (hamstring) and Allen Robinson (hamstring) will miss the Chicago game. Bradley said Shorts is further along in his rehab than Robinson, but there is still no timetable for a return to practice for either. Cornerback Alan Ball (ankle) will be back on the field doing individual drills on Monday.
There were only two injuries in Friday night’s game. Guard Zane Beadles has a sprained thumb and will wear a cast on his hand for a couple weeks but will not miss any practice time. Receiver Lamaar Thomas suffered a concussion on Friday night.