Jaguars mailbag top question: Expectations for Blake Bortles

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- It's time for the Jacksonville Jaguars mailbag question of the week. There's no prize, other than the knowledge that your question piqued my interest the most. That should be enough, anyway.

@ESPNdirocco: It'll be interesting to see what kind of expectations people have for Blake Bortles in 2015. I suspect that a lot of them will be unreasonable as people get caught up in the enthusiasm and excitement of the new season. That's understandable, though, especially since Jaguars fans are hungry for any taste of success.

As for me, I want to see improvement in two main areas: fewer interceptions and a higher completion percentage. Both are related to better mechanics and footwork, which Bortles supposedly worked on a lot in the offseason with quarterback coaches Tom House and Jordan Palmer, and improved decision making.

Bortles threw 17 interceptions, including four that were returned for touchdowns, as a rookie. I'd like to see that number below 12. He completed 58.9 percent of his passes, which isn't bad, but that number should be around 63, 64 percent or better.

One thing to keep in mind: This will be a play-action based offense so Bortles' touchdowns aren't likely to be exceptionally high. The franchise record for touchdown passes in a season is 23 (David Garrard in 2010) and Mark Brunell is the only other player to throw for 20 (twice, 1998 and 2000). So a reasonable expectation for Bortles would be in the 18-20 range.

All that being said, there really is only one number that matters for Bortles in 2015: victories. The Jaguars need to challenge a .500 record, which would mean that Bortles will have played better than he did as a rookie. That's the number that will most change the perception about him nationally.