Football Sports

Transcript: Jaguars QB Blake Bortles

JAGUARS QB BLAKE BORTLES REGULAR SEASON WEEK 3 VS. TENNESSEE TITANS

(On if it gives him a little motivation that the Titans beat the Jaguars twice last season) “I think so. It is definitely a totally new year. They have a whole new coaching staff. We are a new team. It is a new season, but we won the division last year and got beat twice by them. It is the first divisional game. It is the divisional home opener, so it will definitely be an exciting one.”

(On the opportunity to extend the division lead) “Yes. I think our goal and what we always talk about is winning the AFC South. This is obviously the first opportunity to start that – by beating Tennessee. We have our work cut out for us. It’s a good defense. Offensively, we are going to have be on point and have a good plan and execute it. We have a couple more days left of getting good preparation and getting ready to go on Sunday.”

(On how Leonard Fournette looked in practice) “He looked good. Just watching him, it looked like he was Leonard. He was flying around, making some good plays. He got some touches and looked good.”

(On if the energy in the huddle is different when Fournette is playing) “I wouldn’t say the energy in the huddle is different. When Leonard is in there, it is a little different just because he is talkative and he is going to be saying stuff and all of that, which everybody enjoys. He is messing with people. I think whether he is in there or not, it is the same. We expect to go out and have a successful play, series and game regardless of what we are doing and who is in there.”

(On Fournette’s sense of humor when he is practicing) “He is going to be in there and make the mood light and joke around and get everybody laughing for sure”

(On if this game means more to him because of criticism from Titans DL Jurrell Casey) “No, it is just another chance – like we just talked about – a chance to start off the season 1-0 in the division. I have nothing bad to say about him. He is a good player, and he is somebody that we have to game plan for. I think everybody that they play has to make sure they know where ‘99’ is and try and get as much help on him as they can.”

(On if he has any guess as to why his numbers are so high when Leonard Fournette isn’t playing) “I don’t know if you can say it’s because Leonard is not out there. We have had big games throwing the ball when Leonard has been in there. I think there is definitely more of an emphasis on throwing the ball when Leonard is not in there. We can’t do some of the stuff that our offense is built around doing when he isn’t healthy and in there. Kind of with some of our other backs, they maybe do things better, differently rather than some downhill things, some of the runs that Leonard is really good at. I think more so than anything, it is guys stepping up and wanting to kind of pick up the slack for not having Leonard out there. When we know he’s not going to be out there, that is a big part of our game plan. He is a big part of our team and our offense, so we know we have to step up our game and play better to make sure we’re picking all of that up.”

(On how much it excites him going into a game plan when he knows he is going to get more throwing opportunities) “As a quarterback, it is always fun. You want to throw the football. You want to air it out and throw it as much as you can. I look at it as I have a role and a different role each game. Some games my role is to get us in the best run plays and make sure the guys up front are on the right guys and get Leonard [Fournette] the ball and let him do his thing. Sometimes it’s to get the ball down the field. Sometimes, it is just get it out quick. I think each game plan kind of defines what my role as the quarterback of this team is. I have to play that way.”

(On if his throw to Niles Paul at the end of the game and his TD pass to Keelan Cole were designed play calls or if they were audibles) “No. The one to Niles was called. That was just kind of our little backed up second-and-long play. Corey [Grant] got tackled [in the backfield]. I shouldn’t have thrown that ball, a little bubble [screen] to him. The one to Keelan was … They brought a strong safety. We could have checked out of that, but a double go’s call, I was going to throw. I wasn’t going to check out of that. You have to throw a go [route].”

(On his confidence level in Josh Wells and Josh Wells playing quarterback in high school) “Yeah, he has put on a little weight since high school. It’s [his confidence] extremely high. We came in together five years ago, and he has gotten a lot of good quality game reps. I have all the confidence in the world that he will be able to do his job and play well.”

(On Josh Wells being able to throw a football 60-65 yards) “His shoulders have taken a little beating since the last time has thrown, but I’m sure he can still swing it.”

(On his elusiveness) “I always look at it as don’t ever let one guy take you down. Especially in that situation, I blew the protection and sent it the wrong way. If that guy was going to hit me it was my fault anyway, so I had to make him miss. I got out of that one. Whether it is in the pocket or out in the open field, make one guy miss, get a couple extra yards and get down is how I think about it.”

(On his interception) “In that exact look you don’t want to throw it. They kind of got me. The corner is running across in man coverage on the shallow and they dropped a safety down on the other side and passed it off and he sat there right under Austin. I have to do a better job of seeing the whole picture rather than just immediately getting it to Austin. Get to the next progression or take off and run.”

(On not having to win games by himself) “We are past the point of thinking we have to go out and do something special to win. If we get a good week of preparation like we should each and every week and practice is good and meetings are good and everyone is doing the things they should then we expect to win. We expect to play well and play like how we did Sunday. It might look different. It might be Leonard running for 100-something yards and throwing for 150. It might be throwing for 400. There are different ways to win as far as what our game plan is and how we are going to do it. I think we are definitely at the point to where we expect to go play the way we play and be successful.”

(On the veteran presence confirming their talent as a team) “With [Head Coach] Doug [Marrone] coming in last year and Coach Coughlin and then bringing some of those older guys in – that completely changed the mindset of the locker room. It established the expectations of who we are supposed to be from within.”

(On people knowing where he lives) “It is a football town that loves their Jaguars, especially when they are playing well. I don’t have a problem having a conversation with someone at the door.”

(On his relatability) “I hope so. I feel as though I relate to the city of Jacksonville and the people that live here. It is a similar feel and place to the town I grew up in. It is just bigger. I have lived in Florida my whole life, so I feel comfortable here. I have made a lot of friends here and created a lot of good relationships and I enjoy being here.”

(On having a diverse offense) “I think it speaks to the versatility that our offense has and the different ways we can win and the different plans we can come up with and how we can execute them. We played a good first half against New York and really struggled in the second half. We come out and really aired it out against New England. I think it shows and gives everyone the confidence that if one thing is not working then we can figure out another way to win the ball game.”

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