New Jacksonville Jaguars executive VP for football operations Tom Coughlin wasted little time Thursday endorsing embattled quarterback Blake Bortles.
Coughlin, the first coach of the Jaguars in 1995, has returned to the franchise at the request of team owner Shahid Khan and general manager David Caldwell. He’ll team with new head coach Doug Marrone in an effort to rebuild the franchise.
Bortles, perhaps viewed by many as a relic of a failed rebuild, seemed in purgatory at best as the new regime took shape. As NFL Network’s Albert Breer captured, this is anything but the case:
In other words, Bortles has the all-good sign from Coughlin, who will have final say over the 53-man roster. The press conference confirmed as much, per Pro Football Talk’s Josh Alper:
Khan and Coughlin were later asked if that meant that Coughlin would have final say over the 53-man roster. Coughlin said that he will work with coach Doug Marrone and General Manager Dave Caldwell as a team, but Khan made it clear that Coughlin will have the final say in the event that there is a dispute that needs to be resolved.
Bortles has undergone a trying three years at the NFL level, completing 58.8 percent of his passes and throwing 69 touchdowns against 51 interceptions. To be fair, he’s suffered 140 sacks over those three seasons.
Such a miserable environment has shattered Bortles’ confidence to the point it’s easy to see his throwing motion is broken. Even so, Coughlin sees a 24-year-old quarterback and a former No. 3 overall draft pick who needs help, not thrown aside for somebody else.
It sounds like Coughlin and the rest of the new regime might stake their jobs on a Bortles turnaround.