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Blake Bortles was poised in the pocket and nearly perfect

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 1:13 am    Post subject: Blake Bortles was poised in the pocket and nearly perfect Reply with quote

JACKSONVILLE [url=][/url] , Fla. (AP) —in one series of work, a significant improvement from the way his preseason started a year ago.Bortles completed 6 of 9 passes for 53 yards and scored on a short bootleg in Jacksonville’s 24-20 loss to New Orleans in the exhibition opener for both teams Thursday night.Bortles had a five-interception performance during a training camp practice in 2017 and continued to struggle during joint practices with New England. He was benched two weeks into the preseason and had to earn the starting job back.A year later, his spot is as solid as just about anyone’s on the team. It showed against the Saints.Playing without two starting offensive linemen — left guard Andrew Norwell (calf) and right tackle Jermey Parnell (precaution) — Bortles led the Jaguars on a 15-play, 79-yard drive to open the game. He converted both third-down passes he faced and finished off the series by going untouched around the right side.“It’s a good way to start,” Jaguars coach Doug Marrone said.Saints star Drew Brees got the night off, allowing backup Tom Savage to play the first half. Savage completed 10 of 14 passes for 70 yards. Brees only played in one preseason game in 2017.“Early in the game, offensively and defensively, we struggled,” Saints coach Sean Payton said. “There’s a lot we have to get cleaned up. We struggled the whole night, fundamental basic stuff. We had trouble with who’s on the ball, where our split is. We’ve got to go back to square one with some of that because that didn’t look good. It wasn’t a smooth operation.”Mark Ingram [url=]Jaelen Strong Jersey[/url] , suspended the first four games of the regular season for violating NFL policy on performance enhancers, carried seven times for 23 yards and a touchdown. Ingram scored against Jacksonville’s backups and after a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty kept the drive alive.41View Gallery Gallery:PHOTOS: Saints open preseason with 24-20 loss at JacksonvilleDouglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports | Douglas DeFeliceNATIONAL ANTHEMJacksonville cornerback Jalen Ramsey, linebacker Telvin Smith, and running backs Leonard Fournette and T.J. Yeldon remained in the locker room during the national anthem.“It was a personal thing, man,” Fournette said. “Don’t really want to get into it. Everybody has their own beliefs and certain things. … I’m not really trying to get into it. It’s just something I believe in. I ain’t really trying to go into details about it. Just more focused on my teammates right now.”Yeldon said he “just didn’t want to come out” during the anthem. Ramsey was no longer in the locker room when reporters entered after the game.Smith offered the most insight, but declined to answers specific questions.“As a man, I got certain beliefs,” said Smith, who wore “Salute the Service” cleats. “You know what I mean? This is not going to become a distraction, and Jacksonville’s not going to become a distraction for this team. I got beliefs. I did what I did. I don’t know if it’s going to be every week [url=]Tanner Lee Color Rush Jersey[/url] , can’t answer if it’s going to be every week.“But as a man I’ve got to stand for something. I love my team, I’m dedicated to my teammates, and that’s what we’re talking about. I did what I did. It was love. I hope people see it and respect it. I respect views.”GAME CHANGERSThe Saints overcame a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter to win. Jayrone Elliott’s strip-sack set up rookie Jonathan Williams’ 4-yard touchdown run with 2:16 remaining. Elliott had another strip-sack late in the game, but the Jaguars recovered.SOLID OUTINGJaguars backup quarterback Cody Kessler completed 14 of 17 passes for 139 yards, with a touchdown . Jacksonville acquired Kessler in a trade with Cleveland in March.INJURIESSaints backup cornerback P.J. Williams appeared to get the wind knocked out him while making a tackle. He jogged to the bench but later headed to the locker room. … The Jaguars had 10 guys who didn’t suit up, including All-Pro defensive end Calais Campbell (calf) and rookie defensive lineman Taven Bryan (abdomen).UP NEXTSaints host Arizona next Friday night.Jaguars travel to Minnesota on Tuesday for two joint practices with the Vikings before their exhibition game on Aug. 18. The hearing on Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette‘s one-game suspension will happen on Tuesday, and a ruling could come as soon as Tuesday night. (Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that James Thrash is handling the appeal.)If the suspension stands, Fournette could have a problem far more significant than the nearly $100,000 in salary that he’d lose. Per multiple league sources, Fournette’s contract contains sufficient language to support an argument that the suspension voids the remaining guarantees in Fournette’s four-year rookie contract, wiping out a $7 million obligation that extends over 2019 and 2020. (Fournette would have the ability to challenge the voiding of the guarantees; giving the magnitude of the payment [url=][/url] , there would be no reason not to.)While this doesn’t mean that the Jaguars would cut Fournette if his guarantees void, the Jaguars would have the ability to do so with no further financial obligation, ducking $2.9 million in 2019 and $4.1 million in 2020. And they wouldn’t have to sever ties after the current season. They could give him another year at $2.9 million, with a chance to persuade the Jaguars to keep him at $4.1 million for 2020.The voiding of the guarantees also would open the door to a potential trade, since his next team wouldn’t be committed to a firm $7 million over two years.The flexibility that would come from the voiding of the guarantees becomes a factor in the broader assessment of Fournette as a player. He missed three games in 2017 and he has missed six games in 2018, all due to injury. If there’s a new coach or a new G.M. or a new executive V.P. of football operations in Jacksonville, there will be less of a compulsion to throw good money after a potentially bad draft pick.However it plays out, this is precisely why Bears linebacker Roquan Smith held out. Broad language that voids guarantees can become that “gotcha” item a team can hold over a player, giving them a blank check to get out from under an otherwise guaranteed contract whenever they want.
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