Could this be the end of Blake Bortles in Jacksonville?
Jaguars coach Doug Marrone announced Monday that the veteran passer has been benched in favor of backup Cody Kessler.
The switch comes to the team's ugly 24-21 loss to Buffalo, but also the back of the AFC crown.
"I'm making this change to give us an opportunity to win a football game, "Marrone said, per John Reid of the Florida Times Union." Cody knows the offense … and I talked to him on what's expected of him. "
Marrone refused to bury Bortles, saying: "Any time you're losing, it's just on one person. . "
Kessler has seen the field before 2018, relieving Bortles during a Week 7 loss to the Texans. The former USC standout and Browns starter went 21-of-30 passing for the Jacksonville's Week 8 (losing) appointment with the Eagles in London.
The move comes hours after Marrone fired his longtime friend and play-caller Nathaniel Hackett, who told NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport he thought he was being called in change in center.
"It was not anything negative, (Marrone) just decided to make a move, "Hackett told Rapoport of his dismissal." I guess he did not think I was good enough, that's the only thing I can think of. It's a shock. "
None of this comes as a great surprise. It was more head-turning to see the team. Bortles a three-year, $ 54 million contract this pastsese packed with $ 26.5 million in guarantees. Instead of heat-seeking, the Jaguars nestled up to an athletic-but-faulty starter with a seemingly unfixable soup of mechanical issues. Greenbacks aside, it's possible Bortles never started again for the third-overall pick in 2014.
The result – again, not all on. Bortles – is a 3-8 team spiraling into irrelevance. The coordinator is gone, the quarterback is grounded – Jacksonville.