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#pounditFriday, August 7, 2020

Blake Bortles opens up about getting benched in preseason

Blake Bortles was removed from his starting position for the Jacksonville Jaguars’ preseason game against the Carolina Panthers, and the quarterback is not downplaying the benching just because it came before an exhibition game.

Instead, Bortles admitted on Thursday that he doesn’t know if it can get “any worse” than Chad Henne being given his job.

“I don’t know if it can get any worse than that. As a quarterback in the NFL, that’s probably the last thing you want to hear,” Bortles said Thursday, per the Jaguars’ official website. “I think you can roll over and lay down or you can keep working, grinding and trying to win that spot back. So, you have two options and I think you pick one and you go.

“I think you’re getting dealt a certain hand and it’s your decision and you chose to do what you want with it. You can put your head down and continue to work and continue to fight and go out and play. Make each rep you get in practice as meaningful as possible.”

You could make the argument that Bortles outplayed Henne against Carolina, though he played with Jacksonville’s first-stringers late into the game against the Panthers’ second- and third-teams. Bortles completed 12-of-16 passes for 124 yards and a touchdown. He also threw an interception on a pass that was behind Allen Robinson and into double coverage. Henne completed 8-of-14 passes for just 73 yards.

Bortles still has a chance to earn the starting job back, and head coach Doug Marrone said he does not feel pressure to make a decision. It’s not as if Henne is an up-and-coming star, but Bortles appears to be dealing with some confidence issues, as one of his former coaches recently alluded to. Those can be tough for an NFL quarterback to sort out.

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