This week was my second time working alongside Jags Illustrated. Once again, it was a great experience for me. Buttt a rough loss for the Jags. I had the opportunity to sit in on the post-game press conference where Head Coach Gus Bradley and Quarterback Blake Bortles were hammered with questions. I wrote down as much as I could for those who want a little bit of an inside look at what went on. Here is what I gathered:
The game ended with a score of 33-16 Raiders. This game in particular was a emotional game considering defensive tackle Malik Jackson was ejected from the game in the fourth quarter after being penalized twice for unsportsmanlike conduct. Cornerback Jalen Ramsey was also ejected from the game late in the fourth quarter after getting into a fight with Oakland receiver Johnny Holton, who was also ejected. Gus Bradley and Blake Bortles showed zero hesitation touching on the emotional part of the game.
Gus Bradley when asked about the result:
“Some things took place on the field and we gotta keep our poise, gotta keep our composure. We lost our poise and it affected us. We didn’t move the ball like we had hoped. We were backed up in a situation multiple times. Time and possession were going to be a big deal today and they won that. We missed our opportunities and they made theirs. And that’s the outcome. And that’s it. It doesn’t matter what happens or what came about. A good team can’t do that.”
Blake Bortles missed multiple throws yesterday. When Gus was asked “What’s wrong with Blake” Gus made his way around the question and proceeded with “We just gotta make good decisions. As a whole, offensively. We didn’t capture it in the red zone.”
Another man shouted in reference to the previous question “He doesn’t look like the same QB!” and Gus responded with “Offensively as a whole we aren’t as good as we were. We need to get more movement up front. We would like to have more accuracy. I believe this is a talented squad. We need to show up more offensively. We got caught up in the emotional part of the game. I mean, it is an emotional game. But, we can’t let that happen. It’s game we will look back at.”
One of the final questions I managed to write down for Gus’s portion was “What is your message to fans who see you struggle at home? Gus said in response ” We’re trying to do everything we can to play as well as we can. And today we didn’t play up to our capabilities.”
Up next in the press conference was Quarterback Black Bortles:
Bortles was preparing to get a lot of flack considering yesterday was his 13th career game with multiple interceptions. According to ESPN Stats & Info, this is the most in the NFL since his rookie season of 2014 + he is the worst in the league in other areas as well.
Bortles began by piggybacking off his coach in regards to the emotional part of the game by saying “It’s frustrating every time you lose. Win or lose, some days, I mean for myself, that emotion kind of takes over. If you win, you’re happy, if you lose, you’re upset. And then you have to move on because it does you no good to be upset.” ” We have a short week which is an extremely good thing for us.”
When asked about his skills and performance, Bortles responded with “I am not playing good. I wish I knew how to fix it, or I would. There’s emotions involved in this game. It’s passionate. Guys get fired up. There’s definitely a fine line between playing passionately and keeping your poise. And we’re still trying to figure that out. When guys get out of line it’s up to the rest of the team to put them in place.”
Similar questions were fired towards Blake and he continued:
“Uh, I missed some throws. It happens every Sunday. It’s a part of playing football. I mean obviously you don’t want to do that. You want to make every throw. But, sometimes you miss them. So kind of a continuous work in progress. You can aways get better.””Any time you get beat it sucks especially when you don’t play well from a personal standpoint and an offense as a whole. But there’s still a lot of football to be played.”
One of the final questions Bortles was asked about was about his personal belief in his skills. Blake ended on a solid note by saying “My confidence never wavers. I believe in myself 100 percent and I think that’s how you have to play the game. I think any doubt you have within yourself I think will prohibit you from things you can possibly do, so I’ll always have 100-percent confidence in myself.”
So. That’s what I’ve gathered. Jags fans, you put the pieces together. What do you think the future holds for the rest of the season? Do we sit Bortles? Is this the end for Gus Bradley?
In words of the man himself… “It’s time to make changes. Not doing so would be, as Bradley said, insanity.”