Jaguars QB Blake Bortles on Starting as a Rookie: "It's Been a Dream Come True"



(on the last two weeks as a starting quarterback in the NFL)

It's been awesome. It's been an unbelievable experience, the whole thing. It really is a dream come true. You're getting to live out a life-long goal and dream of playing football in the NFL. It's been awesome. It's been a pleasure to come to work every day and try to prepare and compete and do everything we can to be as good as we possibly can.

(on preparing to play every week at the start of the season)

That was how I went about it. Heaven forbid if something would have happened to Chad (Henne), injury or something, I would have had to play. I had to go in each week and every day preparing like I was a starter in case something happened and I had to step in and play.

(on his improvement over the past few weeks)

I think it's gone well. There's things to learn from, both positively and negatively, on the film every week. I think just trying to eliminate the mistakes and obviously duplicate the things that have gone well, try to figure out how can we move the ball, seeing different looks and what worked against this look, all of that kind of stuff, and trying to continue to just be consistent.

(on expecting mistakes as a rookie)

I don't really pay attention a whole lot to rookie mistakes. I think whether you're a first-year guy or a 15th-year guy you're going to make mistakes. I think how old you are is kind of irrelevant. I think you've got to eliminate those mistakes as fast as possible. I know guys here don't care if I'm a rookie or not. They don't care about rookie mistakes. They want things to go well, go smoothly, and go as planned, and that's what I've got to do.

(on the Jaguars win over the Titans last year as an encouragement for this week's game)

I think we go into every week with the kind of the same mindset of, we're going to prepare and compete our tails off and get ready for Sunday. I think it's no different this week. I think the Titans are a good team that we're looking forward to competing with on Sunday. I think whether we beat them or not last year is kind of irrelevant. We're taking it one step at a time this week getting ready.

(on his expectations when he stepped up as the quarterback)

It's been everything as advertised. Guys are bigger, stronger, faster, but so are the guys that I'm playing with. That evens out. Guys do things a little differently, they're a little better at disguising, they show you more looks, more coverages, more fronts, all that, but that's part of it. You get more time to prepare than you did in college, so obviously you should be ready for more things. I think it's been good. I've enjoyed it, I've enjoyed the opportunity, and I look forward to this week and getting ready for Sunday.

(on the additional pressure of being a high draft pick)

I think Gus (Bradley) and Dave (Caldwell) have done a really good job of, they talked about it when I first got here, is creating a stress-free environment, kind of calming down my world and eliminating stress. That's what they've done, and that's what it's been. It's been nothing but get better each and every day, go compete, and be the best you can be. That's all I've focused on, and really that's all we've focused on as a team. I really don't feel a whole lot of pressure as far as having to do anything, having to be anybody other than who I can be and the best that I can be.

(on the Jaguars having young offensive players)

I think it's such an awesome kind of situation we're in. Obviously, we're young, but I think it's still cool for us to all go through this together, go through this process and journey and learn and do all these things together. We've got Zane Beadles, who's in his fifth year, Cecil Shorts, Chad Henne, we've got a couple of guys that have been around for a little bit on offense, but for the most part, everybody's in their first couple of years. It's definitely cool to go through this process with some of those guys.

(on players improving each week)

It's awesome. Those guys are getting better and better every week. It's really neat to be able to sit there and watch and observe it.

(on playing with RB Storm Johnson both in college and for the Jaguars)

Obviously, there's a comfort level there with him, being able to play with him a couple years in college. I feel good with him in the back, just like I do with Denard (Robinson) and Toby (Gerhart) and (Jordan) Todman. I feel really comfortable with all of those guys, but obviously it's kind of a familiar scene having Storm (Johnson) next to me.

(on Denard Robinson switching from playing quarterback to running back)

He's done awesome. He's another guy that's gotten better and better each week. Every opportunity he gets, he's really done a good job of taking advantage of it. Kind of in every aspect, running the ball and being a receiver out of the backfield and protection, in all kinds of things he's gotten better and better each week. He's been fun to play with. He's a really good ball player and makes plays.

(on the influence of head coach Gus Bradley's time with Seahawks QB Russell Wilson)

I don't know, I'm sure there's some situations and stuff. Obviously, with him going through it already once before, he's seen some things and probably been around some conversations, although he was on the defensive side of the ball. He did get to witness. He's gone through it before. He's seen a rookie play before, and he's been awesome. I've been able to talk with him every week and sit down and discuss things. He's been unbelievable and really a lot of help.

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