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2017 Combine: 'I see Blake as our quarterback'


INDIANAPOLIS – When it comes to quarterbacks, some things bear repeating.

So, it wasn't surprising that when Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone spoke publicly for the first time in a month and a half Wednesday, a major topic was quarterback Blake Bortles.

Marrone, hired as the Jaguars' permanent head coach in early January, reiterated during his 2017 NFL Scouting Combine media availability Wednesday what he had said shortly after his hiring:

Bortles is the Jaguars' quarterback.

"I have already said this before: I see Blake as our quarterback," said Marrone, who spent the last two games of the 2016 season as interim head coach before being named permanent head coach January 9. "We're going to do everything we can to make him successful from a standpoint of schematics, putting in a different scheme …

"[That] puts us in a tough situation because when you're the interim head coach and you get hired as the head coach, you really don't have the extra time that other coaches get as head coaches. We've got a lot of work ahead of us to get ourselves going."

Marrone, the Jaguars' assistant head coach-offense/offensive line coach from the start of the 2015 season until taking the interim head job, also spoke about Bortles to a smaller group of Jacksonville area media after his combine podium appearance.

"I think [Bortles' status] is the status of anyone else: obviously he's our starting quarterback and you want to see those players go out and perform to a winning level," Marrone said. "I think it's very simple. I think it's not as complicated as how sometimes people want to make things out.

"We're looking for the same out of our center, out of our receiver, out of our nose tackle, out of our linebackers. We're looking for those players to come back ready to go and put us in a position to win games."

Bortles after throwing 35 touchdowns in 2015 threw just 23 in 2016. He also threw 16 interceptions after throwing 18 in 2015. Bortles struggled with inaccuracy at times in 2015, something Marrone said improve late in the season.

"When you talk to Blake individually, he will acknowledge that his mechanics had gotten loose during the year," Marrone said. "We were able to pick up on that at the end of the year and improve on that through individual (drills) and things of that nature. Also, we have to get better around him, too.

"The success of the quarterback – obviously he controls a lot of it, we all know that –  but I think that we can get better around him, better in the protection, better in the running game. I think all of those things are going to help him."

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