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Coughlin: 'Blake Bortles is our quarterback'


JACKSONVILLE – Blake Bortles remains the quarterback.

As far as the Jaguars' coaching staff, much on that issue has yet to officially be determined.

Those were two of the primary takeaways from Thursday morning's press conference at EverBank Field to introduce Tom Coughlin as the Jaguars' executive vice president of football operations and Doug Marrone as permanent head coach.

What is the status of Bortles?

What are the organization's feelings toward the player who has started at quarterback much of the past three seasons?

"Blake Bortles is our quarterback," Coughlin said.

Marrone, who served as interim head coach the last two games of the 2016 season, reiterated the point moments later.

"I think the same thing," Marrone said. "I think coach (Tom Coughlin) said it correctly. I think that, obviously, Blake is our quarterback."

Bortles, the No. 3 overall selection in the 2014 NFL Draft, has started the last 45 games, taking over the position three games into his rookie season. While he widely was perceived as a potential franchise quarterback following a 35-touchdown, 4,428 yards season in 2015, he followed that with a 23-touchdown, 16-interception season this past season.

Neither Coughlin nor Marrone, both of whom were officially named to their positions Monday, discussed personnel in-depth Thursday.

"I think that right now is probably not the right time to discuss personnel and players," Marrone said.
"I think those discussions will come out internally with us that we'll have and that will be something I am sure I will be asked down the road."

Said Coughlin, "I wouldn't talk about any of that at this point in time. I'd have to spend more time and then that will, basically, remain internal."

Marrone and Coughlin also addressed the team's coaching staff, with Marrone saying no positions – including offensive and defensive coordinator – have been finalized. Todd Wash served as defensive coordinator last season and Nathaniel Hackett – Marrone's offensive coordinator when Marrone was the head coach in Buffalo in 2013 and 2014 – served as offensive coordinator in the final nine games last season.

"We do have coaches that obviously we haven't gotten in on or have not let go, but those roles will be defined," Marrone said. "Right now, putting the staff together is something that is going on right now with this process.

"The three of us [Coughlin, General Manager David Caldwell and Marrone] obviously are involved and are talking about it. At the end of the day – when everything is put together – obviously we will let the titles go out, but as of right now we have not made any decisions on the positions." 

Marrone also was asked about potential scheme changes offensively and defensively.

"Well, again, that's open for discussion right now," Marrone said. "Obviously we let some coaches go.  We have some coaches on board, but we have not defined any roles for our coaches right now. We're looking to go out and get the best, most talented, bright-minded people to bring in to help this football team win."

Asked if it would be important to previously have worked with a prospective assistant coach, Marrone said, "Again, those are things that we're discussing."

"Each process – everyone – is a little bit different," Marrone said. "Obviously right now, we're at a time where we're going through that together."

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