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The Day After I: Bortles, OL improve versus Titans


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JACKSONVILLE – Blake Bortles showed notable toughness.

But Head Coach Gus Bradley said what was perhaps as notable – and certainly as important – on Thursday was what the Jaguars' rookie quarterback did in addition to being tough.

He made good decisions. He made quicker decisions.

And while Bortles still has work, development and growing to do in the coming offseason, Bradley said he was pleased with much of what he saw against the Tennessee Titans Thursday from the No. 3 overall selection in the 2014 NFL Draft.

"I thought he did a really good job," Bradley said Friday, a day after the Jaguars rallied from a 10-point first-half deficit for a 21-13 victory over the Titans at EverBank Field.

Bortles, who played four days after sustaining a right mid-foot sprain, was key to that rally. He completed 13 of 26 passes for 115 yards and a touchdown, but did not throw an interception.

The team announced that Bortles emerged from the game a little sore, but he is expected to improve with treatment next week.

"When he worked out there was no denying him," Bradley said. "He was going to play, in his mind. I think those traits really go over to the team and that's why they respect him so much."

It was the second time this season Bortles finished a game without an interception, and he also rushed for 50 yards on five carries. Bradley said Bortles did a good job running at the right times, and knowing when to try to use his legs to make a play.

"We stress it's all about the ball and making good decisions, but we don't want to overemphasize it to the point where we play with a little bit of anxiety," Bradley said. "He took chances and made some throws in tight spots. Since the bye week we talked about limiting turnovers. You've seen it. It's dropped dramatically."

Bradley said there were times it appeared Bortles had a clearer idea of where he wanted to go with the ball Thursday than in some previous games.

"I think it was evident in the game," Bradley said.

Bradley also said the offensive line did a "pretty good job" Thursday despite the offense allowing four sacks. The Jaguars have allowed a league-high 66 sacks this season, but Bradley said the line picked up the blitz well against Tennessee Thursday.

"I think that we've been seeing more pressure because of the impact it's had on our offense," Bradley said. "We've made progress there but we're still not where we need to be."

Also around the Jaguars Friday:

*Defensive end Andre Branch, who has missed seven of the last eight games with a groin injury, is improving and the team remains hopeful he can play in the regular-season finale December 28 against Houston.

*Defensive tackle Roy Miller is expected to be doubtful next week with a knee injury sustained December 14 against Baltimore. He missed Thursday night's game with the injury.

*Running back Toby Gerhart, who left Thursday's game with a rib contusion, remained sore Friday. He will be evaluated over weekend.

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