Steelers Not Joining Chorus Of Naysayers Overlooking Blake Bortles

Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles has certainly taken a verbal beating this season, and the criticism has come from just about every angle. I haven’t followed their team particularly closely throughout the season, but I would not find it surprising if there were some internal criticism as well.

Some of the harshest criticisms have come from players, though it should not be surprising that the bulk of them have come from his division rivals. The Houston TexansJadeveon Clowney famously said that Bortles is “trash”, and that prompted Jaguars fans to send the former first-overall pick a number of trash cans.

More recently, the Tennessee TitansKevin Byard, their Pro Bowl safety, who picked off Bortles twice, said in preparation for their team’s game tonight against the New England Patriots that their goal is to make Tom Brady look like Bortles.

We can even go back to August when the New Orleans Saints’ All-Pro defensive end, Cameron Jordan was participating in a radio interview about his own team, talking about the difficulty of practicing against Drew Brees. “It’s not like we’re going against Blake Bortles”, he said. “It’s not like Drew is giving picks away”.

This is not the approach that the Pittsburgh Steelers are taking this time as they head into tomorrow’s game hosting the Jaguars, the one team during the regular season that actually embarrassed them. While it was not Bortles who did the damage, they are still providing a cursory level of respect for the quarterback who led the Jaguars to their first playoff win since David Garrard beat the Steelers in 2007.

And they did so in ways that do sound as though they are basically backhanded compliments—but after all, there are so many nice things you can say about Bortles as a player. Either way, it was friendlier than Jalen Ramsey’s approach to Mike Mitchell.

He’s a quarterback for a team that’s in the playoffs”, safety Sean Davis said. “I say we give him his credit. We’re not running from anybody. We’re not scared of anybody. We’re just going to see what happens. We’re not going to let him beat us with his feet”.

When you repeatedly talk about how mobile a quarterback is, that doesn’t say much about how well he throws, of course, but you do have to watch for Bortles as a runner. And his mobility also helps to buy time to throw. “We’ve got to keep him in the pocket”, Davis added. “Can’t give him easy throws”.

Rookie Cameron Sutton, who was on injured reserve back in Week Five when the two teams played, said that Bortles is “a guy that can definitely get hot. When they get that run game going, it makes his job that much easier…he’s had some good passing games”.

Sutton stressed keeping the Jaguars out of play-action situations and making him uncomfortable, forcing the fourth-year quarterback to make reads and think after the snap. But they will likely have to stop the run before that becomes relevant.

About the Author

Matthew Marczi
Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.
  • will

    Wow!!…..Sutton called Bortles “gay”???…..or is that a typo instead of “guy”??

  • Jason

    Mathew you better fix the Sutton quote before the snowflake mainstream media sees it a loses their mind. Lol

  • Jason

    If he said gay they’d kick him out of the league. Sure it was a typo. Lol

  • Darth Blount 47

    Cameron Sutton is apparently much more of a savage than I ever thought he was. 😉

  • Get_at_Me

    The team is right to take this approach. The Steelers have a way of bucking trends with “trash qb’s”. Deshone Kizer and Brett Hundley had fantastic games against Pittsburgh (passing the ball and running in certain situations). I would look to the Week 11 game vs the Titans as a blueprint on the defensive side. Bottle up the run game and force Bortles to throw a lot. Mariota is a mobile guy too, but the Steelers defense kept him in the pocket. He threw 4 picks in that game.

  • Jason Dock Dudley

    Bortles-a gay that can deffinately get hot. He also gets many passes off. too funny

  • Conserv_58

    Just as I expected would happen, happened. Yesterday ESPN’s Steelers writer, Jeremy Fowler baited Le’Veon into taliking about his future with the Steelers and right on cue, a very naive, Le’Veon gave Fowler the sound bites he was hoping to get. I went to the ESPN NFL site earlier today and there it is. It’s the leading news story on the Steelers. ESPN is such garbage for pulling this tabloid journalism stunt just before the AFC semi final playoff game.

    It’s incidences like this that gives some fans reasons to be convinced that this was a premeditated plan BY ESPN to create controversy, thus hoping to distract and divide the Steelers locker room. The bottom line is, there was no justifiable reason for Fowler to ask that question in the first place. Must be somebody at ESPN has a lot of money on the jags.

  • Conserv_58

    The LGBT lunatics would want to scratch his eyes out.

  • pittfan

    typos are part of the charm of SD!

  • dany

    The made fun of Eli, then Flaco, now comes Bortles

  • Mezzetin


  • Mezzetin

    espn is disney. disney is garbage. espn is garbage…

  • SkoolHouseRoxx

    It’s always the media. Then you have them pulling out something Mike Mitchell said weeks ago and using it saying we are looking past the Jags.

  • Jason

    Lol. Le’Veon doesn’t need any help being “naive”. When do we blame bell? When he was smoking pot it was Blounts fault now he was “baited”. He could have easily said I’m not focused on that right now, I’m focused on Jacksonville but nope he can’t resist discussing the contract sh**. He’s a big boy.

  • PA2AK_

    You forgot the ‘Q’ at the end. How dare you?! I’m offended.

  • PA2AK_

    Fire Marczi!!! No time to delay!!!!

  • PA2AK_

    Hahaha that’s great

  • SteelerFanInMD

    Can’t take any QB too lightly, especially after losing a playoff game to someone named Tim Tebow.

  • Jason

    And getting shredded by Brett Hundley, Jacoby Brissett and Kizer. Our D has the potential to pitch a shutout in this game or allow 30. And it all comes down to discipline on the back end.

  • Roberto Vaquero Bazán

    Not just gay, a gay who can get hot, Lol, definetly a typo!!!

  • Conserv_58

    Oh darn.

  • Matthew Marczi

    Did I just spread fake news?