Blake Bortles became everyone’s favorite quarterback to hate with the Jaguars. Now as the unquestioned backup to Jared Goff with the Rams, he’s focused on using his time out of the spotlight to learn and have fun.
Through OTAs, Bortles says learning from head coach Sean McCoy has been “awesome.”
“Seeing how he coaches, how all the other coaches coach and how the guys are receptive and take it, I’ve never seen anything like it,” Bortles told the Los Angeles Times.
— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) May 31, 2019
Bortles enjoyed success at times in Jacksonville, leading the Jaguars to the AFC title game in 2018 and landing a lucrative extension that offseason that included $26.5 million in guaranteed money.
But he regressed last season and eventually was cut when Jacksonville signed Nick Foles in March. That led Bortles to L.A., where he signed a one-year, $1 million deal to sit behind Goff — a new experience for a 27-year-old who has been a starter every season of his career since being drafted third overall in 2014.
“It’s a weird thing to kind of balance in your head. I have a role. I’m here to back Jared and do whatever I can to help him out. And if I get an opportunity, I’ve got to make sure we don’t miss a beat offensively and we continue to roll,” Bortles said while making it clear he hopes to run a team again one day.
“And at the same time, I also expect to be a starter in this league again, and I know it’s not going to be here in L.A. So I’m trying to just better myself,” he said. “And if I get an opportunity to play, great. If not, then I spent a year learning from McVay, and being around a really good organization.”
At the start of offseason workouts, Goff said he was “excited to have [Bortles] in the room with me,” and McVay has also welcomed Bortles after having Sean Mannion as the team’s primary backup in 2018.
“You’ve seen a lot of really good things that he’s put on tape over the course of his career in Jacksonville,” McVay said. “And, if need be, we’re confident he’ll perform well for us as well.”
The defending NFC champion Rams begin the regular season on the road against the Panthers.