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Mark Brunell: Bortles will be hitting on all cylinders in regular season

Blake Bortles was 17 of 23 for 204 yards against the Falcons on Saturday night, but was also intercepted twice.
Blake Bortles was 17 of 23 for 204 yards against the Falcons on Saturday night, but was also intercepted twice. (Photo by George Varkanis)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Two weeks ago I made a bold prediction: The Jaguars will win the Super Bowl.

I’m not coming off of that. I truly believe this team has what it takes to win a championship.

The Jaguars have a formula for success. It's not unlike many teams in the NFL. The formula is a dominant defense, an effective running game and a quarterback that takes care of the ball.

Now before you get the impression that I’m down on Blake Bortles, I am not. I believe in our quarterback. I’m convinced he has what it takes to take his team all the way.

What we all saw in the playoffs last season is enough to make all of us believers. At least it should. Blake was very good in the postseason run. He had no turnovers and made some big plays with his arm and legs.

But for this team to make another run, Blake is simply going to have to take care of the ball. We have not seen that up to this point in the preseason, and it's somewhat concerning. An interception in the second preseason game against the Vikings and two against the Falcons will have many doubting.

We must understand that turnovers are going to happen. Quarterbacks make mistakes, but too many of them will cost the Jaguars games.

What I am certain of is that Blake is getting coached well and learns from his mistakes. And there is no doubt our quarterback is mentally and physically one of the toughest in the NFL. Blake takes his profession very seriously. It's important to him. And he understands as well as anybody how critical it is to make good decisions in the passing game. Teams that do not win the turnover battle lose. It's that simple.

The good thing is that we have an opportunistic defense that will no doubt create multiple turnovers. They are going to get the offense the ball.

I'm not saying Blake has to be a “game manager.” He is more than that, and I fully expect him to be hitting on all cylinders when the regular season begins in New York. This is not the time to panic.

What we saw last year will only improve this year for our quarterback. He has an excellent supporting cast. In fact, it's the best he has had since he became a Jaguar.

So we can get past the “whats wrong with Blake?” and look forward to watching the kid that got very close to getting his team to the big game.

About the Author:

Mark Brunell is a sports analyst and reporter with News4Jax and current head football coach at the Episcopal School of Jacksonville.