Who says you cannot go home again? In this case, rookie quarterback Blake Bortles made the trip from Jacksonville to Oviedo – right down the road from where he played college football at UCF. Former UCF running back Storm Johnson and wide receiver Cecil Shorts also made the trip down state in a caravan to drum up support for the NFL franchise. This is the third season the Jaguars have used the caravan idea as part of a recruiting tool of sorts to gain season ticket owners and to drum up support for one of the NFL’s rising teams.
“This is cool,” Bortles said during his first return to his hometown since the 2014 NFL Draft. “It’s everybody from Oviedo, UCF alumni, so everybody from the town, Jags fans, Knights fans, Oviedo Lions fans, so this (Oviedo) will always be a getaway and a safe place to come home to.”
Bortles just completed his first minicamp for the team, this on the heels of signing a $20.6 million guaranteed contract with the franchise. Although there were a few issues with passes over the course of the three weeks, Bortles was impressive both to the fans and the coaching staff here in Jacksonville.
Bortles is expected to learn the offense this season while Chad Henne continues his role as the starter behind center.
While quarterback play and the strength of the defensive line were part of the positives coach Gus Bradley talked about often these past few weeks, there are still some areas of concern the team must work on when they come back for training camp.
The fact the team has all but one of its rookies signed means the team will hopefully be all under contract heading into training camp, providing more continuity and opportunity for Bortles to work on chemistry with his first-year mates.
The Jaguars announced receiver Allen Robinson has signed a four-year rookie contract worth $3.5 million. This according to the Associated Press. Robinson signed the deal Tuesday, five days after the team completed its offseason program.
A second-round pick from Penn State, Robinson gets a signing bonus of $873,000
The signing of Robinson means Marquis Lee, the team’s first receiver taken in the second round, is the only rookie who is not under contract.
And even with all this good news, there are still a few things this team must work on after camp starts.
Here are four things to watch once training camp begins.