Blake Bortles: 2018 will be good challenge for Jags


After winning the AFC South and advancing to the AFC Championship Game, the Jacksonville Jaguars won't sneak up on anyone in 2018.

Quarterback Blake Bortles, who will continue his offseason routine working with consultants Tom House and Adam Dedeaux in California, understands there are obstacles facing the Jaguars.

But the Jacksonville signal-caller fully embraces the opportunity to show the Jaguars can build on the success of 2017.

"I think from what we did last year, I think the expectations have kind of changed a little bit," Bortles said Monday, via Phillip Heilman of the Florida Times-Union. "Within the locker room, they were definitely different last year, and I think they are only going to continue to change and grow and get higher.

"I'm looking forward to it. I think it's going to be a good challenge and it will be a good year."

Bortles' positive outlook doesn't surprise when considering he is the team's franchise quarterback.

The Jaguars, however, should have more competition within their own division in 2018, as the AFC South projects as one of the league's most entertaining four-team races.

Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson appears on track to make his return from an ACL injury sooner than later; the Tennessee Titans made the postseason in 2017; and the Indianapolis Colts won't be overlooked if quarterback Andrew Luck can return healthy from a shoulder injury.

But for now, the Jaguars remain on top of the hill in the AFC South with a stout defense and a confident Bortles, who comes off a 2017 campaign where he established a career-high 60.2 completion percentage and threw a career-low 13 interceptions.