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One year later, Blake Bortles can joke about benching

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Heading into the third game of the preseason one year ago, the Jacksonville Jaguars benched Blake Bortles in favor of Chad Henne.

After winning back the starting gig and leading the Jags deep into the playoffs for the first time in a decade, Bortles can joke about the experience before this season's dress rehearsal.

"It feels good to not get benched this week," Bortles kidded Wednesday, via the Florida Times-Union. "That is a positive."

Frustrated by Bortles' inconsistency last preseason, coach Doug Marrone gave Henne the start in the third preseason game. The milquetoast career backup went 8-of-14 passing for 73 yards, zero touchdowns or interceptions, and was sacked three times. Bortles went 12-of-16 passing for 125 yards with one touchdown and one interception that day, but took no sacks. When handing the starting gig back to Bortles, Marrone mentioned his athleticism behind a porous offensive line as one reason.

Bortles learned from last season's journey: If he doesn't continue to improve, eventually the team will move on.

"What happens at this level is that if you don't play good, they are going to find someone that can play," Bortles said. "I think just continuing to try and do whatever I can to help us as an offense: move the ball, pick up yards, pick up first downs, score touchdowns, put up points and, most importantly, take care of it and not turn it over. I think as long as I am able to continue to do that for our offense, I think we will be in good shape."

While some in the social media sphere have called for the Jags to trade for Jets QB Teddy Bridgewater to compete with Bortles, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported that isn't happening.

The Jags are comfortable with what Bortles brings to the table after signing him to a three-year contract this offseason. Finally healthy after dealing with a wrist injury since 2016, Bortles is ready to lead a Super Bowl-caliber roster into the season, this year with fewer worries he could lose his job at any moment.

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