Blake Bortles on benching: 'Didn't play good enough'

Blake Bortles admits the past few days have been "different" and "difficult" when compared to what he has grown accustomed to as a starting quarterback.

The Jacksonville Jaguars have made sweeping changes in the wake of a seventh consecutive loss, starting Monday morning with the firing of offensive coordinator Nathanial Hackett.

Hours later, head coach Doug Marrone announced Cody Kessler would start at quarterback over Bortles this Sunday.

Bortles spoke to the media Wednesday for the first since his benching, and told reporters he didn't do enough to keep the job.

"I put myself in this position," Bortles said, via the Jaguars' official website. "I didn't play good enough. I didn't win football games. I couldn't find a way to get it done.

"When that happens, it's a business and everybody understands that. I don't think there's anything personal involved. As a quarterback, I think you have one job and that's to win a football game. And if you don't do that, your time is probably limited."

Bortles, who had started 72 consecutive games since 2014, has a realistic approach to his benching given the Jaguars have gone a disappointing 1-8 since starting the season 2-0.

Bortles deserves portions of the blame, having completed 223 of 369 passes for 2,572 yards and 13 touchdowns passes against 10 interceptions for an 81.9 passer rating. He also failed to top 200 yards in a game six times.

The move to the bench has deeper implications, of course, especially when considering the Jaguars signed Bortles to a three-year contract extension during the offseason.

Whether the Jaguars continue to see Bortles as the franchise quarterback remains to be seen, but Bortles doesn't want to look too far ahead into the future.

"I think that's definitely a big picture thing, but not necessarily something that I'm worried about right now," Bortles said. "I'm just thinking about how can I go and help these guys? How can I help Cody or help [new offensive coordinator] Scott [Milanovich] or whoever it may be and try and win a football game, and let the rest of it sort itself out when the season's over."

After the 2018 season, Bortles will have two years remaining on his contract, and is due $6.5 million guaranteed next season. The Jags would have to eat $16.5 million in dead money on the salary cap, which they could spread out over two season, if they elect to cut Bortles this offseason.

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