Instead, Bortles showed enough early promise to earn 13 starts while absorbing 55 sacks and struggling to connect with a trio of rookie wide receivers.
Although Bortles understandably regressed after a promising preseason, coach Gus Bradley is excited for his quarterback's prospects going forward.
"He's everything we hoped for as far as mentality and competitiveness," Bradley said Tuesday, via the team's official website. "... I knew he was tough, but just how tough.
"And how fast he would take over the team. The team really gravitates toward him offensively, defensively and special teams-wise, and I didn't know it would happen that fast."
As we pointed out on the Around The NFL Podcast, Bortles has all of the tools to become an NFL star.
Along with the subpar support cast, the major culprit for Bortles' rookie-year regression was faulty mechanics. He won't meeting the coaching staff's expectations without fixing his footwork.