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Gus Bradley: Blake Bortles 'took another good step'

Two games into the preseason, Blake Bortles is showing signs of growth.

The second-year Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback played well behind an improved line in Saturday's 22-12 loss to the New York Giants. While he failed to throw a touchdown, Bortles completed 8-of-16 passes for 98 yards over three drives.

The numbers aren't jaw-dropping, but the signal-caller looked comfortable running the offense while showing patience with his progressions.

Former teammate Cecil Shorts recently praised Bortles as a future "superstar." He's not there yet, but last year's No. 3 overall pick displayed improved footwork against the Giants after completing 11-of-15 passes against the Steelers last week.

"I think he took another good step," Jaguars coach Gus Bradley said, per the team's official website. "To go on the road and to stack up another good performance, he's learning. ... What I'm pleased about is he's seeing some benefits of playing some pretty consistent quarterback. We just need to add to it."

Bortles drove the squad to three straight field goals on marches that went for 10, 10 and 12 plays apiece. You'd like to see Jacksonville reach the end zone, but Bortles operated without the services of playmaking tight end Julius Thomas. In his absence, wideout Allen Robinson continued to thrive with grabs of 20 and 36 yards. 

Bortles looked like a clone of Ben Roethlisberger last summer before crumbling down the stretch of his rookie season. We need to see him -- and the Jaguars -- play well in games that matter, but the young passer's development is a promising sign for a long-suffering fan base desperate for a winner. 

The latest Around The NFL Podcast caps the weeklong Fantasy Extravaganza by talking undervalued and overvalued QBs and everyone's draft philosophies.

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