Marrone: Jaguars expect 'big jump' from Blake Bortles

Jaguars coach Doug Marrone has made it clear all offseason what Jacksonville needs from Blake Bortles come September: A tangible uptick in play.

"We're looking to see great improvement from him going into this next season," Marrone said at the NFL Scouting Combine in February, days after the team laced Bortles with a three-year, $54 million extension packed with $26.5 million in guarantees.

Marrone echoed those words in March at the Owners Meetings -- and again on Tuesday during a sit down with the gang from Good Morning Football.

"By being rewarded a contract -- like I always tell the players -- you get rewarded with that contract, obviously, we expect something in return and we expect you to make a big jump again this year," Marrone said of his fifth-year signal-caller.

Bortles played with determination down the stretch, shrugging off endless quips from the media to guide Jacksonville within a hair of the Super Bowl.

For all his ups and downs, Bortles put his capabilities on display in a marvelous thrashing of the Steelers in the AFC Divisional Round before nearly taking out the Patriots in the conference title bout.

Marrone on Tuesday pinpointed where he noticed a positive shift in his quarterback's play. Entering the team's Week 8 bye, the Jaguars finally had a chance to "really implement a full installation, a full season of what we wanted to get done from an offensive standpoint."

"And we really saw Blake make ... great strides from the Cincinnati game on," Marrone said. "I think that was important. And he showed us he can do a lot of good things with the football and showed he was able to improve."

The Jaguars pulled themselves out of the Kirk Cousins derby and seem to have little interest in trading up for a passer in this week's draft. None of this precludes the club from adding competition, but Jacksonville is married to Bortles for at least another season.

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