Jaguars QB Blake Bortles: 'Fans don't like players; they like winning'

ByMichael DiRocco ESPN logo
Tuesday, October 25, 2016

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles understands why fans were booing during Sunday's 33-16 loss to Oakland at EverBank Field. He said he learned long ago that fans like winning more than they like the players.

"If a team loses for a while, I bet everybody's probably pretty frustrated," Bortles said. "I was fortunate enough to figure out at a young age that fans don't like players. They like winning. ... You know that they're going to cheer for you when you're winning, and want you to sign autographs and take pictures. And when you're losing, they're going to boo you.

"That's the world we live in and that's what fans do. It's irrelevant to anything that goes on in this building."

The Jaguars are 2-4 after the loss to the Raiders and just 14-40 in three-plus seasons under coach Gus Bradley. The team hasn't had a winning season since 2007.

There was an outcry on social media among Jaguars fans Tuesday because of comments made by wide receiver Allen Robinson, who was askedwhat he thinks when he hears that some people want the Jaguars to bench Bortles.

Robinson told ESPN on Monday that the Jaguars have a better home-field advantage during their annual game in London's Wembley Stadium.

"When you hear the atmosphere of when we step out on the field, when we go to punt or before halftime when Blake takes a knee and you hear the booing, it's kind of funny to me," Robinson told ESPN. "It's funny that we get our best home-field advantage when we go to Wembley."

Bortles has followed his breakout season of 2015 with nine touchdown passes and 11 turnovers (nine interceptions) through six games this year. But Robinson said Bortles isn't the only player struggling. He's struggling, too, with just 26 catches for 296 yards and three touchdowns.

"People from the outside are going to make their opinions," Robinson said. "Again, as an offense we're struggling. Not just Blake struggling. Not just I am struggling. As a whole, we're struggling. This is a team thing. At the end of that, people are going to say what they want to say."

Fixing the offense -- which ranks 30th in rushing, last in third-down conversions and 24th in scoring -- would be a good first step in eliminating the boos.

"When it comes down to it, nobody's trying to make a mistake," Bortles said. "Nobody's trying to hold. Nobody's trying to throw an interception. I don't really know how else to put it other than we have to do better. I think at every position we've got to play better [and] find a way to play better.

"One thing that is good about it is we have [played better]. We've seen it before. We've done it this season. We did it last year. We have the ability and the right guys in the locker room to be successful and be a good powerful offense. We've just got to find it."