Jaguars' Bortles, Robinson trying to 'get on same page'
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) After another subpar performance by quarterback Blake Bortles and receiver Allen Robinson, the Jacksonville Jaguars put them in a room so they could ''get on the same page.''
It was a clear reaction to Robinson's increased aggravation, Bortles' continued inaccuracy and a seven-game losing streak that mostly can be blamed on the team's offensive failures.
''I think both of them are frustrated, obviously, because they're not getting the numbers that they had last year and obviously the wins aren't coming, so I think they feel that they both can help this team so much, but they have to get on the same page,'' offensive coordinator Nate Hackett said Thursday.
''I think it's one of those things is the more they talk, the more they're together. I think it's just going to keep their relationship going and allow them to get to where they were last year.''
Bortles threw 35 touchdown passes in 2015, 14 of them to Robinson.
Bortles set several team records and looked like a franchise quarterback. Robinson was his go-to guy, finishing with 1,400 yards and making the Pro Bowl in his second season.
It's been a struggle since.
Bortles has clearly regressed , his sloppy mechanics leading to poor footwork and bad throws weekly. He has 20 touchdowns and a league-high 19 turnovers for the Jaguars (2-10), who host the Minnesota Vikings (6-6) on Sunday.
Robinson has 56 receptions for 622 yards and six scores. But he has eight catches for 73 yards and a touchdown in the past three games, and the Jaguars have gone more than a month without a play gaining at least 30 yards.
A second-round draft pick from Penn State in 2014, Robinson averaged 17.5 yards a catch last season and had 13 receptions of at least 30 yards. He's averaging 11.1 yards a catch this season and has just one reception of at least 30 yards.
Robinson's dissatisfaction became obvious in a 20-10 loss at Denver on Sunday. He ripped off his helmet and starting yelling at an official after a failed fourth down conversion early in the fourth quarter.
Robinson thought he was interfered with on the play, but no flags were thrown.
Robinson vented after the game, too, mocking the ''amazing officiating'' and adding that he's ''never been this frustrated playing the game of football in my life.''
A day later, Robinson and Bortles were hashing out their problems with Hackett.
''It's hard because it's frustrating,'' Bortles said. ''I know he gets unbelievably frustrated with everything going on as am I.
''Both of us have a respect for each other and we both have rooted for each other and I think are on the same page, but I think there comes a time and a point where we need to sit down and just talk about it. And not in a negative way at all, let's just find out a way to get on the same page so we can make plays.''
Robinson declined to discuss specifics of the meeting Thursday, saying ''that's between me, Blake and Nate.''
There's surely no one person to blame for Jacksonville's yearlong offensive woes. No doubt, Bortles has been the main issue.
But coach Gus Bradley fired offensive coordinator Greg Olson in late October because he was unhappy with the team's commitment to the run game, and Robinson has bobbled three passes that resulted in interceptions.
''We want those connections to happen and I think we've just got to continue to work and just continue to play,'' Hackett said.
''I think both of them press because they care so much. It's almost like their biggest weakness. They care so much and they want to be good so bad and they just want to take it to another level that it's almost sometimes they press a little too much instead of just playing and going out there and doing what they both do well.''
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