Blake Bortles is taking the blame for the Jaguars naming Cody Kessler as the starting quarterback for the remainder of the season.
"I put myself in this position and I didn't play good enough," Bortles said to Michael DiRicco of ESPN.com. "Didn't win football games. Couldn't find a way to get it done. And when that happens, it's a business and everybody understands that. I don't think there's anything personal involved."
Jacksonville is currently riding a seven-game slump after starting the season 3-1. The Jaguars came into the season expected to be a Super Bowl contender after reaching the AFC championship last season. However, the defense has not performed at as a high a level this year and Bortles has not shown much improvement.
Bortles has seen meager increases in his yards per game and completion percentage but with a slight drop in his passer rating from last season. Jacksonville's current skid started with a loss to the Chiefs, where Bortles tossed for a career-high 430 yards and had a career-high four interceptions. A Week 12 loss to the Bills cemented Bortles' benching and the firing of offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett. The 2014 No. 3 draft pick had two interceptions and threw for less than 200 yards for the sixth time this season.
Barring injury, coach Doug Marrone said Kessler will remain the starter for the rest of this season. This past offseason Jacksonville signed Bortles to a three-year, $54 million deal.
In 2017, the Jaguars benched Bortles going into the third preseason game but eventually gave him the starting job back. The decision to move Bortles to the bench for the rest of this year put into question just how much longer Bortles will remain with the Jaguars. Bortles, however, said he is not concerned with his future while the season is still going on.
"I think that is definitely big-picture, but not necessarily something that I'm worried about right now," Bortles said. "I'm just thinking about how can I go and help these guys."