Gruden QB Camp: Blake Bortles
UCF product has similarities to Roethlisberger, but some questions remain
ESPN NFL Insider Mike Sando went to Orlando, Fla., to watch Jon Gruden's QB Camp taping with UCF quarterback Blake Bortles. Sando has written up Gruden's biggest takeaways from the interview and throwing sessions, in Gruden's voice.
1. With Bortles, sometimes I see Ben Roethlisberger
Now, that doesn't mean he's going to have the same type of career. Bortles does have a similar build. He is big. He looks like a tight end, and he plays like a tight end at times. But if you remember, no one really wanted Ben Roethlisberger. He had to go to Miami of Ohio. And here you have Bortles, who nobody really wanted. He winds up at UCF.
I remember when we played the Steelers, we had to prepare for their offense. They had Hines Ward, Santonio Holmes, Heath Miller and a good run game. Then we played them, and we forgot just how big the quarterback was. We had to game plan for Roethlisberger's scrambling. He would run over people. When I watch Roethlisberger or when I watch Bortles, there is a line between giving up on a play and extending a play. Sometimes Bortles will take a horrible sack, and sometimes he'll get smashed, and sometimes he'll make the greatest play you'll ever see.
To read Jon Gruden's full take on UCF QB Blake Bortles, you must be an ESPN Insider.