Jaguars GM won’t force next head coach to stick with Blake Bortles

The Jacksonville Jaguars took their first step toward rebuilding on Sunday by firing unsuccessful head coach Gus Bradley after their 12th loss of the season. Blake Bortles is probably equally to blame for the Jaguars’ disastrous season, but he’ll remain the starter for at least the remainder of the season, it sounds.

Interim head coach Doug Marrone said as much Monday when speaking to reporters.

General manager Dave Caldwell also backed Bortles a bit during his press conference, but he did leave the door open to a possible change at quarterback in 2017. He said there will be no mandates when it comes to the roster next season, allowing the Jaguars’ next head coach to make a change if he so chooses.

Caldwell does still believe in Bortles, though, despite his struggles.

Tom Coughlin and Kyle Shanahan have both been linked to the Jaguars’ vacancy thus far. Marrone is also a candidate to retain the job going forward, should he have success in the final two weeks.

As for Bortles, he’s regressed in just about every way imaginable. He has just 21 touchdowns to 16 interceptions with a career-low 57.8 completion percentage and a passer rating of just 75.8. He figured to take a big step forward in Year 3 and has instead done just the opposite.