The Los Angeles Rams returned to the field for the first time since their Super Bowl loss on Saturday night, and as was the case against the New England Patriots in the biggest game of last season, the Rams offense could only score three points in a 14-3 loss to the Oakland Raiders in the preseason opener.
Scoring only three points in this game is obviously much less cause for concern considering none of the team’s starters played. One player that did see action though was quarterback Blake Bortles, who was signed this offseason to be Jared Goff’s new backup.
Bortles looked solid in the few drives he played in his Rams debut, completing three of eight passes for 50 yards while also rushing it once for three yards. He would have completed more of those pass attempts if it were not for three drops by Rams receivers.
Among those that were impressed by what they saw from Bortles was head coach Sean McVay, who feels he has been able to grasp the offense nicely in the short time he has been in Los Angeles, via Gary Klein of the L.A. Times:
“He’s a proven guy in this league — he’s shown that he can be a big-time quarterback, and I think he’s really picked things up nicely,” McVay said. “He’s kind of unfazed by anything that doesn’t always go our way.
“He just keeps that even-keeled demeanor, very similar to what we love so much about Jared.”
This is Bortles’ first time as a backup after being the primary starter for the Jacksonville Jaguars the past five years. He was drafted third overall in 2014 out of Central Florida.
Learning a new offense is not easy, and Bortles still believes he has a long way to go.
“I feel like I picked up lot so far,” he said. “Obviously, still got a lot to go, a lot to learn, just kind of the intricacies of it, but it’s been good so far.”
Goff has only missed one game over the last two seasons and that was due to rest, but having a capable backup is still important to any team with Super Bowl aspirations, and that is exactly what the Rams have in Bortles.
As recently as two seasons ago, Bortles took the Jaguars to the NFC Championship Game and nearly beat the Patriots to reach the Super Bowl, so McVay has to be comfortable handing the reigns over to a quarterback of that caliber if Goff were to go down with an injury.
Bortles should continue to see more time each preseason game to further learn and grasp the offense.