New England Patriots: Blake Bortles impressed by Patriots’ secondary

JACKSONVILLE, FL - DECEMBER 24: Blake Bortles (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)
JACKSONVILLE, FL - DECEMBER 24: Blake Bortles (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images) /

The New England Patriots and Jacksonville Jaguars have had a few joint practices and the Patriots’ defense has impressed Blake Bortles.

Having a joint practice with another team is certainly a great way to prepare for the regular season. For the New England Patriots, they have been hosting the Jacksonville Jaguars for some joint practices prior to their preseason game.

So far in these practices, one of the big takeaways has been the play of Brandin Cooks. Going against A.J. Bouye mostly, Cooks has been able to shine in the practices for the Patriots’ offense. While seeing Cooks have success is certainly a good thing, the Patriots’ defense has also looked good.

Last season, the Patriots had a very good defense, but it didn’t seem to get the credit that they deserved. During the offseason, the defense was able to improve with some nice moves, and they look like they have the potential to once again be one of the best in the league. With additions like Stephon Gilmore and David Harris, the Patriots have a lot of talent on all three levels.

In the joint practices, Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles highlighted the fact that the Patriots’ defense is looking good.

"“They do a lot of different things in coverage with their safeties, whether they’re sprinting their guys down or staying too high and doing different stuff,” Bortles said to Phill Perry of “It’s been good going against different looks. It’s definitely different than what we see in Jacksonville.”"

For Bortles, this is an extremely important season for him. Last season, Bortles was expected to take a step forward. However, that didn’t happen, and the Jaguars struggled once again. Getting a look at one of the best teams in the NFL is certainly good for Bortles. With a need to improve, going against a solid defense like the Patriots is certainly a good thing for Bortles.

After the joint practices, Bortles praised the Patriots’ secondary and was really impressed by the play of their safeties. Arguably the greatest strength of the Patriots’ defense was their play from the safety position. Devin McCourty is certainly one of the best in the business at the position. Along with Duron Harmon and Patrick Chung, the Patriots are very versatile and strong at the position.

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While we likely won’t see much of the first teams for the Jaguars and the Patriots in the first preseason game, these joint practices were certainly useful for both teams.