Bortles talks UCF football
Published: Sunday, August 26, 2012
Updated: Sunday, August 26, 2012 14:08
Redshirt sophomore quarterback Blake Bortles has made strides to become a better player and leader in the past year, gaining the starting job in the process. Coming into his first year as the No. 1 guy, Bortles talks about the upcoming season and his new position as the leader of the team.
Central Florida Future: You are starting the year off as the starter as opposed to working your way up the depth chart last season. Talk about your approach this year as a starter. Is it any different?
Blake Bortles: It’s basically the same thing. Last year I was a two, but I prepared like I was a one. I had to be ready in case anything happened to Jeff [Godfrey]; I had to keep the offense moving. So I’m doing the same thing this year — preparing and making sure I’m ready to execute the offense.
CFF: What did you work on during the offseason to improve? Did you try to take more of a leadership role this year?
Bortles: Definitely, we got together a lot with the receivers in the offseason and throwing routes by ourselves and working on chemistry and timing. I think that’s something that has helped out with the leadership role, arranging those little workouts. And also getting in the film room with Rob Calabrese and other guys and just learning where to put the ball in the right situations.
CFF: You and J.J. Worton started out together working with the twos last year. Talk about that connection with Worton.
Bortles: I live with him, that’s my roommate. So we definitely have a connection. But every single receiver we have is reliable and can get the job done, so I’m confident in every receiver we have.
CFF: UCF has a tradition of having a strong rushing defense and offense. Does that help you out knowing that you have good running backs behind you and that the defense will get you the ball back?
Bortles: The running game definitely opens up the play-action game and stuff like that when you get the defensive backs and linebackers sucked up to the line of scrimmage. So with three good running backs like we have, it will definitely open up the passing game and help us out offensively.
CFF: With the first two games of the season on the road, how do you prepare knowing that you won’t be playing at home for three weeks?
Bortles: You just have to always play like you’re at home, you can’t worry about where you are at. It’s the same football field whether you are here or there, it’s 100-yards long. After last year our away record was not too good so that’s something we’re looking to improve on.
CFF: What are you looking forward to most in your last year of Conference USA play?
Bortles: I think just going out and playing with this group of guys. We have a great group of 21 seniors and I look up to all of them and they’re all great leaders. So just making this a memorable senior year for them is something I’m going to try and do as the leader of this offense.
CFF: What are your goals both personally and for the team this year?
Bortles: My personal goals will only come if our team goals come. Our goal is to win every game we play. We want to win the conference and every other game. So if we win every game we play, everyone’s personal goals will be achieved.