JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Nothing stunts momentum like a turnover.
Unfortunately for the Jaguars, interceptions have come early for quarterback Blake Bortles. The former first round pick threw three interceptions and lost a fumble in the team's first two games.
Offensive coordinator Greg Olson believes those turnovers have stunted the chance to start fast on offense. However, he notes that making plays on the first two downs will help with play-calling and play-making on third down.
"We've had two early turnovers in the first two games so eliminate that part of it and then stay on schedule," Olson said. "As we've talked about it, it's been a major emphasis. You win on third down by winning on first and second down and staying on schedule."
The offensive coordinator - who helped bolster the Jaguars' air attack last season - says the key to starting fast is by picking up four yards or more on first down. Olson said the team ranked among the league's best on first down last season.
However, the running game has struggled, which has led to longer targets on third down. Bortles has been launching less downfield throws than last season, so it's fair to wonder if he's playing hesitant after giving the ball up early in games.
"No I don't think so," Olson said.
"That's certainly something he's aware of and we're aware of. Both [early interceptions] occurred on third downs, so that's part of it. We'll do a better job on early third downs, as far as the plays. We looked at them, we went through and I think he's comfortable where he is going with the ball in those situations. Just a little bit of an accuracy issue in the first game and last week we were playing a man team, we've got to create separation and maintain separation one we get that separation."
Bortles hasn't had the success with his weapons that he had last season. Allen Hurns, Allen Robinson and others have yet to really put their pedals to the metal. Robinson wasn't targeted in Week 2 until 20 minutes into the game.
Still, Olson has no problem backing his third-year quarterback or the guys who catch his passes.
"I have full confidence in the offense and the players in this offense and Blake's ability to put the ball in those play-makers' hands," Olson said.
Follow Mike Kaye on Twitter at @Mike_E_Kaye.