In the last couple of weeks, the Rams have signed two free agents on the open market — safety Eric Weddle and now quarterback Blake Bortles.
In his introductory press conference last week, Weddle mentioned how the Rams were the first team he visited. Clearly, that went well as the safety never made another.
Just after signing with Los Angeles on Monday, Bortles — the Rams’ No. 2 quarterback heading into the 2019 season — revealed in an interview with therams.com that the process was similar for him.
One trip is all it took to sign a contract with the defending NFC Champions.
“You know, kind of weighing the options that I had prior to going and meeting with anybody — this was the first visit I took — the Rams were the one that stood out to me, kind of the place I wanted to be, and what I thought would be best, personally, for me joining a good football team,” Bortles said Monday. "So kind of when I was around the building talking to people, it really just solidified that. And I got off the phone with my agent and was kind of like, ‘This is where I want to be and where I think is best for me.’”
Reporting surfaced over the weekend that Bortles would meet with the Rams on Monday — a visit that went well enough for the quarterback and L.A. to agree on a one-year deal. Bortles said he wanted Los Angeles to be first on his list in part because of what he knew about the team from afar.
“I think from an outside perspective, offensively watching them play — watching what they do offensively, the schemes, how they do stuff, the effectiveness and efficiency that they do it in,” Bortles said, “it was kind of like, ‘How can I get around that? How can I learn from these guys and be a part of what they’re doing?’”
Now Bortles will be able to do just that. And one of the biggest reasons he’s excited about it is the chance to work closely with head coach Sean McVay.
“I mean, I think as a quarterback, there’s not really anybody else you’d rather be around if you had your pick,” Bortles said. “What he’s done, the people that have been taken out of here for head coaching jobs, and OC jobs in other places I think is a testament to how good he is at what he does, how good of a teacher and a coach he is. And you watch them play, and the effort and intensity that they play at speaks to the type of head coach he is and how he gets the guys going.”
Check out the best photos of the new Los Angeles Rams quarterback Blake Bortles.
In effect, this will be a new role for Bortles — coming in knowing he’s the No. 2 to quarterback Jared Goff to open the year. But part of why he feels comfortable doing that is because of the players he’s been around in the past.
“I think I was fortunate in Jacksonville to have Chad Henne there with me for four years. And I think watching him play that role the way he did was as good as you could do it,” Bortles said. “And it’s obviously a new spot and a new role for me to play. But I’ve kind of had the exposure to I think how it’s supposed to be done. And I look forward to being that for Jared, and being there — whether it’s supporting him or hyping him up, or being truthful to him. Whatever I can do to help him is kind of what you’re there to do as the backup guy.”
So what is Bortles most excited about for his upcoming 2019 season in horns?
“I think just joining a team that’s already clearly established who they are as an organization and the kind of football that they play,” Bortles said. “I mean, you watch the Rams play, they’re fun to watch. So really for me, it’s just to be a part of that, but learn as much as possible and contribute anything I can.”