Stephen Morris will try to shed inconsistent "Tin Cup'' label

When quarterback Stephen Morris threw 21 touchdown passes and just seven interceptions in his junior  year at the University of Miami, his stock was rising.
A good senior season could have vaulted him in the draft.

Instead, he had an inconsistent senior year as he threw 21 touchdown passes again, but his interceptions increased to 12 even though Miami went 9-4.
And he didn’t shine at either the Senior Bowl or the combine.

His draft stock dropped and he was rated a seventh rounder or an undrafted free agent going it the draft.

It was no surprise that he wasn’t drafted. And the Jaguars were one of only three teams that even offered him a contract after the draft. Miami and the Jets were the other two.

He picked the Jaguars mainly because Jedd Fisch had been his offensive coordinator before he left after Morris’ junior year a year ago to join the Jaguars staff.

“I had a great relationship with coach Fisch and I understand this offense extremely well,’’ Morris said.

The question now is whether Morris is simply inconsistent or whether a strained Achilles he suffered early in his senior season didn’t allow him to get into a groove.

Fisch said, “I wasn’t there but the only thing I heard is he hurt his ankle and I don’t think he was ever totally comfortable planting (his right foot).’’

Morris said of the injury, “You’ve got to fight through it. It affected how you take drops and how you move around in the pocket.’’

Morris does have a lot of physical tools and now that he’s healthy, the Jaguars are hoping he can develop.

“I think we’re all fortunate and happy he’s with us right now,’’ Fisch said.

Chad Henne and Blake Bortles are locked into the top two quarterback spots with Morris competing with Ricky Stanzi, who has been in the league three years without taking a snap, for the No. 3 spot if the Jaguars keep three. Morris could spend a year developing on the practice squad.

He does have the physical skills. He was clocked as the second fastest quarterback in the 40 at the combine at 4.63 and got a $10,000 prize for being the fastest quarterback to run in Adidas cleats.

And there’s no question about his arm strength. said he had a “golden arm.’’ But he has to overcome the inconsistency label. The report said he was a “very perplexing and polarizing player’’ and that the scouts called him “Tin Cup’’ at the Senior Bowl practices because he would make amazing throws and then miss routine ones.

He showed off his arm strength at the rookie minicamp when he threw a bomb to Allen Robinson. He had so much on the ball that he almost overthrew him and Robinson made a diving catch.

“That was all Robinson,’’ he said. “I just threw it up for him and he did a great job running it down.’’

Since Morris knows the offense from his days with Miami at Fisch, he has embraced the role of helping Bortles learn the nuances.

“Blake is a great quarterback. All I’m doing is helping Blake and trying to be the best I can be,’’ he said.

And Morris said he feels more confident playing in an offense he knows.

“That’s the whole thing,’’ he said. “My confidence level has definitely increased coming here.’’

Now it’s up to Morris to impress the coaches in the OTAs (organized team activities) and during training camp.

“What we need to work on with him is his completion percentage and his efficiency,’’ Fisch said.

But Morris is not looking ahead.

“I’m just trying to keep my head down and get better every day,’’ he said.

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