Players and Coaches Already Notice Blake Bortles’ Improvement This Offseason
By Daniel Lago
The Jacksonville Jaguars started their organized team activities (OTAs) on Tuesday morning, and the coaching staff and players are already starting to notice a difference in quarterback Blake Bortles.
After working tirelessly on his mechanics and delivery during the lead-up to the 2014 NFL Draft, Bortles exploded onto the scene during the 2014 NFL preseason. He was by far the most polished and impressive rookie quarterback in his short stints during the preseason. Once Bortles took the field as the starter in week 4 of the regular season however, his mechanics started to slowly deteriorate every week. Whether it was just fatigue or a lack of practice time to work on his mechanics, it was clear Bortles had to do a lot of work in the offseason to hone his craft.
Bortles did just that over the past several months, spending time in California working with quarterback coaches Tom House and Jordan Palmer:
"He went to California, where he spent more than two months working with quarterback guru Tom House and quarterback coach Jordan Palmer. Bortles said he spent five consecutive days with House, who also has worked with Tom Brady and Drew Brees, and then worked with him three days a week for the rest of the two months. He also threw with Palmer once or twice a week."
Clearly Bortles has put in the work this offseason to try and better himself, now it’s just about practice and repetitions to start establishing the necessary muscle memory to make routine activities become second-nature.
His work hasn’t gone unnoticed as fellow teammates have already noted a marked difference:
"“You can tell his release is better just from his footwork… I’m looking forward to seeing what he’s going to be doing.”– TE Marcedes Lewis“Coming in last year he was working on his spirals, so this offseason I worked with him and his balls are getting a lot faster… You could see the progression as far as the ball [being delivered quicker as receivers are] getting out of your breaks, the spirals, the timing down pat as far as his releases of the ball.”– WR Allen Hurns"
It’s only OTAs, but it’s good to see some progression in Bortles’ sophomore season. Let’s see if he can continue this trend through the start of the regular season.
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