Blake Bortles: Starting training camp strong


Blake Bortles is already impressing the Jacksonville Jaguars coaching staff with his progress from the end of the 2014 season to now.

Bortles put in plenty of work this offseason, making time to meet with throwing guru Tom House and making sure to get the new playbook down.

Some quarterback struggle when transitioning offenses early in their career while still attempting to hone their mechanics. So far, it seems Bortles isn’t missing a beat and is taking a step forward.

Keep in mind this is just a couple practices into training camp. Still, the improved accuracy of Bortles is impressing head coach Gus Bradley and showing promise for the second year under the young signal caller. Mechanics were a problem for Bortles last season and while there are likely still steps to be taken, his progress is noticeable and worth addressing by the coaching staff.

The Jags front office and coaching staff is, of course, heavily invested in seeing Blake Bortles succeed so hearing that progress is occurring is expected. Training camp is a period of hype for most teams and barring complete implosion, any dysfunction will fly under the radar. As noted by ESPN’s Michael DiRocco, Bortles went 13 of 22 in 11 on 11 drills during these first two days. Two drops on a 7-12 Friday contributed to those numbers not appearing as strong as many of us would like.

Mike Kaye at First Coast News notes that Bortles was neither spectacular or unimpressive during his first day in training camp. Not throwing interceptions was the highlight here, and Kaye makes certain to mention that at this point it is nothing to worry about. However, if he does continue to seem mediocre into the preseason then we could all start getting a tad nervous, warns Kaye.

I’m caught in between the two opinions expressed in these two writers’ pieces. While DiRocco mostly notes what Bradley has said about Blake Bortles and there is a certain level of hype associated with that, I think the lack of spectacular throws and mediocre statements about Bortles may be overly critical at this stage of the game.

The throws making their way around the internet (and for those who saw it live) generally look strong, even if some of them are tipped or nearly picked. Bortles looks comfortable so far and there seems to be an air of command that wasn’t always there in 2014. That’s a step forward and it’s a strong beginning for the second year quarterback. This is Bortles’ offense forevermore and he’ll have to own it going forward.

That said, if he seems unspectacular during the preseason, then I may end up getting a tad nervous.

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