Blake Bortles is expected to rebound for a much better second half to 2016, but is that a realistic expectation?
There’s no question that the mechanics have been off for Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles this season. Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer thinks it may be from a lack of focus over the offseason, stating that he may be able to “Band-Aid” the issue with re-focus, the right coaching, and new methods.
Still, this could be a long fix.
It isn’t everyday that quarterbacks go from an awkward elongated motion to something tight and crisp and still make magic happen. Professional quarterbacks must take time in perfecting their throwing motions and then cementing the use of the throwing motion in game situations.
Bortles expects a noticeable change in his motion going forward. In fact, according to the AP report, he thinks it could “pay dividends right away.” That’s optimistic but is it possible?
With the changes and uncertainty around the Jacksonville Jaguars and the continued pressure on the passing game due to the running game’s complete inability to execute, it would be a miracle if Bortles was able to change his motion immediately. When Bortles is forced to throw 35+ times per game (which he has five times) it is fair to assume that his new progress on his throwing motion won’t necessarily hold up.
Sure, it’s plenty of opportunities to get things right, but it’s more likely the game situations could inhibit his growth in this area. Mechanics can break down and he can revert to bad habits like many young quarterbacks. The fact his bad habits weren’t corrected earlier in the season probably doesn’t bode well for his ability to make a quick change.
Perhaps the best thing for the new and improved Blake Bortles throwing motion may be an emphasis on the run game, which new offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett may provide. If the running game can finally take off (Jags are ranked 32nd in attempts) there will be far less pressure on Bortles and he can work on honing his motion.
There are a lot of variables at work here. Week 9 will be a good test to see if his new throwing motion can hold up.