When Blake Bortles was drafted out of UCF in 2014, the Jacksonville Jaguars had high hopes for the quarterback. Bortles had just led UCF to an upset victory in the Fiesta Bowl over Baylor in the months prior and his draft stock was through the roof. Three rough seasons later, Bortles and the Jags are ready to see improvement and he knows it.
"Guys are sick and tired of being below average"
–Jaguars QB Blake Bortles
— John Oehser (@JohnOehser) June 14, 2017
Bortles believes in this Jacksonville team and knows that he has to make improvements to his game. That’s why this offseason Bortles has spent time with pitching gurus turned quarterback tutors Tom House and Adam Dedeaux working on his mechanics. House and Dedeux have worked with some of the top quarterbacks in the league, including Drew Brees, Matt Ryan, and Tom Brady.
In the middle of the 2016 season, Bortles’ play regressed dramatically, which first led to offensive coordinator Greg Olson being fired, then eventually head coach Gus Bradley, too, and Jacksonville finished with a 3-13 record.
The biggest area of improvement that Bortles has been working on is his throwing motion, which he admitted “wasn’t pretty.” (See above) He spent two months working on tightening up his release and making it quicker. The Jaguars did retain his 2016 QB coach Nate Hackett and promoted him to offensive coordinator and hired a new QB coach in Scott Milanovich, too.
While there is still work to be done, Bortles is optimistic about his the improvements he is making. He told the media Wednesday that he will be spending another month working with House, who pitched 8 seasons with Atlanta, Boston and Seattle in MLB, to refine his mechanics.
Mini-camp and training camp will provide Bortles the ability to show off all he has been working on this offseason. But, the real test is what happens, when real opponents start coming at him starting in August