After an impressive 2015 season, Blake Bortles fell back into some bad tendencies in 2016. His poor footwork and sloppy mechanics were considered major reasons for his severe regression this past campaign.
In order to fix those issues and reestablish himself as the Jacksonville Jaguars‘ franchise quarterback, Bortles has spent the past two months working with his throwing coaches at 3DQB in California.
“The first thing we focused on was probably what everybody would guess, just trying to tighten up the release, make that as quick as possible,” Bortles said, according to ESPN’s Michael DiRocco. “So never letting really the wrist get below the elbow, trying to keep that parallel and not dropping down. So that was probably the main focus and then just a couple tweaks here and there in different things.
“It didn’t take a long time to fix it, but the first week it wasn’t pretty. It didn’t look good and that’s a part of it. When you’re trying to change things it’s not going to be great but we were able to kind of hash that out and now it’s going well.”
In a video tweeted out by 3DQB, Bortles’ throwing motion looked far more compact than it was last season, with the quarterback describing it as “more efficient, quicker.”
The real question, however, is: Will Bortles be able to maintain his improvements during a game?
“That’s the true test of, ‘Did it stick?'” Bortles said. “There’s only one way to figure that out and that’s go and play.”
The Jaguars hope Bortles’ offseason work successfully translates to an uptick in performance. Jacksonville has until May 3 to pick up the fifth-year option on the 24-year-old’s rookie contract for the 2018 season – which will likely be $20.7 million – and the cost will be a lot more palatable if he shows improvement this upcoming campaign.
General manager David Caldwell said the Jaguars will wait until close to the deadline to decide on Bortles’ option.
“I’m confident with what I’ve done this offseason and that I’ll be able to come help this team be as good as we possibly can be,” said Bortles. “Everything involving the contract, that’s up to them. I look forward to playing football.”
Copyright © 2017 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.