JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Jaguars' coaching staff felt it was the right move to rest starting quarterback Blake Bortles midway through Sunday's practice.
Head coach Doug Marrone initially said Bortles was on a pitch count but then clarified he wanted to rest Bortles' arm after an onslaught of passing reps throughout training camp.
The quarterback told reporters after practice Tuesday that he has thrown the ball a lot more in August than he has the past three years.
“No, it’s not even close," Bortles said. "I’ve taken more reps in this camp than probably the last three years all combined.”
While he has taken on a much larger workload as a passer, the young quarterback thinks his arm is in fine shape. In fact, Bortles actually welcomes extra reps in practice.
"We’re still making mistakes, and we’ve had thousands of reps," Bortles said. "Imagine if we only had 500 it would be probably way worse. I think the only way to eliminate those mistakes is continue to do it and continue to do it and continue to correct it in meetings until it’s beaten in your head that you know how to do it.”
Bortles came into the offseason knowing he would be throwing quite a bit. After a troubling performance last season, Bortles spent most of his offseason working on his mechanics in California with throwing guru Adam Dedeaux.
After throwing 51 interceptions over three seasons, Bortles had a lot to improve on entering training camp. He said he completely agrees with the plans put in place by Marrone and offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett.
The physical toll of throwing constantly without more than a day of rest seems daunting for anyone. Bortles said it all has to do with arm strength.
“From a quarterback standpoint, all you can do is make sure your arm is in shape," Bortles said. "All offseason continue to do what you can in order to make sure that your arm is capable of having all those throws, then obviously the rehab and taking care of it after practice and icing and stretching and doing massages and all that stuff, kind of taking care of it is important as well.”
Marrone understands that he is pushing Bortles to be better. He said he does that with all of his players, from the quarterbacks to the specialists.
Marrone has said in the past that he is never satisfied. He wants Bortles to become more consistent and believes his approach, which included a short period of rest, will eventually make that happen.
"There are some throws that I’ll think, ‘Hey, that’s a good throw,’ and then I’ll be like, ‘That’s a horse [expletive] throw,’" Marrone said. "At the end of the day, I’m just trying to get more and get better. So we rested him the other day. I thought he came back and really had no issues for these two days. That was the goal was to get him out here and get him all that work. I think he’s gotten good work, and I think that him along with the rest of the guys on offense, I want those guys to get better."
Follow Mike Kaye on Twitter at @Mike_E_Kaye.