A local coach who mentors high school and college quarterbacks made headlines this summer when he tweeted out an offer to give Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles private lessons. Now that same coach is praising improved play from the Jaguars signal-caller.
“I think they have changed a lot and actually involved Blake,” says Denny Thompson, owner of 6Points.
Thompson has mentored quarterbacks like the Buffalo Bills Nate Peterman, a Bartram Trail high graduate. He's also working closely with current Bartram Train quarterback Joey Gatewood, who has committed to play college football at Auburn.
During the preseason, Thompson tweeted : “My advice to @BBortles5 ... Call me, I gotcha Man! Got a spot we can train with no-one knowing and confident we can get this headed right.”
At the time, he said Bortles issues were "60% mental and 40% physical."
Less than three months later, Thompson credits Jaguars coaches for getting more out of the once beleaguered quarterback.“Blake’s personality is coming out. The play-calling is on point. You can tell Blake is a part of the game plan and comfortable with the game plan. He understands the play calls that are coming in.” Thompson said.
“I think decision making has improved, but I also think the play-calling has helped the decision making,”
Thompson initially believed Bortles needed a change of scenery, but now he says the Jaguars changed the scenes internally by changing the culture. Thompson says the biggest change in Bortles’ game is his head.
“There is a couple of always rules when playing quarterback, and one is you have to have your head still. Your head can not be moving around. If you watch Blake throw the ball now and it is a big reason his accuracy numbers have gone up is when he locks in on a target, his eyes and his feet are tied together. Last year when he would whip his eyes, his feet would stay here or he would lock in and not come off the target. Now we are getting the eyes and feet going all the way through the progression.“