JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles will head back to California to work on his mechanics following the conclusion of the offseason program.
The fourth-year player worked with 3DQB instructors Tom House and Adam Dedeaux earlier this offseason to redefine his throwing mechanics.
Bortles trained with the duo extensively in 2015 prior to his breakout second season. He chose to work with them briefly before last season.
Skipping out on the extra time with House and Dedeaux proved to be a poor decision, as Bortles' mechanics regressed and his stats dropped significantly in 2016.
Bortles produced 4,428 passing yards, 35 touchdowns and 18 interceptions in 2015. Last season, his production regressed to 3,905 passing yards, 23 touchdowns and interceptions without the continued support of his instructors.
This year, the extra month of work with the pair of throwing gurus should help Bortles maintain his improved mechanics through training camp and beyond.
“I think it will definitely be more specific," Bortles said of the workouts in Los Angeles.
"In the offseason one, or whatever you want to call it -- February, March April -- it was mechanic-based. ‘Let’s fix this, let’s make sure this is sustainable and can remain consistent.’ Now, I’ll go out there with some more descriptive things. ‘Here’s what I felt like I struggled with footwork-wise and throwing this route. Here’s what I’d like to get better at. Here’s something that was new, I’d like to just rep it.’ I think it’ll be a bit more dialed-in.”
Bortles needs to bounce back this season. His fifth-year contract option was picked up for next season, but it is only guaranteed for injury. If he plays like he did last season, his days in Jacksonville could be numbered.
The quarterback has won just 11 games during his NFL career. He knows that's not a strong return for the franchise that invested the third overall pick on him in 2014.
"I think my goal is for us and this team and this organization to be very successful," Bortles said. "We haven’t for three years since I’ve been here. I think even after that happens, I don’t think anything will change. It’s what I do. It’s our job. It’s my job and my passion. I’m going to do and exhaust every resource I have to be able to make this thing work and get it rolling.”
Football executive Tom Coughlin and head coach Doug Marrone wanted to surround Bortles with a strong running game this season.
The Jaguars plan to find a balance on offense. They want to be able to run the ball efficiently, something they've failed to do for the last several years.
The team will use fourth overall pick Leonard Fournette to help improve the ground game, which should also aid Bortles and his receivers.
"I think kind of the foundation and the formula for being successful is having a running game and being able to do everything off of that," Bortles said. "So obviously that’s our goal. That’s what we’re going to try and do and that’s what we’re working towards.”
With an improved running game and throwing motion, Bortles hopes his offense can take several steps forward. It may be now or never for the young quarterback and some of his teammates.
"I think it’s one of those things where it’s we have Coach Coughlin here, we have Doug Marrone here, we have Nathaniel Hackett, who we all, as an offense, are extremely comfortable and confident with," Bortles said.
"It just shows that guys are sick and tired of being below average and not being successful when we feel as though we have the ability to be a good team. We haven’t been. It’s time to make a change. It’s not going to happen overnight. You have to go do something about it.”
Follow Mike Kaye on Twitter at @Mike_E_Kaye.
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