Bortles returns from Cali with improved mechanics, confidence

By Brian Jackson - Digital sports reporter
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - We haven’t seen or heard much from Blake Bortles this offseason. The Jaguars quarterback has spent most of his time in California working with the 3DQB group led by Tom House. This is the same off-season training program Bortles went with prior to the start of the 2015 season.

Last offseason, Bortles elected to spend most of his time in Jacksonville to work with his receivers. The result was a 3-13 record that left major questions about whether Bortles was still the Jaguars franchise quarterback. Both Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone and general manager Dave Caldwell have said that Bortles will be their quarterback in 2017.

By making a return trip to California, Bortles is doing his best to make sure they don’t regret that decision.

“I really enjoyed the time I spent out there, I think it’s been really beneficial,” Bortles said at his charity golf event on Sunday at The King & Bear golf course. “I feel really good as far as where I’m at mechanically and how the ball is coming out. I’ll be heading back out next week for another two weeks of work.”

Sloppy mechanics led to Bortles being inconsistent at best with this throwing motion last season. On several occasions, he missed wide open receivers and at other times the ball came out wobbly instead of being a tight spiral.

“The first thing we targeted was tightening up my release and make that as quick as possible,” Bortles said. “We want to never let the wrist below the elbow and try and keep that parallel and not drop it down. That was probably the main focus and then a couple of tweaks here and there.”

While out west, Bortles got a chance to throw and catch with Jaguars receiver Marqise Lee. Next week, Bortles will be traveling to Arizona to work out with Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns.

Although the Jaguars have verbally committed to Bortles for the 2017 season, they’ve yet to decide on his future beyond that. The team has until May 3 to exercise a fifth-year option on Bortles’ contract that would pay him over $18 million. Some may call this a make or break season for Bortles, but he’s not worried about things outside of his control.

“I’m confident with what I’ve done this offseason,” Bortles said. “I think I’ll be able to help this team be as good as we possibly can be. Everything involving the contract, that’s up to them. I just look forward to playing football.”