Sam's Commentary

June 17, 2017 Commentary Archive

Bortles Knows This Is It

by Sam Kouvaris
Posted June 17, 2017 ===========================================================================

In his fourth year in the league, Quarterback Blake Bortles knows this is his last chance with the Jaguars. A typical rookie year was followed by great improvement but last year he, and the team fell apart. The Jaguars picked up the fifth year of his rookie deal, meaning if he proves he's the right guy in 2017, they have a bargain the next year. If not, they can move on without penalty.

Perhaps that's given Bortles more focus in this off-season, or maybe it's just the change in his coaching staff. Either way, the Jaguars quarterback has spent the offseason working with quarterback experts on the west coast, trying to give himself the best chance at success.

"Two years ago, I went out there and last year, I stayed here the whole time," Blake said without mentioning that after 2016 the Jaguars asked him to stay in town and throw with the receiving group.

"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."

Between the mini-camp and the beginning training camp, Bortles will be back on the west coast, continuing to work on things he thinks he needs after four weeks of work in Jacksonville.

"I think it will definitely be more specific" he said, explaining what he'll do out there in his second visit. "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."

Drafting Leonard Fournette is supposed to signal a culture change for the Jaguars offense. More run-oriented, less reliant on Bortles being able to keep drives going with the pass. He's on board with all of that.

"You'd like to think that if you throw the ball less, you commit less turnovers, have a higher completion percentage, all that. That's all stuff that comes along with it. You still have to, from a quarterback perspective, still continue to make decisions and deliver the ball where it needs to be."

And in the mini-camp, the focus was on "situational football" trying to simulate the things the team will face when the season starts. None of it is a mystery.

"We're notorious for going three-and-out on the first possession in the past couple years that I've been here," Blake said with a wry smile. "We have to stop doing that. We have to come out and find a way, from the beginning, and no matter what the situation or scenario is, to find a way to be successful and efficient."

In order to play at the level they want, the Jaguars coaching staff believes a new level of conditioning and toughness is where to start. Head Coach Doug Marrone said it's no secret that the Jaguars were getting beat in the 4th quarter of games last year and he wants that to stop. That's why his version of the OTA's and the mini-camp were particularly grueling. Bortles thought the Jaguars receivers ran more in the four weeks than they ran in the last four years. "Yeah, I think so," he said. "Definitely. I think doing all that, getting in shape. I think it's not necessarily something you like right now. There are some guys that aren't happy about it. I think that's how you create a culture and establish the way that the Jacksonville Jaguars practice."

Almost every sports adage applies to the Jaguars at this point. They've been losing games and it hasn't been fun for anybody. The Jaguars have one playoff win in the last 17 years, so a change, any kind of change would be welcome. Bortles and his teammates in this generation of Jaguars would like to change that.

"I think my goal is for us and this team and this organization is to be very successful. 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."

Commentary by Sam Kouvaris

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06-17-2017 - Marrone, Albert Lynchpins To Jaguars Success
06-10-2017 - Marrone Unimpressed In OTA's
05-24-2017 - Bortles On Being Bad, Better
05-15-2017 - Sunday Stroll For Si Woo Kim
05-12-2017 - Still Anybody's Tournament
05-11-2017 - Malik Jackson At The Players: "It's Pretty Dope"
05-10-2017 - Winning Score? TPC Stadium Is Firm And Fast
05-10-2017 - Sergio: Everybody's New Favorite
05-09b-2017 - THE PLAYERS In May Or March Is Still Huge
05-09-2017 - GJO To The Players Is A Long Trip
04-29-2017 - Jaguars Take "Bama OL In 2nd Round
04-28-2017 - Jaguars Take Fournette: "Physical"
04-27-2017 - Past Is Prologue For The Jaguars Draft
04-22-2017 - Jaguars Draft 2017: Take The Best Player
04-21-2017 - Nothing Good In The Jags 2017 Schedule
03-31-2017 - Mt. Acosta Classic Is Something Special
03-29-2017 - Marrone Looking For Competition, Consistency
03-28-2017 - Khan "Actions Speak Louder Than Words"
03-28-2017 - Coughlin "We Need A Culture Change"
03-26-2017 - NFL Owners Talk Player Safety, Shorter Games In Phoenix
03-19-2017 - Gators Swamp Virginia, Head To New York
03-19-2017 - FSU Can't Shoot, Loses To Xavier
03-14-2017 - DL3 In The HOF, Still Wants To Play
03-08-2017 - Jaguars Free-agency Preview: Plugging Holes
02-24-2017 - Shorter SpeedWeeks, Better Racing?
02-22-2017 - One Stop Sports Recovery (Now available to everybody)
02-07-2017 - The Case For Boselli In The Hall, And The Process It Entails
02-01-2017 - Coughlin Says Boselli "Should Be In The Hall Of Fame"
01-19-2017 - Hackett Stays As Jaguars OC
01-12-2017 - Coughlin, "Winning Is What It's All About"
01-11-2017 - Marrone Starts To Change The Staff
01-09-2017 - Marrone, Coughlin, Caldwell Try To "Fix" Jaguars
01-03-2017 - Boselli Makes Hall Of Fame Final 15
01-02-2017 - Jaguars To Compete For A Head Coach

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