The reason Blake Bortles didn’t travel to California to train with his offseason quarterback coaches may have had more to do with former Jacksonville Jaguars offensive coordinator Greg Olson than Bortles himself.
After a year where he set franchise records in passing yards (4,428) and touchdowns (35), Bortles opted to only spend six days in California, spending most of his time in Jacksonville with Allen Robinson, Allen Hurns, and Marqise Lee. Most of us thought that was Bortles not taking every opportunity to get better. But Bortles explained to ESPN’s Mike DiRocco that wasn’t really the case.
"There was a difference in beliefs between Olly (Olson) and the guys that I throw with out in California. They’d had a previous interaction and disagreed on some things so he was a little negative of them, but he was totally supportive of what I wanted to do. But all our wide receivers were here in Jacksonville so he thought it was a good idea -- and to me it seemed like a good idea as well to come in here and throw with those guys.”
"The only thing I missed was instead of going and throwing with somebody that’s watching me throw and critiquing and helping every single throw, I threw here by myself the whole time and had nobody watching or telling me what I was doing wrong. And I can’t do that. I need people to help me. I need constant feedback on stuff like that."
This puts Bortles in a much more sympathetic light and reveals a bit more of the dysfunction behind the scenes of what is the most important player development on the team. Bortles is your quarterback, now how do you win with him? It seems Olson (nor the rest of the coaching staff) knew how to answer that question, despite the fact that the third-year quarterback was literally asking for it.
You can read all of Bortles’ comments here.