Much of the fate of the 2017 Jacksonville Jaguars NFL season is going to depend on quarterback Blake Bortles' performances. Will the Jaguars see an explosive offense like they did in 2015, or is it going to be the team who struggles to get first downs and string drives together like in 2016?
New Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone knows that the team needs to win in 2017 and in order for that to happen, they're going to have to figure out a way to make Bortles an efficient quarterback this upcoming season. Marrone's plan initially is to go back to some things that have worked in his previous coaching stops, such as giving Bortles a ton of reps.
"We have to go back and build [Bortles'] foundation from the beginning," Marrone told Ryan O'Halloran of The Florida Times-Union. "We told him [in January] we wanted him to make sure his arm was ready to go because there will be an increase in reps, which will help him. I've been with Drew [Brees] in New Orleans and obviously he's a Hall of Fame-type quarterback and that's the way we approached it with him and with the team. You start with the foundation and you look to see how fast they can work through the foundation."
Obviously Bortles isn't Brees, in accomplishment or even skill set, but Marrone was there when Brees first arrived in New Orleans with the Saints, helped make Ryan Nassib trick people into thinking he was a top quarterback prospect and won nine games with a combination of Kyle Orton and EJ Manuel at quarterback.
Bortles has been in California this offseason working with the same quarterback coach he did prior to the 2015 season, so it's possible Marrone wants to just keep Bortles working on those things he was improving on there, hoping the number of reps will relate it to muscle memory. Bortles had issues beginning in the preseason where his mechanics just started to deteriorate and it was just all down hill from there.
It will be interesting to see what Bortles looks like early in OTAs and in training camp, because his play will determine a lot for the 2017 season.