The biggest story for the Jacksonville Jaguars this offseason is the continued development of quarterback Blake Bortles. Bortles is coming off a disappointing 2016 season, to put it lightly, and he’s looking to change the narrative in 2017. Bortles has always been someone who’s been more grounded and acknowledged his short comings, even admitting that it was tough to get over last season mentally.
“I don’t know. I think that’s something that’s hard to put in words. You can think a lot about it. It’s definitely something – it’s that thing, what have you done for me lately?,” Bortles told reporters on Tuesday following the first set of organized team activities (OTAs) when asked when he mentally recovered from last season. “That’s our lately. That’s my lately. Until we get a chance to go play again in September and change the narrative, that’s who we are. We’ve got a long ways to go to fix that and change that and it’s going to take place over the next couple of months.”
Bortles understands he has a lot of work in front of him if he wants to flip that narrative that’s been around all offseason since his 2016 season, which following a promising 2015 was a massive disappointment. That’s one area even Bortles’ detractors can’t fault him, is that he’s willing to accept his faults and responsibility, even when it’s not totally on him.
As for his 2017 offseason plan, he knows the focus will be on his footwork, mechanics and turning the ball over less.
“Just trying to get everything together as far as fixing the football stuff, fixing the off-the-field stuff, find a nutrition plan, find a good workout regimen,” Bortles said about his offseason plan. “It was just kind of the whole package of doing all of that and I think that helps out, and I was able to lose some pounds and feel in pretty good shape and able to do more. Practice is way more up-tempo now than it ever has been since I’ve been here. It’s important for not only me, but the rest of the guys to be in better shape than we’ve ever been.”
I don’t think Bortles ever really had issues with his playing weight, at least not in my eyes, but it was pretty obvious he’s at the very least changed up his diet and taking things more serious this offseason, he looks more slim than he has in the past.
This is all stuff we should expect to hear from Bortles, but still it’s nice to see that he is putting in the work to improve, regardless if you believe in him going forward or not.