The Jacksonville Jaguars get back on the field Thursday to continue voluntary organized team activities (OTAs), and as we all know most of the focus is going to be on quarterback Blake Bortles and his throwing mechanics. There’s not much you can tell from OTAs, since there is no pass rush or danger of being hit, but knowing that everything looks fine in that setting is still a good sign.
There’s been a lot of negativity surrounding Bortles this offseason and questions about his future as the Jaguars quarterback and as a starting quarterback in general, but those questions and criticisms don’t seem to bother Blake.
“It’s part of it. I get that. I didn’t play well, we didn’t play well. It doesn’t really bother me that you have something negative to say about me. I earned that,” Bortles said after practice on Tuesday when asked about getting away from the negativity while in California working with Tom House on his mechanics. “It’s okay. It doesn’t offend me or bother me at all. I think going to California did help to get away, go out there and not have to deal with any of that stuff and not be around it. That’s part of the job and that’s something that you have to be able to handle, both good and bad. It’s kind of the same thing.”
Bortles has always been one to handle criticism and shoulder the blame when things go wrong, even if it wasn’t his fault, so his stance here shouldn’t be all that surprising. Bortles has plenty faults we can harp on, but self awareness isn’t one of those.
“I don’t know. I think that’s tough to say. It’s more so for me is kind of what I said earlier: as of now, we’re remembered off of what we did last year and what I did last year,” Bortles said on Tuesday when asked if skepticism about his future as the Jaguars quarterback bothers him. “I can’t wait to change that narrative. It’s more of a personal thing for me as far as what I’m thought of as a quarterback and definitely in this locker room and in this organization, to make sure to prove those guys right.”
The Jaguars 2017 season depends on the play of Bortles and he seems to know that. While it’s the offseason and it’s hard to put too much stock into anything, it does appear that Bortles is entering 2017 with a chip on his shoulder and has been working to prove all the doubters wrong.
So far, so good.