The Jacksonville Jaguars opened up training camp on Thursday for the first on-field day of practice. By all accounts, everything went as planned and there were no major injuries and no major disasters, as far as poor play. The big focus as always is the quarterback, and most of the reports on how Blake Bortles played on Day 1 ranged from his usual inconsistent self to good. The good news was that I didn’t talk to or read a person who thought he was bad, which is how it should be entering his fourth season.
Bortles himself thought there were a lot of good things on Day 1.
“It was good. I think it was a typical first day. There was some good stuff, I thought there was a lot of good stuff, actually, and I thought there was some stuff we have to clean up and work on, which I think is expected for any first day,” Bortles said when asked how he felt the first day went on Thursday afternoon. “You’re not going to go out there flawless on the first day of camp. But I thought the guys’ effort was good, I thought the energy was good. It was good to see guys flying around.”
A lot of the reviews of Bortles centered around his mechanics and throwing motion, which by all accounts appears to be much more compact and quicker. Bortles spent a lot of the offseason in California working with Tom House, as he did prior to the 2015 season.
“Going out there was just grooming everything, making everything consistent, making sure, because you go out there and you’re throwing there, there’s nobody around you, there’s nobody coming at you, you’re not thinking about anything, you’re just throwing,” Bortles said of California.
Bortles has a reputation of not being a good “practice player”, but as I mentioned I didn’t hear or read a single person who thought he looked poor on Thursday. He even had a few nice touchdown passes and seemed to have great chemistry again with wide receiver Allen Robinson, who should be poised for a big year.
As training camp progresses, the focus is going to be on Bortles because he’s the real key to the Jaguars season in 2017, but it’s important to remember not to make too much out of how he looks in day-to-day practices while the team is installing the offense, etc. More importantly we want to see how he looks in game situations in the first few preseason games, but even then it’s hard to take much away.
Regardless, not hearing Bortles looked poor is something we should be expecting at this point.