Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles went from a promising young quarterback in 2015 to a struggling, turnover-prone one in 2016.
Bortles knows it, and on Sunday, he detailed the work he’s been doing with quarterback guru Adam Dedeaux to correct some bad throwing mechanics that seeped into his game last season — a season in which he threw 16 interceptions and saw his touchdown tally drop from 35 to 23.
“The first thing we focused on was probably what everybody would guess, just trying to tighten up the release, make that as quick as possible,” Bortles said, via Michael DiRocco of ESPN. “So never letting really the wrist get below the elbow, trying to keep that parallel and not dropping down. So that was probably the main focus and then just a couple tweaks here and there in different things.
“It didn’t take a long time to fix it, but the first week it wasn’t pretty. It didn’t look good and that’s a part of it. When you’re trying to change things it’s not going to be great but we were able to kind of hash that out and now it’s going well.”
The Jaguars have to decide on Bortles’s fifth-year option by May 3. If they pick it up, it will pay Bortles approximately $ 20.7 million in 2018, and become fully guaranteed at the start of the 2018 league year.
“I’m confident with what I’ve done this offseason and that I’ll be able to come help this team be as good as we possibly can be,” Bortles said. “Everything involving the contract, that’s up to them. I look forward to playing football.”
The Jaguars have offered varying levels of commitment to Bortles, but they have no other option right now, at least for 2017. They’ll be hoping that all the work he’s putting in pays off.