There were more downs than ups during Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles' rookie season under center. What was supposed to be a "redshirt year" turned into Bortles starting by Week 4. Although he made some progress, there was a rookie wall and some regression, all of which was expected.
As he enters his second season, Bortles will have more on his plate as he plays the role of leader to not only the young guys, but to the entire offense.
“I think it kind of comes with the position," Bortles said. "Obviously as a quarterback that’s part of the job title and I think continuing to grow with the guys and create relationships this offseason was big for me to go out and develop a system on how to do certain things, how to take care of your body, how to continue to watch film, how to learn and do all of that. The more time you spend with guys the better the leader you’re going to become.”
Bortles spent plenty of time with his receivers in the offseason, away from the team-mandated activities.
“I’ve been here the whole time," Bortles explained. "I went out to Tahoe for a week but I was here. We got some guys together and we’d go throw at Bishop Kenny (High School).”
Bortles worked with some of the younger guys and the rookie class in particular.
“They’ve all been really good," the Jaguars starting quarterback said of the rookie class. "There hasn’t been any that have stood out one side good or bad. They’ve all been hard workers and have learned a ton. I’m excited to be able to continue to work with them.”
Although he was a fifth-round pick, wide receiver Rashad Greene could play an important role in the Jaguars offense. He wasn't a slot receiver at Florida State, but he will likely operate from that position in Jacksonville.
"He was here some and we threw multiple times during July," Bortles said of Greene. "He’s a talented player. He’s fun to throw to, he can really run and he’s got good ball skills so I’m looking forward to it.”
Bortles also was able to get plenty of work in with a couple of last year's rookies, Allen Hurns and Allen Robinson.
They were here the whole time I think so we might as well go throw together if we’re going to be together so we would drive across to Bishop Kenny and go throw over there a couple of times a week. It was good to be able to do that, good to continue to build chemistry with those guys and you can only do that getting reps and throwing to them," Bortles explained.
The Jaguars rookie has a lot of prove as he works up a resume that he hopes will someday equate to a nine-figure contract extension. In the meantime, he's saying and doing all the right things.
Jaguars' Bortles Embraces Role Of Leader
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