Jaguars' Bortles expects noticeable difference with motion
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) - Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles expects to see a noticeable difference when he plays at Kansas City on Sunday.
Bortles spent two days working with a mechanics coach this week, focusing on better footwork that he hopes will shorten his delivery and tighten his throwing motion. Bortles said Friday that "two days isn't going to fix anything," but he added that the refresher course should pay dividends right away.
"I would hope so," he said. "I guess we'll find out on Sunday. ... I feel good. I think that Sunday will be a good test. I'm excited for it."
Not only did Bortles spend time tweaking his mechanics, he also had to get acclimated to new offensive coordinator Nate Hackett. The Jaguars fired Greg Olson last week, two days after an embarrassing loss at Tennessee , and promoted Hackett to fill the void.
The Jaguars (2-5) have seemingly responded well to the change, with some players expressing relief about the transition.
"It was good, "Bortles said. "I thought guys were fired up. I think Nathaniel's done a really good job and kind of being a spark plug, getting the offense going. He's obviously done a really good job with the plan, putting it together, and then getting everybody to buy into it and making sure everybody has an understanding of what we're doing and why we're doing it."
Under Hackett, Jacksonville expects to be more committed to running the ball. That, in turn, could help Bortles, especially if his mechanics improve and allow him to be more accurate.
Bortles' old habits - the ones that plagued him as a rookie in 2014 - resurfaced during training camp, but the third-year pro initially thought he could work through them. He even spent a half hour a day practicing his form in front of a mirror.
When it became clear he wasn't making progress, Bortles decided to get help. So he called Adam Dedeaux, an instructor at 3DQB in Los Angeles. Dedeaux and partner Tom House have helped Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Tim Tebow and other NFL quarterbacks in recent years. Bortles has spent time with them, too, but he normally does it during the offseason.
"It was big," Bortles said. "You talk about feel and trying to create muscle memory and obviously it's hard to do that stuff in the middle of the season when you're trying to game plan and get ready for a game on Sunday. But it was good. I think he did a good job. He's a huge help so it was good to have him here."
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