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2017 Minicamp 2: Running game “has looked good,” Bortles says

Posted Jun 14, 2017

QB Blake Bortles following Jaguars 2017 Minicamp Day 2 Wednesday: “The foundation and formula is having a running game and being able to do everything off of that; that’s our goal”


JACKSONVILLE – It hasn’t been bad, but it needs to be better.

That was part of the message from quarterback Blake Bortles when discussing the Jaguars’ offense on Wednesday, Day 2 of the team’s 2017 minicamp on the practice fields adjacent to EverBank Field.

Bortles, whose fundamentals and mechanics are a storyline of the Jaguars’ 2017 offseason, discussed those issues and his plans to continue working on those areas in the coming months here. He also on Wednesday was asked about the progress of the offense overall during the offseason.

The Jaguars’ three-day minicamp marks the end of the ’17 offseason for veterans. The team also went through three weeks of on-field organized team activities that ended last Friday.

The Jaguars open training camp in late July.

“I think it’s been good,” Bortles said. “There’s still a bunch of little mistakes that we’re making that we have to get fixed. I think it’s going to be a lot on guys this next month coming up and what they do with their time by themselves; how much time they put in, how much work they do and how much better they try to get.

“When we show up at the end of July, it’s time to get rolling and we can’t necessarily make the mistakes that have been happening over the last couple of weeks.”

Bortles said he likes the offense being installed by offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, who took over as coordinator with nine games remaining last season. Hackett essentially ran former coordinator Greg Olson’s system late in 2016, and implemented changes this offseason.

“I think it’s awesome,” Bortles said. “It’s obviously still in the process. Like I said in the beginning, I want to know it the best in the building and I’m still in the process of doing that. As far as basics in the foundation, I think we have that. There is a big package and each week it will be dialed down into what we want to attack this week and how do we want to do it and then let’s go rep those plays as much as possible, which I think is a good thing.

“There’s a ton of stuff to do in it and there’s a ton of adjustments and things to do off of it, which is what we kind of want to do right now and in camp, as well.”

Bortles also on Wednesday said he has seen good signs from a running game that the team is expected to emphasize next season with the addition of Leonard Fournette, the No. 4 overall selection in the 2017 NFL Draft.

“The foundation and the formula is having a running game and being able to do everything off of that,” Bortles said. “That’s our goal. That’s what we’re trying to do. That’s what we’re working on. …

“I think the running game has looked really good. I think they’ve done a good job up front. I think the backs have done a really good job and it’s been a good group effort. I think receivers have done well helping out and being in there when they need to and blocking some guys. I’m excited for that.”

Also on Wednesday:

*Safeties Tashaun Gipson and Barry Church continued to work on the side, as they did throughout OTAs. Other players not practicing/working on the side Wednesday included cornerback Aaron Colvin, running back T.J. Yeldon, tight end Neal Sterling, defensive tackle Stefan Charles and cornerback Aaron Colvin. …

*The Jaguars moved minicamp practice to 8:45 from its scheduled 11 a.m. start time for a second consecutive day Wednesday to account for inclement afternoon weather. Minicamp is scheduled to conclude Thursday, with all minicamp practices closed to the public. …

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