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Blake Bortles: "Most important month"

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JACKSONVILLE – This month is big. Blake Bortles gets that.

The Jaguars' starting quarterback understands, too, that while the next few weeks of 2017 organized team activities indeed matter very much things don't get less important after that.

Bortles said the reverse actually is true.

"I think everything is important: I think this is by far the most important month of my career," Bortles said on Day One of Jaguars 2017 organized team activities at EverBank Field Tuesday. "Then, the following month will be just as important and so on and so forth until we start rolling.

"It kind of goes through the same thing with the season: each week is as or more important than the last."

Bortles, entering his fourth NFL season, followed a 35-touchdown, 18-interception 2015 season with a 23-touchdown, 16-interception 2016 season that caused many to wonder about his status as the team's franchise quarterback of the future. He touched on that and other topics Tuesdays as OTAs began, also saying that he liked where he is mechanically after spending much of February and March working with his personal quarterbacks coaches, Adam Dedeaux and Tom House, in California.

Bortles said footwork is a major emphasis under offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett and quarterbacks coach Scott Milanovich.

"Everything Nathaniel does with his system is based off your feet: It's a lot into that, and it's not something that we've done in the past," Bortles said. "It's a little bit new to an extent, so there are constant reminders with that. If your feet get out of whack, everything else goes."

Bortles said another mechanical focus has been keeping the ball high during his throwing motion, something he said he has done thus far during the offseason. Bortles said keeping the ball too low was an issue last season.

"You never want to throw the ball like that," he said. "I don't know if there was any rhyme or reason why that happened, or if it was just kind of the natural evolution of how I was throwing the football, but it definitely wasn't good. It's definitely a priority."

Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone on Tuesday said while Bortles and the offense during OTAs won't see the exact schemes and coverages as during the season, seeing consistency from quarterback position is important during this portion of the offseason.

"Being able to get the ball out on rhythm for lack of a better term…" Marrone said. "You want to be able to see, 'one, two, three … ball's out; one, two, three … ball's out' – being efficient from that standpoint. You want to have the ability of all the quarterbacks and all the receivers knowing exactly what the timing is of routes."

Bortles said, too, he currently is weighing about 233 pounds – part of an offseason focus on nutrition and "trying to get everything together."

"I've got a workout regimen; it's kind of just the whole package," Bortles said. "Practice is going to be more up-tempo than it ever has since I've been here, so it's important to be in better shape."

Images from the first day of organized team activities.

More from Bortles' meeting with the media Tuesday:

*On what went wrong during last year's 3-13 season: "I think a lot of things, but I think it's stuff you can look at and learn from. I think you try to forget about it and get it out of memory, and you can't wait for this season to start and put that in the past. You can't just say, 'Well, we've got a new coaching staff and there are new guys in the locker room; it's all going to change.' There's a lot of work that goes into it." …

*On when he mentally recovered from last season: "That's kind of hard to put into words. It's like the saying, 'What have you done for me lately?' That's our lately. That's my lately. Until we get a chance to go play again in September, that's who we are. We have a long ways to go to change that and it's going to take place over the next couple of months." …

*On the message the team sent him by not selecting a quarterback in the 2017 NFL Draft: "I think you can look at that as deep or not deep as you want to – and see all the subliminal messages and things like that. But I wouldn't have changed. If they had taken a kid with the first pick, I still would have been doing the same things." …

*On how he feels now compared to early OTAs 2015: "I would say similar to 2015 – definitely nothing like last year." …

JACKSONVILLE – This month is big. Blake Bortles gets that.

The Jaguars' starting quarterback understands, too, that while the next few weeks of 2017 organized team activities indeed matter very much things don't get less important after that.

Bortles said the reverse actually is true.

"I think everything is important: I think this is by far the most important month of my career," Bortles said on Day One of Jaguars 2017 organized team activities at EverBank Field Tuesday. "Then, the following month will be just as important and so on and so forth until we start rolling.

"It kind of goes through the same thing with the season: each week is as or more important than the last."

Bortles, entering his fourth NFL season, followed a 35-touchdown, 18-interception 2015 season with a 23-touchdown, 16-interception 2016 season that caused many to wonder about his status as the team's franchise quarterback of the future. He touched on that and other topics Tuesdays as OTAs began, also saying that he liked where he is mechanically after spending much of February and March working with his personal quarterbacks coaches, Adam Dedeaux and Tom House, in California.

Bortles said footwork is a major emphasis under offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett and quarterbacks coach Scott Milanovich.

"Everything Nathaniel does with his system is based off your feet: It's a lot into that, and it's not something that we've done in the past," Bortles said. "It's a little bit new to an extent, so there are constant reminders with that. If your feet get out of whack, everything else goes."

Bortles said another mechanical focus has been keeping the ball high during his throwing motion, something he said he has done thus far during the offseason. Bortles said keeping the ball too low was an issue last season.

"You never want to throw the ball like that," he said. "I don't know if there was any rhyme or reason why that happened, or if it was just kind of the natural evolution of how I was throwing the football, but it definitely wasn't good. It's definitely a priority."

Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone on Tuesday said while Bortles and the offense during OTAs won't see the exact schemes and coverages as during the season, seeing consistency from quarterback position is important during this portion of the offseason.

"Being able to get the ball out on rhythm for lack of a better term…" Marrone said. "You want to be able to see, 'one, two, three … ball's out; one, two, three … ball's out' – being efficient from that standpoint. You want to have the ability of all the quarterbacks and all the receivers knowing exactly what the timing is of routes."

Bortles said, too, he currently is weighing about 233 pounds – part of an offseason focus on nutrition and "trying to get everything together."

"I've got a workout regimen; it's kind of just the whole package," Bortles said. "Practice is going to be more up-tempo than it ever has since I've been here, so it's important to be in better shape."

More from Bortles' meeting with the media Tuesday:

*On what went wrong during last year's 3-13 season: "I think a lot of things, but I think it's stuff you can look at and learn from. I think you try to forget about it and get it out of memory, and you can't wait for this season to start and put that in the past. You can't just say, 'Well, we've got a new coaching staff and there are new guys in the locker room; it's all going to change.' There's a lot of work that goes into it." …

*On when he mentally recovered from last season: "That's kind of hard to put into words. It's like the saying, 'What have you done for me lately?' That's our lately. That's my lately. Until we get a chance to go play again in September, that's who we are. We have a long ways to go to change that and it's going to take place over the next couple of months." …

*On the message the team sent him by not selecting a quarterback in the 2017 NFL Draft: "I think you can look at that as deep or not deep as you want to – and see all the subliminal messages and things like that. But I wouldn't have changed. If they had taken a kid with the first pick, I still would have been doing the same things." …

*On how he feels now compared to early OTAs 2015: "I would say similar to 2015 – definitely nothing like last year." …

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