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Bortles on coming weeks: "They're huge"


JACKSONVILLE – This isn't exactly Blake Bortles' thing.

The Super Bowl media tour?

The talking on Radio Row?

The NFL Network appearances?

Bortles is doing those things this week as part of a deal with Microsoft Surface, and while they're fine, they're one week out of the offseason. What he prefers – and what he's looking forward to doing – will come soon.

That's when the Jaguars' rookie-quarterback-turned-second-year veteran will get to work.

Bortles, the No. 3 overall selection in the 2014 NFL Draft, has been open and up front about needing to improve in a lot of areas before the beginning of the Jaguars' offseason workout program in April. He was open and up front Thursday, too.

Just how big are the coming 11 or so weeks?

"They're huge," Bortles said by telephone from Phoenix, Arizona, where he has spent recent days talking to the media at Super Bowl XLIX on behalf of Microsoft. "Your first offseason, especially as a quarterback, is huge. You can't go backwards. You have to go forward. You have to make sure you don't forget everything you're worked on for the past eight months.

"Obviously, footwork will be a big emphasis, as well as reviewing tape and self-scouting. I'll continue to try and correct mistakes."

Bortles, who started the final 13 games this past season, brought up footwork and fundamentals quickly on Thursday. He did the same late last season and when he spoke to the media the day after the Jaguars' regular-season finale late last month.

The Jaguars last week hired offensive coordinator Greg Olson, who replaced Jedd Fisch, and they officially named former Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett quarterbacks coach on Thursday.

Bortles and Olson spoke before Olson's hiring last week, and the two also met last year during the pre-draft process. Olson was the offensive coordinator with the Raiders the past two seasons and spent extensive time scouting and meeting with Bortles in the weeks leading to the draft.

"I was a big fan of him when I was coming out," Bortles said of Olson. "When he was with Oakland, I met with him a bunch and was a big fan then. I thought very highly of him, so I'm excited."

Under NFL rules Bortles cannot be coached by Olson or Hackett until the offseason workout begins, but he said he plans to work before then. One way he will do this is by working with Jaguars receivers in San Diego, California, sometime next month.

Not only was Bortles a rookie last season, the Jaguars also had three rookie receivers – Marqise Lee, Allen Hurns and Allen Robinson – playing extensively.

"You don't want to take four months off and not see each other and not know each other," Bortles said. "You don't want to lose the feel we had for each other toward the end of the year."

Bortles said he also will work again with former Jaguars backup quarterback Jordan Palmer, with whom Bortles said he began working on what he considered mechanical weaknesses last offseason while preparing for the draft.

"Jordan is a really good guy to throw with," Bortles said. "It's not like he's sitting there telling me what to do. It's more of a partnership rather than a coach/player type of deal. I have things I want to fix. I can take it to Jordan and say, 'Here's what I want to fix,' and we'll do some stuff."

Bortles said while he believes he improved his fundamentals between college and the NFL, "I think I have a long way to go" in terms of consistency.

"The thing to fix it is repetition," he said.

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