JACKSONVILLE – If it seems like all-Blake Bortles all-the-time on Jaguars.com … well, maybe it is. At least for the last couple of days.
Bortles, the Jaguars' starting quarterback, is a major focus around the Jaguars this week. The second-year veteran met the media Tuesday following the first day of 2015 Organized Team Activities, speaking candidly and in detail about his offseason focus on improving fundamentals.
Bortles covered some of the same issues and a few new ones when he joined John Oehser and J.P. Shadrick on Jaguars.com LIVE Wednesday, discussing a number of topics – including just how much time he has spent in recent weeks learning and committing to memory the offense of new offensive coordinator Greg Olson.
The past few weeks have been about installing that offense, and Bortles said the days have been full for all offensive players.
That's especially true for the second-year quarterback.
"I've studied this playbook more than possibly than I studied school my whole life," Bortles said.
Bortles also discussed his reason for acknowledging publicly his need to improve footwork and fundamentals. Whereas many quarterbacks might be reluctant to discuss the issue, Bortles has been candid on the subject with the media since being selected No. 3 overall in the 2014 NFL Draft.
"I'm sure I could have gone about it different ways, but that's just how I decided to handle it," he said. "You have to be able to have humility and be able to get better and grow. If you don't think anything's wrong with you, you can never get better. Whether you want to tell the public that or not … I don't really care, because whatever I tell the public is what I'm thinking anyway and what I'm working on.
"It was just the way I decided to handle it – to tell the truth about what I need to work on and how I need to improve and the areas I need to get better in."
Bortles' work this offseason has been well-documented. He spent two months in California working on fundamentals and footwork with a group headed by quarterback guru Tom House. He said Wednesday he can see evidence of the work early in OTAs.
"I've seen a lot," Bortles said. "I think I'm throwing the ball a lot better than I did all last year. My arm feels a lot better. There are new actions and new footwork, so you try to feel comfortable and try to find the ones for all of that. …
"I'd say the most improvement, I guess, would have to be the throwing motion and the mechanics – tightening that up and speeding up the process."
Bortles said he has enjoyed working with Olson and new quarterbacks coach Nathaniel Hackett incorporating the new offense with his refined approach.
"You definitely want to have everybody that you're working with and listening to and getting help from speaking the same language and on the same page," Bortles said. "I came up with a list of things to work on when the season ended last year, and then when I talked to Oley (Olson) it was spot on that he wanted me to fix the same things."
Bortles called the difference for him between now and this time last year "night and day."
"Things were kind of just flying by, and I was just trying to hang on last year at this time," he said. "Now, it's a totally different feeling. I'm excited for it. It's definitely more comfortable.
"Now, I just have to focus on football, owning this offense and taking it to the field."
Bortles, too, said confidence remains high that the Jaguars are headed in the right direction after a solid offseason and two years building under Head Coach Gus Bradley and General Manager David Caldwell.
"What we're doing here is something special," Bortles said. "We're on a track to build something that's going to be consistent for a long time. Gus, Dave and (Owner) Shad (Khan) have provided us with an environment unparalleled in the NFL.
"I think we have the right guys here to flourish in that environment and take off."