JACKSONVILLE – Liking his progress doesn’t mean the progression stops.
That was one takeaway as Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles spoke to the media immediately after 2018 Veteran Mandatory Minicamp ended Thursday, but a bigger one was this:
The fifth-year veteran feels good about the past month.
And he feels good about what’s to come.
“It’s never-ending, and there’s still a long way to go, but compared to this time last year I think it’s night and day,” Bortles said Thursday shortly after the final mandatory minicamp practice this week at the Dream Finders Homes Practice Complex.
This week’s minicamp marked the end of the on-field portion of the team’s offseason program, with the team having held 10 voluntary organized team activities on-field workouts over the past three weeks.
Bortles, entering his fifth season as the Jaguars’ starter, looked more confident and in command of the Jaguars’ offense during that time than in past offseasons. His accuracy has appeared to have improved, and he has seemed in sync with a slew of new skill players.
He also said his understanding and comfort with the offense has improved significantly in his second season working under offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett.
“Right now, I think I kind of own the offense and have a better understanding of it,” Bortles said. “Obviously, it’s a continuous study and a continuous grind to master it and stay on top of it.”
He also discussed his increased confidence before the snap, saying he feels far better in that situation than in the past.
“I think it kind of all goes together, as far as that confidence within the system, within myself in knowing it and with the guys around me knowing it better as well – knowing everybody’s going to be on the same page and in the spot they’re supposed to be,” Bortles said.
Jaguars training camp is scheduled to begin at the Dream Finders Homes Practice Complex on July 26, with veterans scheduled to report July 25. Rookies are scheduled to report on July 18, with Bortles and other quarterbacks scheduled to report July 20.
Bortles said he will spend much of the time between now and the beginning of training camp working with his personal throwing coaches, Tom House and Adam Dedeaux, in California.
“I’ll stay here for a week or two, then head out west and get ready to go to camp,” he said. “Being out there, we get a ton of work in – we go 8 (a.m.) to 12 (p.m.) or whatever – and get the rest of the day to enjoy Southern California, so it’s a vacation as well.”