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Open locker room: 'It doesn't feel good'


JACKSONVILLE – He answered as he did the week before, and the questions were much the same.
Blake Bortles, in his third season as the Jaguars' starting quarterback, is struggling through three games of the 2016 regular season. He has thrown six interceptions this season and has committed six turnovers during the last two games.

He and the Jaguars' offense must improve and he knows it – and that was his overriding message during his weekly media availability at EverBank Field Wednesday.

He also said the only thing to do now is move forward.

"It doesn't feel good," Bortles said as the Jaguars (0-3) prepared to play the Indianapolis Colts (1-2) at Wembley Stadium in London, England, Sunday at 9:30 a.m. Eastern. "There are things we've watched, corrected and been able to learn from. I know that saying gets cliché, but there's not really anything else you can do from it.

"We've had three opportunities to go play. It hasn't been what we wanted offensively, but that doesn't mean for a second that we've lost any confidence as an offense, that we've lost who we are or what we believe what we should do.

"Our bar and our standards are till at the same level. We just haven't been able to reach it yet."
The Jaguars have scored 54 points in three games and rank 26th in the NFL in total offense. Bortles, after throwing 35 touchdowns with18 interceptions last season, has completed 79 of 127 passes for 843 yards and five touchdowns this season with the six interceptions.

While Bortles' struggles have been much-discussed in the last two weeks, support within the Jaguars' locker room for the No. 3 selection in the 2014 NFL Draft remained strong Wednesday.
"We all have total trust in him," Jaguars offensive guard Luke Joeckel said.

Bortles as he typically does when speaking the media spoke with candidness. One issue he addressed was his mechanics.  He said while he has not spoken with his outside throwing coaches since Sunday's loss to Baltimore, he likely will speak with one of them -- Adam Dedeaux -- this week as he does most weeks during the season.

"It's OK," Bortles said of his mechanics. "I can always be better. There are times where I get out of whack, but for the most part it's been OK by my standards. It's something that's kind of a never-ending work in progress that I'll continue to work on the rest of my career."

Bortles said he overall feels comfortable on the field.

"It's hard to explain," he said. "It's been such stupid things that have gone wrong that are easily correctable. That's why for me I can't wait to get another opportunity to go play."

Bortles' interceptions have increased each game this season – from one in a regular-season opening loss to Green Bay to two in a Week 2 loss at San Diego to three in a Week 3 loss to Baltimore. His yards per completion has decreased each game from 8.2 in Week 1 to 6.6 in Week 2 and 5.1 in Week 3.

Bortles also said he didn't feel he was placing too much pressure on himself.

"I've felt prepared and ready to go," Bortles said. "I just haven't been able to do that. We're going to try to mix some things up and start faster. That's something we've talked about being able to do and we'll find a way to do that.

"For me it's, 'How can I be better as a quarterback and as a player that will in turn make this offense better?' That's really what my focus is on."


Offensive tackle Kelvin Beachum practiced Wednesday for the first time since being cleared from the concussion protocol Tuesday. The starting left tackle sustained a concussion late in the team's Week 2 loss to San Diego and missed this past Sunday's loss to Baltimore.


Cornerback Prince Amukamara on Wednesday said he expects to play against Indianapolis after missing the last two games with a hamstring injury. "I'm very optimistic," Amukamara said. "I tested it [Tuesday] and I ran pretty good. I'm going to see what I can do today and see how practice goes." The former first-round selection by the New York Giants (2011) had signed a one-year contract with the Jaguars this past offseason after missing 25 games because injury in his first five NFL seasons. He said while a goal entering the season was "definitely" to play all 16 games, "now, it's how many can I play?"

"We're really pleased with how he's playing. We're challenging him each week and he's responding each week. He likes that challenge, to be honest with you. … We knew he was competitive, but he's off the charts competitive."
---Jaguars defensive coordinator Todd Wash on rookie cornerback Jalen Ramsey

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