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OTA notes: Bortles likes new approach


JACKSONVILLE – Catching up on Week 1 of Jaguars' 2017 OTAS …

Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles was the lone player to speak to the media Tuesday on Day 1 of 2017 organized team activities, and he and Head Coach Doug Marrone both discussed a few prominent offseason topics.

One of those topics? The sense of discipline brought by Marrone.

Bortles, entering his fourth season as the Jaguars' starting quarterback, said the atmosphere absolutely is different under Marrone and Jaguars Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin this offseason.

And yes: Bortles said he and other players like the change.

"I think it's good," Bortles said. "It's different. There has been change. I think guys have taken well to it. It's not like there's any choice or anything, but I guess it's going well. I think everyone has received Coach Coughlin and Coach Marrone extremely well.

"They're implementing some different things, doing some things differently. We've done it the other way in previous years and that hasn't necessarily worked. There's not really anything you can say. Let's give this a try, this is what we're going to do, and this is how we're going to do it."

Bortles was asked if he likes a disciplined approach.

"It was very similar to at UCF when I played for [then-Central Florida coach] George O'Leary," Bortles said. "I don't mind it at all. I think it's good. I think it allows you do some different things. I think, most importantly, it holds everybody accountable. It's white and black. There's not: maybe or maybe you were wrong. It's either you did it right or you did it wrong.

"I think having that, having that accountability that Coach Marrone and Coach Coughlin are going to hold guys to, I think it's good."

Also on Day 1 of OTAS:

*With the Jaguars announcing on Tuesday that they will practice against New England before the first preseason games, Marrone said the team also likely will practice against Tampa Bay in Preseason Week 2. "I always have been a big fan of that," Marrone said. "I have always tried to do it [with] the first two [preseason opponents]; that way you can get everything in…. I think it is a chance for your quarterback to see different looks and not put him at risk like you do in the preseason when you put him out there and he hasn't played a lot of snaps and they can hit him. You get a chance to do that. Then you get to see different matchups.

*Of New England, Marrone said: "We are going up and playing a team that everyone knows is an outstanding football team, the World Champions. We are going to go up there and compete against them, but make no mistake about it, I think we can go up there and learn a lot from them, too, seeing how they practice." …

Images from the first day of organized team activities.

*Bortles emphasized that he believed he benefitted from extensive time with his personal quarterbacks coaches, Adam Dedeaux and Tom House, in California this offseason. Bortles worked extensively with the pair in 2015 before spending less time with the duo in 2016. Bortles threw 35 touchdowns in 2015 and 23 in 2016. "I think it definitely helps," Bortles said. "It seems like every time I go out there, it really helps me out. That's definitely something that I'm going to make my plan every offseason. I feel comfortable doing that. I think it really is a big help."

*Bortles also said offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett and quarterbacks coach Scott Milanovich are monitoring his mechanics during OTAs. "They're on me here and there as reminders and doing stuff like that," he said. "If I ever start to get lackadaisical with that stuff, they'll make sure I know about it and tighten it back up." …

*Bortles on Monday also touched on the presence/impact of Coughlin on a day-to-day basis. "It's cool," Bortles said. "It's a unique dynamic. He was out there during (Phase) Two when we were out on the field. He has seen a lot of football, a lot of good football. To have a guy like that in the building that you can talk to… I think it's good for everybody. It allows everybody to have somebody to talk to, to help out. He has a ton of good information." Coughlin led the Jaguars to two AFC Championship Game appearances during his tenure as Jaguars Head Coach from 1994-2002 and won two Super Bowls during his tenure as New York Giants head coach from 2004-2015. …

*Bortles said he likes the idea of increased repetitions in practice this offseason, noting that his repetitions will go up about 100 per week. "I think that's only going to help get better," Bortles said. "You go through and you're constantly repping all these plays. You run them as much as possible. You run them until you get bored with them. You know every kind of intricacy of it. I think getting those reps are only going to help. We have a ton more plays during practice. It's much faster, it's much more up-tempo so we're able to get more reps." …

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