JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles gave himself a middle-of-the-road review in regards to his new mechanics during the team’s preseason game against Pittsburgh last Friday night.
He completed 11 of 15 passes for 118 yards and three of his four incompletions were drops, but he was more concerned with his footwork and new windup and follow-through
"I thought they were OK," Bortles said Wednesday. "I think the one on the ball I missed to Clay [Harbor], sliding up in the pocket I got kind of big and long and missed that throw, but for the most part they held up. So, it’s just trying to continue to carry that over week to week."
Bortles worked throughout the offseason with throwing coach Tom House and quarterback coach Jordan Palmer and shortened his delivery -- he’s no longer dropping the ball below his waist in his windup -- and lengthened his follow-through.
The second-year player and No. 3 overall pick in 2014 also cleaned up some footwork issues, developed a warm-up routine, and learned the proper way to care for his arm to avoid the shoulder issues and fatigue that he experienced at the end of his rookie season.
Coach Gus Bradley said he noticed a difference in Bortles against the Steelers, which was the first time he was able to test his mechanics in a game situation to see if he would revert to old habits.
"I think it shows," Bradley said. "I think we see it out in the practice field every day, just the accuracy, even when the ball comes out of his hand, the tightness of it, the spirals, all of those concepts and with his arm I think it feels stronger so all of those things are good."
Bortles, who threw 11 touchdown passes and 17 interceptions as a rookie, said the most encouraging thing about his performance was his execution of the offense.
"Decision-making, obviously, [and] being able to throw the ball accurately was a big part of what I wanted to do, but I felt really good and comfortable mentally with protections, with concepts, with schemes, [and] with the defense," he said. "That was encouraging, and that’s something I continue to work on."