JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Blake Bortles' arm was worn out by the end of his rookie season after more than a year of throwing passes without any kind of break.
It turns out he started having some trouble with his arm during training camp and played the entire 2014 season with a tired arm. That's why the Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback made it a priority in the offseason to take some time off and figure out a workout and stretching regimen to ensure he wouldn't have to deal with that again.
So far it's worked.
"It was kind of all year long," Bortles said. "It definitely started during camp and it was the same throughout the season. I feel night and day [different] from last year, so physically the arm is way better."
Bortles said he took three-and-a-half weeks off after the 2014 season ended before he headed out to California to throw with Tom House and Jordan Palmer. He worked on fixing some mechanical issues with his delivery, but he also developed a stretching and strength routine designed to maintain his arm throughout the season.
Even though Bortles did a lot of throwing this summer, he said it was nothing compared to what he did over an 18-month period that began in the summer before his final season at UCF and ended with the Jaguars' 23-17 loss at Houston on Dec. 28.
"You start 7-on-7 in the summer, you play a college season, and then you go right into combine training, right into pro day training, and then the next thing you know, you're in OTAs [organized team activities] after you do the private workouts and stuff," Bortles said. "It's kind of a year-and-a-half-round of throwing.
"I know for me, personally, I needed a little time off to let my arm recover."
Bortles says his arm feels pretty good, but he's likely to get some additional rest this week because it's likely the starters aren't going to play much -- if at all -- in Thursday's preseason finale at Washington.