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Typical first day for Blake Bortles

5/27/2014

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Blake Bortles' head might still be spinning.

The Jacksonville Jaguars' rookie quarterback had his first true taste of the NFL on Tuesday in the first of the Jaguars’ 10 organized team activities. It is the first time the rookies and veterans have been on the field together, and the tempo was much different than anything he’s experienced before.

"Definitely much faster than rookie minicamp," Bortles said. "But it was a lot of fun -- up-tempo, energetic."

Chad Henne could tell Bortles was dealing with a bit of information overload as he tried to absorb the installation of the offense and deal with adjusting to the speed of the NFL. It can be a bit overwhelming, but it’s something every quarterback experiences. Henne fought through it during his rookie year in 2008.

"It’s tough because it’s fast-paced," Henne said. "Today he was like, 'Man, practice is really fast,' and then you have to try and learn and think about it. I just told him to take one play at a time and don’t think about what’s coming next. Concentrate on that play only."

Henne was certainly more confident, polished, and efficient during Tuesday’s workout, and coach Gus Bradley said he’s noticed a difference in Henne. He has become more of vocal leader in the locker room and is throwing the ball better than he did last season.

"I talked to him about that, and I said 'it appears to me you really have been throwing with confidence,' and he said, 'I’m not there yet. I’m getting closer but I’m not where I want to be,'" Bradley said. "It feels to me like he’s just got a better command of the offense."

That is mainly because he’s in his second season with offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch, but it helps that he feels like this is finally his team.

"With them saying I’m the starter this year, and gravitating and becoming more of a leader on this offense and team, I definitely feel that way," he said.

Bortles, however, looked like a rookie. He went the wrong way on at least one play and missed some throws, but he also made some good reads and throws. In other words, it was a typical first OTA for a young quarterback.

"Obviously there’s going to be mistakes," Bortles said. "I made mistakes. It’s going to happen the first day with the first install. So tomorrow we look to eliminate those mistakes and try to get better than today. Today was the day the bar was set, and tomorrow we need to raise it."

A couple other tidbits from the Jaguars’ first OTA:

  • The Jaguars had nearly 100 percent attendance, with only leo Chris Clemons absent. Bradley said Clemons has some family issues that he’s attending to and the hope is that he’ll able to attend Wednesday and Thursday’s sessions.

  • Five players were held out of workouts or severely limited because of injuries: safety Josh Evans (bone spur in his foot), linebacker Dekoda Watson (groin), receiver Lamaar Thomas (knee), cornerback Aaron Colvin (knee) and tight end Marcel Jensen (groin).