JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Jaguars rookie quarterback Blake Bortles was so upset with the way he performed in Monday’s OTA that he sought out coach Gus Bradley for a meeting.
Then he spent extra time with offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch and quarterbacks coach Frank Scelfo.
Bortles bounced back with a solid day on Tuesday and then had his best day in a Jaguars uniform on Thursday.
That four-day span is typical of what rookie quarterbacks experience in the NFL. Good days followed by bad days, good moments followed by bad, and a lot of extra work.
"It’s a process," Bortles said. "I’m just trying to work through it. There’s going to be some ups and there’s going to be some downs. Being able to handle it and move on, learn from the mistakes, learn from the guys that have played, learned from everything, and continue to get better [is the goal]."
Bortles said he was unhappy with the way he threw the ball on Monday. He missed some throws and was late on others. His footwork wasn’t great, either. Thursday’s workout was much better despite not having seven receivers because of injuries.
"His poise out on the field today was excellent," Bradley said. "He had a comfort level. I talked to him out on the field. You could just see his poise was there and I think in his mind -- and he should think this -- today was a big step for him. It was a big step for him and how he handled it.
"Now I know he had a couple incompletions here and there but it wasn’t the bad body language afterwards. He had the poise and he took control of the huddle and those things. That part’s a great accomplishment. Now he’s just got to stack it up."
That’s the trickiest part for young quarterbacks. It’s hard for them to learn the offense, adjust to the speed of the game, fix any fundamental flaws they have and consistently make good throws at the same time. That’s something that can only come with time.
It can be frustrating and maddening, but Chad Henne said Bortles has handled it well. He’s coming in early every day for extra playbook study, too.
"I think that’s really helping him out, spending a lot more time in the playbook," Henne said. "You can definitely see it with this reaction time out here."
The Jaguars have four OTAs next week and a three-day mandatory minicamp the following week. The hope is that Bortles has more days like today, but there’s probably going to be a lot more like Monday. That’s just part of becoming an NFL quarterback, Henne said.
"Every rookie has those days," Henne said. "It’s tough. It’s not easy coming out here with the speed going on. He’s fighting through the normal rookie quarterback coming into the league [issues]."