"We’re really excited about him. I know there are some things he needs to work on and the growth that will take place from this year to next year, we’re all excited about. It’s great that he ended up playing [as many games as] he did. I think his mindset now is, ‘What can I do to get better?’ I know he has to understand defenses better but also his mechanics, he’s really diving into that this offseason. I just sense from him that he’s a guy that wants to take the next step and when he has confidence like that and it builds through the offseason, I think he’s going to take another step."
Jacksonville ranked last in scoring in 2013 with 15.4 points per game. The team is hoping that new coordinator Greg Olson can develop the strong-armed Bortles, who accounted for 2,908 yards, 11 touchdowns and 18 turnovers as a rookie.
"When a play does break down protection-wise and you have a guy that can go get yards, you don't want to discourage it," Olson said. "There is a time to make something to happen with your feet. For other quarterbacks, that's not part of their makeup. That's a strength of Blake's and we want him to continue to utilize that."
Bortles rushed 56 times for 419 yards, mostly on scrambles, and averaged 7.5 yards per carry. Olson wants to find a way to reduce the 55 sacks Bortles took in 14 games last year. Many of those came on plays in which Bortles held the ball too long.
"As we get better working in conjunction as an offense there should be less of those opportunities," Olson said. "Then, he can become more of a pocket passer. But, we never want to discourage him using his ability."
“I think he’s up to it and there will be some carryover from system to system in the passing game," Caldwell told the Florida Times-Union. "For the most part, he can start April 1 – he doesn’t have to wait until after the draft and catch up. He’ll be fine.”
Jacksonville hopes Olson can develop the strong-armed Bortles, who accounted for 11 touchdowns and 18 turnovers as a rookie.
The Jaguars also ranked last in scoring in 2013 with 15.4 points per game. Fisch's replacement will be tasked with developing quarterback
Bortles compiled for only 117 yards while completing 14 of 33 passes. Cecil Shorts threw the only touchdown pass of the game. He was sacked five times and rushed for 61 yards on three carries. He finished with a 52.2 passer rating in a 23-17 defeat.
Bortles' rookie campaign comes to an end with 2,908 yards, 11 touchdowns and 17 interceptions.
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