Jacksonville Jaguars general manager Dave Caldwell said quarterback Blake Bortles played part of last season with a “dead arm.”
Bortles suffered shoulder inflammation, but did not require surgery, Caldwell told USA Today.
“People don't realize that as you look later in the season, he was on injury report,” Caldwell said. “You've just got to do what you've got to do to survive. It wasn't anything that was ingrained in him (mechanically). He knew he was doing it. But in order to drive the ball 15 yards, there were some things that he needed to do to get the velocity on the ball.”
Bortles started 13 games last season, completing 59 percent of his passes for 2,908 yards with 11 touchdowns and 17 interceptions. His 69.5 passer rating was dead last among all qualifying NFL quarterbacks.
Bortles was also sacked an NFL-high 55 times as Jacksonville went 3-13, the franchise’s seventh straight season without a playoff appearance.
The 23-year-old Bortles went to California in the offseason to work on his mechanics with former major league pitcher Tom House.
“A lot of it was good until some of those (injuries) happen,” Caldwell said. “Now he's gotten healthy, and he's gotten back to really taking care of his body. I just asked him today, ‘How's your body feel compared to this time last?’”
Jacksonville was the NFL's lowest scoring team last season and ranked 31st in total offense. During the offseason, the Jaguars signed former Denver Broncos tight end Julius Thomas to a five-year deal and drafted running back T.J. Yeldon in the second round.
- Scooby Axson