Blake Bortles confident about offseason progress

After yet another winter and spring where the Jacksonville Jaguars spent lavishly in free agency, quarterback Blake Bortles is trying to hold up his end of the bargain.

In what has amounted to a make-or-break year for the former No. 3 overall pick, Bortles is attempting to adjust his clunky mechanics and streamline his throwing motion with the help of quarterbacking gurus Tom House and Adam Dedeaux.

"The first week, it wasn't pretty," Bortles said of his progress, via Jacksonville.com. "It didn't look good. Part of trying to change things is it won't be great (right away). But we were able to hash it out."

In a separate comment to ESPN.com, he acknowledged the obvious: His performance this season is essential not only to his career but the immediate future of the new-look Jacksonville Jaguars.

"It's huge," Bortles said. "It's as big as however you want it to be, but regardless we've got to be here on April 10th and we've got to show up for camp in August and eventually they're going to start playing football games, so I think all that's stuff's irrelevant.

"I'm confident with what I've done this offseason and that I'll be able to come help this team be as good as we possibly can be. Everything involving the contract, that's up to them. I look forward to playing football."

It seems like an awfully large burden for Bortles to bear right now. Changing one's mechanics -- or in Bortles' case, eliminating his exceedingly long windup, which manifested itself in a big way last year when Bortles dropped from a 4,428-yard, 35-touchdown quarterback in 2015 to a 3,905-yard, 23-touchdown quarterback last season -- is not a simple endeavor. It involves a complete mental and muscular sync which can take experienced athletes years to adjust to. Meanwhile, the Jaguars are making it clear that this team is good enough everywhere else to return to the playoffs.

The team has yet to pick up Bortles' fifth-year option and will have a little less than a month's worth of practices before the early May option deadline hits. His on-field progress could give us a window into whether that option will end up being exercised, even if it makes all the sense in the world to do so.