Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles has the unenviable task of not only rebuilding his throwing mechanics this offseason, but also convincing those around him that it will be worth the wait.
In a session with reporters in Jacksonville on Wednesday, Bortles was a little more straightforward with his message.
"This is my job, my passion," Bortles said, via Jaguars.com. "I'm going to exhaust every resource I have to make this thing work."
He added: "Guys are sick and tired of being below average."
And then this:
To believe in the Jaguars this season is really to believe in Bortles, who can point to an age-23 season in 2015 when he threw 35 touchdowns and 18 interceptions en route to a 5-11 record as the main reason for hope. During that season, Bortles' touchdown percentage more than doubled his rookie year total. The development of receivers like Allen Hurns and Allen Robinson formed the bedrock of an offense that could one day produce a playoff berth.
Last season did not do that belief any favors, as Bortles regressed alongside one of the least effective running games in the league. By now, none of this is news.
The one positive for Jaguars fans perplexed by this Bortles situation is that 2017 will be definitive. The club has shifted into win-now mode as evidenced by their aggressive spending on the free agent market and the acquisition of one of the draft's best individual athletes, Leonard Fournette. Should Bortles' message turn out not to be true, the team will know for sure that it's time to move on. Bortles' performances during minicamp and training camp should provide a fascinating window into the eventual outcome.