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Jags' Blake Bortles: Arm 'deteriorated' from overuse

Blake Bortles experienced his fair share of growing pains during his rookie season. The Jaguars quarterback admitted Tuesday that his arm was far from 100 percent as the weeks wore on.

"My arm kind of deteriorated during the season," Bortles said at the start of Jacksonville's voluntary offseason conditioning program, according to "It didn't affect anything. It was just, I think, a product of throwing for two years straight without any break.

"Took some time off, let it heal, and then went kind of (to seek) out some proper mechanics on how to make it never hurt again."

Determined to keep his arm fresh through Year 2 with the Jaguars, Bortles changed his approach. The former No. 3 overall pick spent the first several weeks of the offseason without a ball in his hand, instead working with a series of quarterback coaches and gurus to improve mechanics that betrayed him as a rookie.

Bortles cleaned up both his footwork and throwing motion. He also dropped weight with a renewed fitness plan. He's down from 250 pounds to 238 since the end of December and has cut his body fat percentage from 17 to 10 percent.

"A little bit leaner," Bortles said. "I guess I was, when I left here, I was probably, I don't know, I was kind of fat."

Bortles' progression in his second season will be, by far, the most important subplot for the Jaguars in 2015. If Bortles plateaus or regresses, the Jaguars have almost no chance to escape the AFC South cellar. And if that doesn't happen, you can expect big changes at the top.

Other than that, no pressure.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast delves into the 2015 NFL schedule, grading the prime-time games and highlighting the Week 1 matchups. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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