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Jags’ Bortles says goal is to be $100-million QB

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The Sports Xchange

JACKSONVILLE — Quarterback Blake Bortles spoke his mind when asked this week about becoming a $100 million quarterback some day in the future.

“That’s the goal,” the Jacksonville Jaguars signal caller said when asked about the recent nine-figure deals signed by NFL quarterbacks. “I try and get better each and every day and why not make a career out of this, not a job? I want to be here long term and do as much as I can to make this team better and have a blast doing it.”

Ironically, Bortles was asked about the megabucks deal one day after going through a subpar effort on the field the day before. The second-year quarterback who was taken as the No. 3 overall pick by the Jaguars in the 2014 draft, has spent a lot of time in the offseason working on some mechanical deficiencies.

“I struggled Monday,” he said. “It’s going to happen. That’s part of it and (head coach) Gus (Bradley) talks about facing adversity because it wasn’t good so I think I was able to bounce back (on Tuesday).

“I don’t think it’s as good as it needs to be or as good as we’re going to be come September, but it’s definitely a step in the right direction.”

Bortles acknowledged that he’s still working to overcome some of the flaws in his game that he developed over the years, flaws that he occasionally reverts back to.

“It’s kind of hard to change stuff,” he said. “It’s something I’ve been doing since I was 12 years old. It’s definitely been developing a bad habit. It’s something you’ve got to think about. So right now I am kind of in the stage of doing as much as possible until I don’t have to think about it anymore.”

Bortles worked with throwing guru Tom House in California during the offseason. He said he would return to California and work with House some more between the end of minicamp next week and the start of training camp.

–Defensive end Chris Clemons skipped all nine of the Jaguars’ voluntary OTAs the last three weeks, but Clemons is expected to be at the club facility on Monday in preparation for the start of the team’s three days of mandatory minicamp that begin on Tuesday.

Clemons’ absence in the team’s OTA practices the past three weeks did not come as a surprise. The defensive end only showed up for three of the nine OTA practices the previous year. Prior to that, when he was with the Seattle Seahawks, Clemons was a no-show for the Seahawks OTAs on a yearly basis.

Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley said he did expect Clemons to make an appearance next week for the mandatory workouts.

Bradley was asked what he wants to see out of Clemons next week and replied with a laugh, “First, see him,” Bradley said. “To get him out here and see how he is and the shape that he’s in. Obviously, we’re not going to come out here and give him 10 reps and try to get him caught up, but to see him out here and around his teammates and see where he’s at (physically) will be good.”

The three-day minicamp is the only mandatory obligation by players during their offseason training and Clemons would forfeit a workout bonus if he doesn’t show up next week.

–It appears that wide receiver Marqise Lee’s recovery from a knee injury will extend through the team’s mandatory three-day minicamp next week. Lee, a second-round draft pick in 2014, was hurt about a month ago during phase two of the Jaguars’ organized team activities. He missed all nine of the voluntary OTA practices on the field the last three weeks.

“I would say that it will be a higher possibility that we would hold him out,” head coach Gus Bradley said after Thursday’s practice.

Lee is expected to play a key role in the Jaguars’ passing attack for 2015. He caught 37 passes for 422 yards and one touchdown despite battling a hamstring injury last year that kept him out of three games. Lee finished strong in the second half of the season. He was targeted 41 times and caught 24 passes for 281 yards and a touchdown in the final six games of the season.

–The Jaguars will now have two players on the NFL Network’s top 100 players of 2015 list. Julius Thomas has been one of the NFL’s elite tight ends the last two years and he now ranks No. 45 on the network’s list of top players.

Thomas has 108 pass receptions for 1,282 yards and 24 touchdowns the past two seasons with Denver despite missing five games with injuries. He signed a five-year, $46 million contract in March as a free agent. In Thomas’ first season (2013) as a starter, he caught 65 passes for 788 yards and 12 touchdowns. All would be franchise records by a tight end in Jacksonville.

The only other Jacksonville player to make the top 100 list was defensive tackle Sen’Derrick Marks who came in at No. 76.


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