When the Jacksonville Jaguars open their regular season at home against the Kansas City Chiefs whoever is lining up under center will have proven themselves worthy through a tough training camp battle.
Whether that quarterback is Blaine Gabbert, Chad Henne or somebody else remains to be seen, but the Jaguars coaching staff has made it very clear that nobody is going to be handed the job. Nobody the Jaguars currently have on the roster has played well enough to warrant being handed the job without proving themselves throughout the preseason.
Last offseason Gabbert was anointed as the quarterback and took a majority of the snaps during training camp, but if there was an actual competition last year Gabbert would have beat Henne handily. Henne was even outperformed by third-stringer Jordan Palmer last summer, but provided a more experienced option as a back-up.
The new Jaguars coaching staff is handling the quarterback position differently this offseason, however. So far, Gabbert and Henne have evenly split reps at practice as the coaches have been evaluating everything the two quarterbacks have done and will likely do so for the rest of the summer. Earlier this week, the Jaguars even added another quarterback to the mix when the claimed Mike Kafka off of waivers from the New England Patriots.
Kafka is a wild card in the competition as we do not know much yet about what he can bring to the table, but it is not outside the realm of possibility that he ends up on the Jaguars final 53-man roster.
I still think Gabbert ultimately ends up winning the job, but if he is not the Jaguars starting quarterback on opening day it would almost certainly be the final nail in the coffin for his chances to be a franchise quarterback in Jacksonville.
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