The Jacksonville Jaguars could very well fall back to Plan B again with Chad Henne, and it wouldn’t entirely shock the world if this happens by the end of training camp. Obviously, the ideal situation entails the 10th overall quarterback they traded up to draft three offseasons ago finally panning out, but we’ll wait till we see it from Blaine Gabbert.
In 2012, Gabbert played 525 snaps compared to Henne’s 557, throwing for 1,662 yards to Henne’s 2,084. Henne’s Pro Football Focus quarterback grade ranked him 30th to Gabbert’s 27th, but those are pretty much the same tier of horrible.
Henne, like Gabbert, knows what it’s like to receive the keys to the franchise and then have them taken away, as happened to him with the Miami Dolphins. In the dog-eat-dog world of the NFL and with a finite 32 starting quarterback roles, Henne must become the taker in training camp — and the job is completely up for grabs.
“I think it’s a little more competition than last year,” Henne said, via the team website. “They’re putting me in different spots, allowing me to get the ‘one’ reps and really allowing me to get involved with it. That’s what I’m excited about. My job is to get better from last year and to prove to the guys I can be the leader and quarterback of this offense.”
The biggest thing in Henne’s favor might be how Justin Blackmon and Cecil Shorts clicked with the veteran quarterback once he took the reins, most exemplified in the November contest where they combined for over 300 yards receiving against the Houston Texans.
The organization should want their big draft investment to claim the starting role, but Gabbert will have to wrest it away from Henne first.