The Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback competition has been going for all of training camp, but the part most people are going to focus on are the performance of Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne in the preseason games.
Neither quarterback did much to take control of the competition in the Jaguars 27-3 loss in their preseason opener to the Miami Dolphins Friday night. While the struggles of the Jaguars offense certainly are not ideal, it should be noted that they played without starting wide receivers Cecil Shorts and Justin Blackmon, starting running back Maurice Jones-Drew and starting center Brad Meester.
Without the usual weapons at their disposal it appeared that Jaguars offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch went with relatively conservative play calling that put an emphasis on quick, short passes. The vanilla play calling did not allow either quarterback to do much of anything. I expect the Jaguars to open up the playbook more as they get healthier this preseason.
A quick glance at the box score would suggest that Henne had the better night, but Gabbert was plagued by a few drops including a short pass to fullback Will Ta’ufo’ou that he tipped up for an easy interception by the Dolphins defense. Still the performance in the first preseason game suggests that Gabbert still has a long way to go to take control of this quarterback competition.
I expect the Jaguars to continue to split reps between Gabbert and Henne this week with the first team as the team prepares for its second preseason game next Saturday against the New York Jets. The Jaguars might even flip their quarterback rotation for the Jets game and let Henne start and give Gabbert reps off of the bench.