Chad Henne says Jags QB competition is real

AP

It seems as though every coach in the NFL will preach the importance of competition and that the best player will play regardless of outside factors such as a contract or draft status. In reality, this is rarely the case. When it comes to the quarterback position, it seems to be even less likely.

However, the Jacksonville Jaguars appear to be waging a truly open competition for the team’s starting quarterback job between 2011 first round pick Blaine Gabbert and journeyman backup Chad Henne. Gabbert and Henne have been splitting reps with the first-team offense throughout offseason workouts and are expected to continue doing so into training camp.

According to the Jaguars’ official website, Henne believes the competition isn’t just lip service.

“I think it’s a little more competition than last year,” Henne said. “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.”

It’s a process Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley saw pay big dividends as defensive coordinator of the Seattle Seahawks last year. Seattle and head coach Pete Carroll had a three-way competition for the starting job between incumbent Tarvaris Jackson, free agent signing Matt Flynn and third-round rookie Russell Wilson.

Conventional wisdom would have made Flynn the starter from day one after signing a sizable deal with Seattle last offseason. Instead, Wilson was given an equal chance to compete for the job and proved to the coaching staff he was the best option as he led the team to the playoffs as a rookie. Conventional wisdom in Jacksonville would seem to give Gabbert the upper hand after being a first round pick just a year ago.

However, while the Jaguars don’t appear to have anywhere close to the same talent as the Seahawks – at the quarterback position or just generally speaking – making sure the best man for the job is the one on the field is important in building credibility as a coaching staff and front office inside the locker room. By opening the quarterback position up for open competition, the Jaguars coaching staff can truly make a statement to every player on the team that the best player will play.

Bradley saw it work for the Seahawks. He’s hoping it will work again in Jacksonville.

27 responses to “Chad Henne says Jags QB competition is real

  1. Curtis, you closet Seahawk fan… you left out one slightly important difference…

    let’s see— Chad = Tavaris, Gabbert = Flynn… so who is playing Russell? Oh, that’s the problem now, isn’t it?

    They did steal our DC, (in Gus we trust) and I’ll be rooting the Jags anyway. I just don’t see them in the playoffs for a few years.

    They will build the defense first.

    js

  2. chalk one up for the ingeniousness of david caldwell – jaguars are on the right track (colts fan, not 100% happy when I say they are, but they are !)

  3. How about you get the year Gabbert was drafted correct? It was 2011. It is hard to read an article when the base facts are incorrect. He has had two seasons to prove himself.

  4. both of these quarterbacks have really good character from what i know of so i am fine with whoever the coaches are most impressed with. im sure if their pick starts sputtering early in the season then the other guy will get his chance anyway.

  5. Actually Gabbert was drafted 2 years ago (in before the LA-London-Tarps cracks).

    For the record, Jacksonville was 20th in NFL attendance last year, outdrew the Pittsburgh Steelers (moving to LA maybe?) and hasn’t had a blackout in years.

    Coach Bradley has preached open competition at every position and it appears that the players have bought in. OTA’s and Minicamp have had a totally different feel.

  6. Am I the only one reminded of the old saying about the prettiest girl at a polish wedding?

  7. Gabbert was drafted in 2011, two years ago. Henne played for one other team, thought you had to play for multiple teams (more than two) to be an actual journeyman. Lastly with the new rookie scale draft status is less of a factor in handing a starting spot to an underperforming draft pick.

  8. Ohhh this is so exciting, we just signed the guy the Pats cut to make room for Tebow… It’s Blaine’s job to lose. I think the Scott kid has potential and could seriously contend in a couple seasons. Rodgers and Kafka don’t make the roster, Henne is cut after the season.

  9. That’s what you have to look forward to jags fans.. luckily there is some better qbs coming out next year than this years crop… maybe they actually have a plan in place

  10. As a Cardinals fan I know what it’s like to have awful quarterbacks competing for the number one spot… I can honestly say that the Cards are actually looking better than the Jags at the qb position. It’s been since the Kurt Warner era since I can say that to anyone in public and not get laughed at! The Jags situation is horrible at best. It feels good that its not my team with worst qb camp battle!

  11. Conventional wisdom would not hand Gabbert anything. It wasn’t too long ago that folks said Kafka was a real threat to Vick and now he’s in town, too.

  12. The Jags are so deep at QB that I can understand why they wouldn’t want to give a QB that pretty much single handedly tore apart one of the better defenses in the league 2 years ago in a playoff game. Throwing mechanics mean everything. I have a feeling the Jags will be sitting at home in January with these 2 chumps.

  13. Go Henne!! I think you are alot better QB than everybody thinks you are. You showed it in Miami when you was given a chance and you can do it in Jville.

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