Dave Caldwell: You can’t force picking a franchise quarterback

AP

It’s been said that the two types of teams in the NFL are those that have franchise quarterbacks and those that are looking for franchise quarterbacks.

The Jaguars are firmly in the latter group this offseason because they took a shot at acquiring such a quarterback in the 2011 draft. Blaine Gabbert hasn’t panned out, however, and now the Jaguars have the third pick in the draft to go with a hole at a crucial position. That (and owner Shad Khan’s comment that the team would draft at least one quarterback) would suggest it is time for another rookie quarterback in Jacksonville, but General Manager Dave Caldwell insists that the Jaguars aren’t locked into finding a quarterback with their first-round pick.

“In today’s day and age, if you can’t get Peyton Manning or Matt Ryan, and they might not be available for the next 10 or 15 years, then you have to adapt and build the roster and do what’s best for the organization,” Caldwell said to Pete Prisco of CBSSports.com. “And if a quarterback presents itself later in the draft, you take and develop him. Having a franchise guy makes the world a lot easier, though. It can erase a lot of mistakes you make. But if you force it, you can screw it up. I don’t know if we’re going to find that guy, but I hope we do.”

Caldwell also told Prisco he’d rather get criticized for passing on a quarterback than deal with the consequences of picking the wrong one. Those consequences include the firing of general managers, which makes Caldwell’s point of view easy to understand.

Caldwell said Chad Henne did an “admirable” job for the team last year, the latest in a series of signals that the Jaguars would like to bring the veteran back next season. What role he’ll be playing remains to be seen, but Caldwell’s certainly sticking to the narrative about his chances of starting.