Gus Bradley: Henne likely Week One starter even if QB drafted third overall

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The Jaguars re-signed quarterback Chad Henne on Friday, something they’ve said they wanted to do since the start of the offseason even though Henne himself knows that the team is looking for a young quarterback who can be a long-term answer to the position.

That young quarterback isn’t guaranteed to be the short-term answer, though. Coach Gus Bradley said Friday, via the Florida Times Union, that Henne will be first on the depth chart heading into OTAs and would likely be the starter come Week One even if the team uses the third pick in the draft on a quarterback.

This is not the time of year to take anything coaches or general managers say about free agency and the draft at face value and Jaguars fans who remember Byron Leftwich and David Garrard know that being called the starting quarterback doesn’t mean a thing until you actually start a game at quarterback.

That said, bringing Henne back gives the Jaguars flexibility not to reach for a quarterback if they don’t feel he’s worth taking with the third pick. Blaine Gabbert is still on the roster as an example of how wishing doesn’t make it so with highly drafted quarterbacks. The Jaguars may decide that the quarterback they want will come later in the draft and need some time before he’s ready to take over, which would make giving Henne the reins of an offense he already knows an easy decision.

24 responses to “Gus Bradley: Henne likely Week One starter even if QB drafted third overall

  1. They should have an open QB competition in camp like Seattle did with Matt Flynn and Russell Wilson. You don’t close off potentially better options from the outset.

  2. Gabbert is better than Henne, and certainly better than any of the lame selection of this draft.
    He beat out Henne last year even though he missed the last half of 2012, all of the off season, and most of the 2013 pre season with hand and arm injuries. Henne only became starter by default after Gabs kept getting banged up and the Jags season was written off last year. He only started to look decent in the second half when the offense finally became comfortable with the new system. Bradley said that when defending Henne, “even a veteran player needs half a season to adjust to a new offense.”. Blaine has never had that luxury, not in 2012 when he was looking really good prior to damaging his forearm at mid season, and not last year when a variety of injuries kept him out until mid season, at which point the team was 0-8 with nothing to play for except a high draft pick.

  3. “jeremy1117 says: Mar 7, 2014 5:44 PM

    They should have an open QB competition in camp like Seattle did with Matt Flynn and Russell Wilson. You don’t close off potentially better options from the outset.”

    I don’t think they are closing off anything.

  4. You keep saying that Gabbert beat out Henne , but . . . he never really did beat him out — if you go back and look at their numbers during the two preseasons they auditioned for the starting job , the two QB’s stats were very , very similar. The only reason Gabbert was made the starter was because they HAD to anoint him as the starter due to his draft status and contract. Sooner or later , you’re going to have to come to terms with the reality that Blaine Gabbert is not the answer in Jacksonville , long term. That’s not to say he couldn’t get picked up by another team and (with much less pressure at his next stop) eventually turn out to be a solid quarterback ; lots of QB’s who struggle when first coming into the league improve markedly after they change teams.
    The Jaguars will almost certainly take a QB in the first two rounds this year . . . in my humble opinion , you need to start preparing for life after Gabbert , at least in Northern Florida.

  5. Trade gabbert for ponder – straight up. Can’t hurt either club more than just keeping the other on their current respective roster.

  6. This is a good move. Coach Bradley knows what he is doing. He will not get caught up in the hysteria to draft a quarterback with the 3rd pick. He will draft the right player at the right time. Henne will do fine until the new guy is up to speed. The Jags hired the right guy for coach.

  7. I don’t know how Henne can be the starting Qb of the Jaguars. They surely can do better than that, he was mediocre at best at the Dolphins and nothing changed with the Jaguars. Are they playing for another horrible year or something??

  8. I still hold out hope for Gabbert. He has all the tools, maybe the light will go on for him and he can translate his August success to real life.

    He’s up against long odds now though with probably 2 QBs coming in the draft, Henne as the starter and Matt Scott gunning for a shot from the practice squad.

  9. Henne signed the same contract as he did two years ago. 500k more over two years. That’s barely inflation. Why does anyone think the situation has changed? Beat writers say Jags WILL NOT use first round pick on QB, and probably not their second rounder either.

    It’s same situation as last year, and same as two years ago. The guy they’re betting on wears #11.

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