Jaguars stick to their guns, name Chad Henne starter for Week 1

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The Jacksonville Jaguars swore that Chad Henne would be their starting quarterback this season even after drafting Blake Bortles with the No.3 overall pick in the draft.

They gave no indication they were willing to deviate from that plan despite Bortles’ strong play during the preseason. After Friday night’s 13-12 loss to the Detroit Lions, they once again announced their intention to stick to the plan.

Chad Henne will start the Jaguars season opener against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sept. 7.

Bortles was 10-of-16 passing for 158 yards and a touchdown Friday night against the Lions. That pushes his preseason totals to 28-of-44 for 435 yards and a touchdown, or a passer rating of 103.9.

Nevertheless, head coach Gus Bradley said after the game that Henne will start the opener, per Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union.

Henne was 9-of-14 passing for 70 yards against the Lions. For the preseason, Henne is 25-of-38 for 230 yards and one touchdown, good for a 90.9 passer rating.

The Jaguars had committed to Henne playing all season with Bortles being a spectator from the bench. But with Bortles’ performances this preseason, there will be a loud contingent wanting to turn to the rookie if Henne struggles out of the gate this year.

55 responses to “Jaguars stick to their guns, name Chad Henne starter for Week 1

  1. Funny. Gus Bradley preaches competition and Bortles is clearly the best QB on the team, so why is Bradley contradicting his own philosophy?

  2. Although I disagree with the decision. I do believe that HENNE was chosen over BORTLES due to being around the Jag’s offense for couple of years. He has more NFL experience. Is HENNE our best chance to win in week one? maybe not sure but come week 7 or 8 definitely our 3rd draft pick will finally have his NFL CHANCE and it’s going to be a great fun ride. Jags fan be patient the NFL Gods are going to finally smile on Northern Florida.

  3. Good drafts are starting to pay off for the Jags.

    Bortles looks like the real deal, and was a terrific pick, good job there.

    This GIANTS fan wishes you well. Things are looking up for this franchise.

  4. And that’s the way it should be. Why is everyone in such a hurry to start rookie quarterbacks? News flash: Jacksonville isn’t going to the Super Bowl this year. Henne is competent. Let Bortles sit and watch for a while, get used to what it means to be an NFL quarterback, and he can start when he’s ready. It will be this year sometime.

  5. This is a case of the Jaguars trying to get Bortles to earn his place and not spoon feeding him. But it’s also a ridicolous situation. You go with the guy who gives you a better chance to win it. Putting in Henne to lose a few games is not a wise move

  6. HC Gus Bradley and GM Dave Caldwell have both stated that Bortles will start, “When he’s ready”. People just need to relax. The guy came out after his Jr. season playing at UCF and he’s played less than a full half of 3 preseason games. The Jags have created the ideal scenario for Bortles to progress this preseason and he has taken advantage of the opportunity and made tremendous progress. He will get his chance to be the starting QB when “He’s Ready”. How will you know when he’s ready? “You’ll know”! Relax….

  7. Don’t feel sorry for us Jag fans, when the turnaround is complete it’s gonna be that much sweeter. We have endured plenty of disappointment in the last decade, a little bit more won’t hurt us when we can see the end if the tunnel…
    Bortles was a fantastic pick.

  8. I see no problem with the decision . That’s the way it used to be and it worked. Why throw the guy out there like David Carr and Gabbert were? Build the team around him , give him a year of watching the speed and pro film study . Build his confidence and unleash him next year. There’s value to this plan . Look at Rodgers and so many others .

  9. Listen, they can do a lot worse than Chad Henne week 1. However, I firmly believe that if you win a job then it should be yours. In my opinion, Bortles won the starting job & Henne didn’t do anything to make the race even close. Bortles looks ready & he seems like the type of guy who would be best served learning & developing on the field, against professional defenses, instead of developing in a New Era cap & holding a clipboard. Bortles seems to have a good head on his shoulders, but with some less mature players, playing the way he did in the preseason & still not winning the job could stunt a guy’s development & be terrible to his psyche. When you do everything you can to win a job, and succeed while trying, but get turned down nonetheless, it could lead to a sense of distrust between player & coaching staff. There are people who point to Aaron Rodgers as an example of a guy who developed well while watching the starter work. The guy ahead of Rodgers in that case was an all-time great in Brett Favre. It certainly wasn’t Chad Henne. Bortles should be starting week 1, no doubt about it & I feel sorry for the kid that he didn’t get the shot. If they want him to play when they’re contending, then they should allow him to have his rookie bumps in the road while they’re not contending. Regardless of when he plays he will struggle a little to start. Then again this is the Jaguars we are talking about.

  10. There’s really no harm in this. Henne isn’t bad, has been around the offense, and is a good mentor. Sitting did Rodgers good. It will most likely do Bortles good too. His confidence shouldn’t be hurt either with the Jaguars sticking to their guns.

  11. Gus Bradley will be former jags head coach if he doesn’t get Bortles in before the season gets away from Jacksonville.

  12. Don’t put your future behind bad players. If they feel their line is too poor to defend and keep him upright(Poor Carr..), they should probably wait until they get a solid draft of a line etc.

  13. Ridiculous , all they are doing is postponing the inevitable. Bortles will win more games than Hennne, rookie mistakes and all.

  14. largent80100 says:
    Aug 23, 2014 1:24 AM

    What are they afraid of?
    After Blaine Gabbert do you really have to ask?

  15. Not a Jags fan so really don’t care who the starter is but this is a smart move for a number of reasons. I think many rookie QB’s have been thrown into the NFL to soon and ruined. This is the most important position in the game the franchise depends on it everything. All these guys can play but most are not ready mentally, sure they say all the right things but they have to go out and produce and if they don’t everybody slaughters them. While a rookie shows promise like Bortles having him on the bench is like money in the bank, hope and a plan B, of course this only applies if Henne who is another player who ended up playing to early in his young carrel can lead the team to some wins. 99% of teams have to score plenty to win games this is why the inexperienced Wilson and the Seahawks have had success because their defence never let’s a game get out of hand. Rookie QB’s that can come into a team that is average at best and lead them to a lot of wins is unusual. Bortles on the bench will always be media and fans golden boy let him enjoy the experience and settle into his new job because out there in the middle if you don’t produce it’s next man up.

  16. Most jags fans are willing to let Bortles ride the bench. Look at our last #1 draft picks who started immediately: Leftwich and Gabbert. Enough said. It seems like everyone else has the problem with it. I’m proud of Gus sticking to his guns.

  17. Most of us Jags fans are good with letting Bortles ride the bench. Look at our #1 draft picks who started immediately: Leftwich & Gabbert. Enough said. Proud of Gus & David For sticking to their guns.

  18. The wrong msg is being sent to players. Come and compete, but it doesn’t matter because we’re going to stick with lesser veteran players no matter how you outperform.
    I thought Bradley learned more coaching under PC in Seattle.
    Shame on Bradley. It’s clear to EVERYONE Bortles is the starter.

  19. The Jags got it right with Bradley and he will do the right thing by Bortles. There are no short cuts , give this coach a chance.

  20. We have a good coaching staff and front office. I trust them to do the right thing. After all, their plan to develop Bortles is working really really well so far, isn’t it? And we’re not going to the playoffs this year. So I will be patient and trust Gus and Dave to do the right thing for the long term future of the team, even if it’s painful in the short term.

  21. These Bortles clamor’ers are crazy! He’s a college Junior with a QB rating 10 points higher than your starter. Ohhhh. You should be more afraid of him losing his swagger than the Jags losing a few more games. Keep his head right, keep him healthy and keep him learning and maturing. Then unleash him on the conference.

  22. This is definitely riding the line between sticking to your guns and just being stubborn. Why sit a guy who’s playing that well? For some QBs its a good idea to sit them and let them learn, but Bortles looks ready. He earned a shot with his play in my book.

  23. This team is in year 2 of a 3 yr total rebuild. Jags o line is bad, no center or RT and Joeckel and beadles still gelling. Henne got kicked around.

    Tough decision but a good one. D is stout. Gerhart is a horse. Other than bush’s long run they shut out the Lions starting O. They aren’t a playoff team yet….7 or 8 wins max and rookie qbs are still rookies….he had 2 picks dropped last night. They will try to win ugly early, The kid is the real deal…..they are letting it play out and he will be in there when it’s time. Look for week 3 home against luck and colts after losing tough road games at philly at wash with henne. Can’t wait to be at khan fantasy world for that intro!!!!!!

  24. Good move. Avoiding the circus of Cleveland. Bortles will be good, but Henne has earned it. Shout out to former Bucs Customer Relations member and now with the Jags as a Manager…Nikki Bowie. Awesome lady! Fans are in good hands! Bucs are not the same without her! Her replacement is a dud.

  25. Preseason stats against basic concepts don’t mean the QB is ready for regular season snaps. Tebow finished his first preseason in 2010 with a 64.1 completion percentage, 8.8 YPA and 88.0 QB rate.

  26. Bortles played against isn’t the lions 1st string D and still looked good.
    Henne took a big LATE hit from Suh and got right back up.
    So your both wrong

  27. Yes, because nothing says “development” more than getting virtually no reps in practice and standing on the sidelines on Sundays.

    And for all of the people saying he played against people who won’t be on rosters next week, you should do your homework. Bortles played with ones against ones last night.

  28. fishyinalittledishy says:
    Aug 23, 2014 5:56 AM
    Not a Jags fan so really don’t care who the starter is but this is a smart move for a number of reasons. I think many rookie QB’s have been thrown into the NFL to soon and ruined.


    I would love to see a list of QBs who were “ruined” specifically because they were thrown into the fire too early. How are you so certain that they just weren’t any good? If you posted a list of QBs you think were ruined, I bet I could match it name for name with QBs who started immediately and had successful careers.

  29. They still have to determine who the starting center and right guard is going to be. Until they get that figured out, and get the offensive line working as a cohesive unit, it would make more sense to start the experienced QB. I suspect that they should have that figured out by week five, at which point Bortles becomes the starter.

  30. kahnsbushymustache says:
    Aug 23, 2014 5:00 AM
    largent80100 says:
    Aug 23, 2014 1:24 AM

    What are they afraid of?
    After Blaine Gabbert do you really have to ask?


    If you thought Bortles was Gabbert, you shouldn’t have taken him #3. Do you trust your own abilities to pick players or don’t you?

  31. Having suffered through several years of Henne’s roller-coaster playing abilities, I really wish the Jaguars had scrapped this plan and gone with Bortles.

    Bortles looks like the real deal, or, like he’ll be the real deal soon enough.

    Chad Henne is maddeningly inconsistent, and won’t really get the Jags to where they want to be.

  32. Good for Gus, a rookie QB should always sit for at least a season. College to Pro is a monumental leap 3rd pick or not. And has already been said the Jags aren’t SB bound this year so what’s the rush? This can only help Bortles future not hurt it. Applause from me on this one, but as a Pats fan I’m against any AFC team having a smart coach so a little bummed there.

  33. lukedunphysscienceproject says:
    Aug 23, 2014 10:43 AM

    I bet I could match it name for name with QBs who started immediately and had successful careers.

    Bouncing around the Nfl from team to team backing up and starting here and there is not what i was getting at. A lot of these Rookies that have led their teams to playoffs or even winning seasons have i would guess joined teams with a lot of leadership and the nuts and bolts of a good team in place. The Jags are average at best. Drafting QB`s that early i want him to be around for a long time not just throw in and hope. I don’t believe you get to this level without the physical tools its whats up top that counts and just a little patience could make all the difference. There are exceptions and naming a couple of HoF QB’s as somebody else said is the exception. Sure keeping a young player back does not mean he will hit the ground running but surely it will give him a slight edge as everybody job is dependent on how he plays unless you have a stellar defense.

  34. 3 of his passes were easy interceptions that were not caught, but other than that, he did look good. Everyone wants Bortles, Manziel & Bridgewater to start but should keep in mind; Brady & Rodgers sat & learned!

  35. Gabbert Syndrome…that’s why Henne is starting Week 1. JAX is going to have a pretty good D this year, though there’s no guarantee that’ll translate to the regular season.

    If the JAX D is legit, Bradley wants a QB with experience to not let the offense be the main reason games are lost in 2014.

    If Henne can give him more TDs than INTs with 1-2 fumbles for the 2014 campaign, JAX can be a 7-9 or 8-8 team this year. If Henne regresses in his 2nd year in Fisch’s offense, expect Bortles to take the reins.

  36. It’s also irrelevant that Bortles played against ones. That doesn’t change the fact that it’s still preseason where nobody was game planning for him. People getting too caught up in stats earned during meaningless games. Not saying he won’t be very good someday, but I think the HC knows better than any of us what he’s ready for and what he’s not

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