Henne, A Cameo Or The Main Character?
By Troy Graham
As we know, Blaine Gabbert was named the week one starter at quarterback for the Jacksonville Jaguars after a solid outing against the New York Jets. For fans, it was encouraging to see a team with a Jaguars logo that could conventionally move the football from one side of the football field to the other. Even if it came in a grueling preseason lost, supporters know you can not have your cake and eat it too.
Well, the cake did not even get to fully rise coming out of the oven as after Gabbert proved he was the starter after the performance, he was announced to have a fractured thumb and to miss the remaining portions of the preseason.
Ever since Gus Bradley stepped into Jacksonville, he took pride ingoing into full detail how there is not any QB controversy, but rather a competition. So, now what would you call a situation where Gabbert has been announced to have won the competition, but due to injury and skepticism of his health, Chad Henne is likely to get the week one start at home versus Kansas City?
Whether the Jags awarded Gabbert the job because he has a higher upside in the future as the younger player or truly believe he is the better player under snap, if they want to win their first regular season game in their new, shiny, black Nike, predator style uniforms with their new strong-willed coach, they should start Henne.
Consistently for a few years now former Eagles qb and ESPN analyst Ron Jaworski makes an effort to create his top 32 qb list going into the upcoming season. This year, Gabbert name was failed to be ranked. Henne made the standings, ranked 29th but satisfying enough to get an honorable mention.
“Henne has always had a good arm with the ability to make all the necessary throws. There have been times in Henne’s five-year career – which spans 37 starts – where it appeared he could be a consistent, quality starter. He has always thrown the ball well between the numbers, skinny post, seams and slants, that’s his strength. It was not a coincidence that Justin Blackmon’s targets and receptions increased dramatically once Henne became the starter,” said Jaws’ when he was analyzing the film.
“I have seen these snapshots of excellent quarterbacking from Henne over the years, but there has been too much inconsistency in too many areas. Henne has a troubling tendency to hold onto the football too long, which leads to sacks that he absolutely should not take. He struggles at times to read coverage, throwing balls when he has no definition and no clarity.”
Along with those weaknesses, the former all-pro went further on to explain how he feels that Henne is a system quarterback: he needs an offensive line, a strong running game and a solid receiving corps to be successful, which are all question marks for the Jags going into 2013. Despite all of that, Henne was proclaimed the best QB on the roster.
In addition to his expert analysis, I’m sure he is not the only one doubting Gabbert and speculating the how long he can hold off Henne from starting. Whether it is lack of progression from the offensive line making it hard to stay healthy or mediocre play which will send him back to the sidelines, unless Jacksonville exceeds expectations before the first half of the season there is a great chance Henne will start before the season ends because of the explosion not only Justin Blackmon had towards the end of the season but Cecil Shorts as well.
It will be interesting to see who will be able to put this receiving duo in the best position to prosper in Jedd Fisch’s intriguing offensive system.