Jags Should Give Henne the Reins for Remainder of Season

Nov 20, 2012 -- 11:21am


By: Rob Johnson@RJ1452

Last week, I was wondering how many Jaguars fans would take time to watch the game against the Texans.  This week, I'm wondering how many fans won't be watching or at EverBank Field for the game against the Titans.

A new quarterback and a new outlook give the Jags their best opportunity to win this year.  If the game wasn't in Jacksonville, I would feel confident that the Jaguars could win, but the EverBank Enigma keeps me from fully believing victory will be obtainable.  Nevertheless, I think the players and Mike Mularkey have a lot of confidence for Sunday.

Chad Henne's 354 yard, 4 touchdown performance against one of the NFL's best defenses has breathed life into Murlarkey, Justin Blackmon, Mercedes Lewis and the rest of the Jags.  The question is: Can Henne resuscitate the fan base?

If the fifth-year quarterback from that school up north plays good against the Titans and in the other five games, we may see the Jaguars we all had hoped for in training camp.  I write that last sentence based on the assumption that, barring injury, Mularkey will start Henne for the rest of the year.  If that is not the case, I will be surprised.

The changes coming to the Jaguars at the end of the season could include the dismissal of Mularkey.  Henne may provide the only chance for the head coach to save his job.  With that in mind, Mularkey has no choice but to play Henne.  

Whenever Blaine Gabbert is healthy enough to start, I don't see there being a reason to give him that opportunity this year.  I know it was only one game, but Henne belongs calling signals for the Jags at this point.  Gabbert can fight for the job at next year's training camp.

The season is lost, but there is no reason to fight for the top draft choice in 2013.  To the contrary, there are a lot of reasons to fight to put people in the seats during the remaining home games and keep them there late in the fourth quarters of those games.

While victories will drop the Jags lower in the draft, there are no must-have picks, and there are too many holes to fill on this roster to be concerned about getting "the guy."  One pick in the draft won't resurrect the Jaguars.  Multiple, quality choices are required to help re-build the team.

Since that means another potential stagnant 2013 season, the Jaguars must do everything possible to keep fans interested and optimistic.  That starts with winning games now.

Henne is the only hope.

Claw Marks

  • Finally!  We saw Blackmon have a game worthy of his draft status.  While I expect more out of him with Henne under center, I don't anticipate another 200 yard game this season.  Nevertheless, we can all breathe as sigh of relief knowing that Blackmon is capable of dominating games.
  • I haven't decided if I'm excited about Jalen Parmele or disappointed by Rashad Jennings.  The only thing I know for sure is that the Jags need MJD.  That's not to say I'm ready to pay him should he hold out next season.  His injury proves that you can't throw a lot of unnecessary money at running backs.  To take that point one step further, the Bears aren't getting dominating performances from Matt Forte (when he’s been healthy) after giving him a new deal.
  • In the midst of the excitement of the Jaguars nearly upsetting the Texans, we shouldn't overlook the spectacular performance by Matt Schaub.  His 527 yards are the second-most in NFL history.
  • If Henne has the opportunity to utilize Lewis as he did against the Texans, the offense could consistently put points on the board.  Lewis along with Blackmon, Cecil Shorts, Laurent Robinson and Michael Spurlock make a nice receiving corps.

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