How Chad Henne’s second act as a starting NFL quarterback will end remains unanswered, but for the here and now Henne looks like the second coming of Joe Montana to a Jaguars fan base starved for a competent quarterback.
In the last two games with Henne under center, the Jaguars offense has produced 61 points. He has hit receivers on the move and he has kept defenses honest by throwing the ball downfield. I’m not saying Henne has looked like Tom Brady or Peyton Manning, you understand, but he sure as hell hasn’t looked like Blaine Gabbert.
Who can blame the fans and media for overreacting?
What about Coach Mike Mularkey and the players? They’re being low key about the change at QB, obviously adhering to that “unwritten locker room rule” of never criticizing a teammate.
Basically it comes down to not wanting to hurt Gabbert’s feelings? I understand not throwing Gabbert under the bus, but this is a big boy business and sometimes it is too obvious to ignore.
If you read between the lines of what’s being said in the locker room the change is impacting the entire team, not just the offense. After Sunday’s 24-19 home victory against Tennessee, for example, when defensive end Jeremy Mincey was asked how the QB change impacted the defense, he said, “You’re not thinking you’ve got to make a play instead of just naturally letting it come.” In other words, the offense under Henne can carry its own weight.
Certainly having Henne at QB has given the Jaguars some hope of a strong finish. Despite claims to the contrary by Mularkey, few others saw much, if any, improvement in Gabbert’s play. Sure, he had a couple of solid games, but shouldn’t any QB physically talented enough to be on an NFL roster occasionally play well?
As for Henne, the final five games likely will determine what kind of career he’ll have. He never lived up to expectations in Miami and the Dolphins let him go. No doubt Dolphins fans are getting a chuckle out of the excitement Henne is causing in Jacksonville.
But it isn’t unprecedented to see a journeyman QB develop into a star when given a second chance. Rich Gannon comes to mind.
But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. All that really matters now for the Jaguars is they think they have a better chance of winning without Gabbert. I’ll second that.
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