Blaine Gabbert had a good weekend.
Yeah, I know Gabbert didn’t play Saturday night against the Eagles because of a wrist injury, but his position as the Jaguars starting quarterback improved because Chad Henne did nothing to improve his own stock.
Henne wasn’t terrible: 11 of 18, 106 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. But given an opportunity to make the Jaguar coaches rethink their starting QB options, Henne looked like what he is: an NFL backup. I’m certain when the coaches reviewed the game tapes they saw Henne’s failure to make quick decisions and spot open receivers and his tendency to tuck the ball and run too quickly.
Even though Coach Gus Bradley has named Gabbert the starter it isn’t a decision carved in stone. Gabbert didn’t exactly win the job as much as Henne has been unable to win it. Saturday night provided Henne the opportunity to make a statement. He did just that -- and not in a good way.
The Jaguars have plenty of problems. That’s not breaking news. The pass rush continues to look anemic and there doesn’t appear to be relief in sight. The secondary is incredibly young and will, no doubt, be torched, at least in the early going. There still reason to worry about the middle of the offensive line with center Brad Meester reaching the end of his career and so-so guards Uche Nwaneri and Will Rackley coming off injuries. The wide receiver position is weakened by Justin Blackmon’s four-game suspension.
Then consider the fact that Bradley has yet to work his first game as a head coach. Early signs say he has a chance to be a good one, but seeing is believing.
But all of the problems are secondary to the quarterback issues. Gabbert and Henne have been consistently inconsistent. Their best has been okay; their worst has been awful.
I’ve continued to hold out hope that Henne, who’s only 28, would finally fulfill his potential and become at least an average to better-than-average quarterback, someone comparable to David Garrard.
But when opportunity has knocked – as it did last Saturday –Henne continues to look like the quarterback who was run out of Miami and who has been unable to beat out Gabbert.
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