Two losses to open the season with, and the pressure on the Jacksonville Jaguars to start rookie quarterback Blake Bortles over Chad Henne is getting stronger, although the former Central Florida star has yet to take a regular season snap.
Bortles was excellent in preseason, but Gus Bradley decided to keep Henne as his starter. There are many reasons to see that move, including keeping Henne as the starter for now, as the right one: Letting Bortles develop his skills and understanding of the offense, not throwing him in too soon. However, there’s another reason that probably trumps everything else.
Some have said in the past that a quarterback is only as good as his offensive line. So far, the Jaguars have been quite poor in protecting Henne from getting sacked. He was sacked three times in the 34-17 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, dropping a 17-0 lead in the first half, and was taken down 10 times (!!!) in the 41-10 loss to the Redskins.
While Henne did put on a solid performance against Philadelphia (mostly in the first half), things were far from that ideal picture in the second half. He completed just 50% of his passes for 193 yards, a touchdown and an interception, finishing with a QBR of 4.1 according to ESPN. Hard to say that it’s his fault when it was so easy getting to him, and yet the perception from the beginning of the season that Henne wasn’t going to be the quarterback the Jaguars lean on for the future. He’s just a transitional guy.
The Jaguars are missing their three best offensive players in Marcedes Lewis, Cecil Shorts and Allen Hurns. Combine that with an offensive line that’s not functioning at the moment, and making Bortles the quarterback right now and begin his era for the struggling franchise makes less and less sense.
Gus Bradley? He isn’t sharing his thoughts with the media. All he had to say was that we have a lot of things we have to correct. We’ll take a look at that all on film.