A lot of hullabaloo has been made this offseason about Blaine Gabbert and his imminent failure at quarterback (if you read the national media that is). While the criticism is correctly based on a horrendous first season for the young signal caller, the media tends to overlook the commitment that a team has to its future of the franchise.
Chad Henne was brought into Jacksonville this offseason for one reason only: injury insurance. Henne has 31 starts to his name and has a decent 60% completion percentage for his career. The ceiling is too low on Henne though. A team does not simply walk away from its investment in a franchise quarterback in favor of the other guy who has a history of mediocrity.
When talking about Henne taking the field, the completion percentage and his starting history is what the media talks about. Rarely do they touch on the absolute ineptitude of the Dolphins offense during Henne’s time as starter there. Nor do they talk about the 13-18 record he has a starter.
When talking about Henne not taking the field, it is easy to say that a more developed Gabbert will make it easy for him to keep Henne on the bench. However, the odds Gabbert becoming a great one overnight aren’t high and a mediocre starting quarterback may as well be Henne. The reason Gabbert factors in is because of the potential growth that a full season starting provides for a quarterback as young as Gabbert. Gabbert will be 23 in October while Henne is four years older at 27. If the media can get so down on a player like Brandon Weeden who is 28 entering the league but doesn’t get down on a player who may be on his last few years in the league at 27, there seems to be no logic left in sports writing.
Henne just doesn’t have the numbers to make starting him logical. He has shown what he can do in different offenses down in Miami. Henne knows that his role as backup may be his best chance at making money in the NFL for the rest of his career. He won’t be competing hard for the starting spot or thinking about usurping Gabbert because every time he starts the more heads around the league will note his mediocrity. Stepping into a supportive mentoring role is life support for Henne’s career and he’ll probably gladly embrace it.
- Luke N. Sims
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