We all knew that Chad Henne would not be the long term solution for the Jacksonville Jaguars when he arrived in town in 2012. He was expected to spur on and compete with the perpetually struggling Blaine Gabbert and he was brought in with the expectation that he provided premium insurance at the quarterback position.
Instead he got the opportunity to replace Gabbert as the starter and he entered the 2014 season with a mandate to start the season. His inability to get the offense moving has led to his benching in favor of rookie Blake Bortles and he has once again taken it all in stride.
Henne is a mediocre quarterback, but he is a professional and should be appreciated for his work that he has turned in with the Jaguars. His 5-17 record as a starter isn’t pretty. His 5,817 yards during that period look more like a single season stat for Peyton Manning or Drew Brees. His 27 touchdowns to 26 interceptions don’t jump off the page. His play has been nothing but mediocre.
We shouldn’t have expected more from him.
We were led to believe that Henne could lead our offense under GM Gene Smith and under GM Dave Caldwell. They were wrong. We should have trusted our guts and we should have trusted the four years in Miami with other mediocre numbers. We didn’t and we felt betrayed. However, Henne wasn’t pretending to be something he wasn’t. He was simply doing the best he could with what he had. He was given the reins to the offense. He knew he needed to improve. He knew his job was on the line. He went out each week and competed as best he could.
It just wasn’t good enough.
Henne offered no hurtful language or resentment after Sunday’s loss to the Indianapolis Colts and his benching in favor of Blake Bortles. He knows Bortles outplayed him. He knows that the Jaguars will be moving on with the franchise. He knows that his last audition to keep his job failed.
He isn’t going anywhere though, and that should be a comfort for those of us who root for the Jags. We have a professional who can weather the storm as a backup quarterback. We just need to temper our enthusiasm for him a if he ever gets on the field again.
Here’s what Jaguars.com had to offer up:
"The Jaguars veteran quarterback lost his starting job to Bortles Sunday. As expected, he reacted with not a ripple of resentment. After learning of the change, Henne gathered members of the offense and told them that Bortles was the starter now – and that i =t was time to play hard for Bortles. Henne afterward admitted disappointment and said he hoped to one day start again in the NFL, but there was no anger and no sense of having been wronged. Henne behaved professionally since his arrival in Jacksonville and Sunday, was no different."
I fall right in line with John Oehser’s words. We should respect Henne for what he was able to do and we should reflect back on his time with the team and realize that maybe, just maybe we should never have expected more from him.
He was never the quarterback of the future for the Jaguars.
He is, however, a class act.