The second game of the Jacksonville Jaguars preseason was very underwhelming. Once again the issue on offense revolves around the lack of a true quarterback. With the season opener in two weeks, it may be time to make a move.
Bortles Throwing Starting Role Away
Blake Bortles walks away from the second preseason game with no signs of improving on his underwhelming 2016 season. All four offensive drives he was on the field for resulted in punts. Through two preseason appearances he has managed to not turn the ball over, however he also has yet to prove that his offseason training has helped. Frustration on all fronts has reached its limits as fans, players, and coaches have shown signs of having no confidence in the three year veteran. Earlier this week in practice not only was he benched but his best weapon, wide receiver Allen Robinson, was caught on film showing his frustration. So what is the next step for Bortles as the Jaguars look onward from their preseason loss?
Head coach Doug Marrone following the game has finally broke silence on the quarterback situation heading into week 3 of the preseason stating it is now an open competition between Bortles and Chad Henne.
"I’m looking for someone that’s going to lead this offense, I’m not happy with the performance today. I’m not going to sit here and BS anyone. Everyone saw it out there. Whatever you want to call it, I’m still trying to evaluate who the best person is at that position.” – Doug Marrone"
This is surely a sign that Bortles is on his way out of the Jaguars plans for the future. With Henne at least showing signs of being able to make plays it seems to be the most logical answer moving closer to week 1’s matchup against the Houston Texans. Maybe this open competition will motivate Bortles to play better following the team picking up his fifth year option prior to the preseason. Even with the option at the moment, Bortles is not guaranteed to stay on the roster considering the option only gives guaranteed money if he is cut while being injured. If Henne does start week 1 what does that do for the team moving forward?
Blast From The Past
Jaguars fans may be overlooking the fact that Henne’s play in the past for the team resulted in the drafting of Bortles. Between the Blaine Gabbert and Bortles eras there was a gap that was occupied by Henne. During this time he started for the Jaguars in 22 games and played at least a snap in 6 other games. He totaled 5,817 passing yards, 27 touchdowns, and 26 interceptions before finally being benched and replaced by none other than, rookie then, Bortles. These numbers are nothing to excite anyone for, even today when he seems to outplay his predecessor in preseason. Granted this could be a rebirth of his career, but Henne never shown signs of being the guy even during his time with the Miami Dolphins prior to joining the Jaguars.
At the end of the day it has to be wishful thinking driving fans and the coaches to think the team will excel more so with Henne than Bortles. At the age of 32 Henne has already played through half of what his NFL career will likely be. This means if Henne does start and Bortles is cut at the end of the year this leaves the door open for the Jaguars to draft another quarterback in the first round for the third time in eight years. The only other option would be to give 2016’s sixth round pick Brandon Allen the keys to the offense. Starting Allen would be a risk and reward approach as the only film in the pros seen on him are in the preseason against opponent’s depth players.