The Jaguars quarterback history is worth more than a quick look

Chad Henne, Jacksonville Jaguars. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Chad Henne, Jacksonville Jaguars. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images) /

How bad as quarterback play been for the Jacksonville Jaguars in recent memory?

Jaguars quarterback history explains just how much we need a competent quarterback.  The downhill slide started in the Blaine Gabbert/Chad Henne era in 2011 and has continued to the present with only one winning season in 2017.

My historic quarterback search began with 2007 but let’s start with winning percentages of all Jaguars quarterbacks starting in the very first season.

Mark Brunell – 54 percent. David Garrard – 52 percent.  Byron Leftwich – 55 percent. Blake Bortles – 33 percent. Gabbert – 19 percent. Henne – 27 percent.

As you can see there is quite a drop off from Leftwich to Bortles and another drop off from Bortles to Gabbert. The Jaguars quit being a winner about the time that Garrard was no longer on the team.

My next look was at the rank of the Jaguars quarterback compared to others in the NFL and the team record.

The team’s only quarterback rankings in the top third since 2007 were achieved by Garrard with a second (11-5 record) and 10h best in the league (8-8 record)  Rankings in the middle third of NFL quarterbacks were by Bortles 12th (10-6 record)  and Garrard again with fifteenth (5-11 record) and nineteenth (record 7-9).

All other quarterback rankings were in the bottom quarter of the league and the team had very poor records all of these years.

The thoughts that come to mind are: Garrard was a far better quarterback than I ever realized, Gabbert was worse than Bortles, and team records and quarterback rankings are intertwined.

Bad quarterback play makes a bad team. Good quarterback play makes a good team. We can blame the poor quarterback play on the bad team but it’s not always the case.

For example, we watched Andrew Luck in 2018 turn a very below average team around.

Football is a team game, but the quarterback is the most important player on the field and if he does not play well, the team will probably does not pull out a victory.

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The front office gave Bortles a new contract after the 2017 season. His ranking went from 28th to 12thand the management obviously thought he had turned the corner. Sadly he returned to number29 in 2018.

Blame the injuries, blame Leonard Fournette, blame the coaches, blame the wide receivers, and blame anyone else but the bottom line is that Bortles is not a franchise quarterback.

Garrard’s last season was 2010. During his last four years, there was only one bad season. Garrard was a middle of the pack play caller and the team had average seasons.

Bortles is in the lower fourth of the league in ranking and the team spent four of his five years at or near the bottom.

Now, the Jaguars must move on from the past five years, ending what could only be described as a failed experiment with a quarterback who looked like he could be better this past season based on a better fourth year than we thought he would have.

In the 2019 NFL Draft, the Jaguars select.... dark. Next

The franchise must find a new quarterback. This player can be a veteran or a rookie. There is no particular person who will be the savior but even a mid-tier signal caller would be an improvement. General manager Dave Caldwell, Executive Vice-President Tom Coughlin, and head coach Doug Marrone must make a good decision.