We want the Jacksonville Jaguars to be good, but they are still stuck rebuilding. Does Blake Bortles get to drive, or will Chad Henne be in charge down south? Dan Salem and Todd Salem debate in part one of this week’s TD Sports Debate. Two brothers from New York yell, scream and debate the NFL and sports.
I’ve always had a soft spot for the Jacksonville Jaguars. I like their logo and the animal itself, but unfortunately they’ve had little to root for over the years outside of one man at running back. I wish it were different for the Jags in 2014, but they are championing the likes of Chad Henne and Blake Bortles at quarterback.
If any team needed a third or fourth man in the QB conversation, its Jacksonville. Having only two men competing for this job speaks volumes about the organization. They are putting a TON of faith in Bortles becoming their starting quarterback.
I know, I know, the Jaguars picked Bortles in the first round. You don’t do that if you aren’t aiming for a long-term answer at the position. But do you honestly believe he will find success with this team?
I’m not saying Bortles can’t succeed in the NFL, but he certainly has his work cut out for him, trying to do so in Jacksonville. The man they’re hoping he’ll replace, Chad Henne, has seven years in the league, but also little fan fare.
Henne’s QBR with the Jags over the last two seasons was not good. He’s never thrown more touchdowns than interceptions in any of his seasons in the league, with both Miami and Jacksonville. Also not good. But we know he can lead a team for a full season.
Since Jacksonville is aspiring to have playoff aspirations, how long is the Henne leash? If any team is in the position to have its veteran groom its rookie, it’s the Jaguars. But we know that matters less and less these days. Where do the Jags go?
I know what you mean with the Jaguars. They’re like the Cubs of the NFL without the storied history. You want them to not be terrible anymore. And Fred Taylor, Jimmy Smith, Keenan McCardell and Mark Brunell? Come on! Love those guys!
Unfortunately, Mark Brunell is not walking through that door in Jacksonville. Or, more accurately, the current Mark Brunell could actually walk through that door and battle for the starting quarterback position on this team. Things don’t look good.
They reached for Blake Bortles in the draft. The buzz surrounding him torpedoed him into top-spot consideration, but only Jacksonville actually fell for it. All the other quarterbacks got taken at reasonable bargains considering. I suppose they did the proper thing in the next round by adding a couple of good receiving weapons.
Of course, Bortles is going to take time regardless of who he’s throwing to. Like many of the other teams on the list of quarterback battle spots, there already exists a veteran on the roster who will probably perform better than the rook in week one. It comes down to how good the Jags want to be this season, and how quickly they want to throw Bortles into the fire. I also don’t think Henne’s extension factors into this. He was signed for two years prior to the draft, and having a veteran set for a couple of years is consistency that good teams rely on.
I actually think Bortles should be the guy here. Part of this has to do with their belief in him. They drafted him third overall because they liked him a lot. That matters, even if it was a reach. The Jags also aren’t winning much this season no matter who is QB. Justin Blackmon is indefinitely suspended and may never return. The running back position is being led by a guy who’s never started for a season before. With inexperienced coaches, all signs point towards another year of rebuilding. Bortles should build along with the rest of the roster.
Henne has no long-term future with this club. Why stunt someone else’s growth for his benefit? Instead, find out what you have with Bortles. Even if results are bad, the organization will be able to tell if he’s worth the investment.
[New on Sunday - the NFL Time Machine kicks into 2014]