While many people are expecting third-year pro Blaine Gabbert to be the Jacksonville Jaguars' starting quarterback to open the year, head coach Gus Bradley stated on Tuesday that both Gabbert and Chad Henne could start games in the preseason. He also noted that the reps may not be divided equally, but it appears that the competition will come down to at least a couple of preseason games before a starter is determined.
Gabbert, 23, started ten games for the Jaguars last season and the team went 1-9 in those contests. He completed 58.3 percent of his passes for 1,662 yards, nine touchdowns, and six interceptions with a quarterback rating of 77.4. This comes after his rookie season, when he completed only 50.8 percent of his passes and had a quarterback rating of 65.4. But Gabbert faced stiff competition from the veteran Henne in his first year with Jacksonville.
Henne, 28, started six games and completed only 53.9 percent of his passes, but he threw for 2,084 yards and 11 touchdowns with 11 interceptions and a 72.2 quarterback rating. While high yardage totals can be exciting, Henne also threw six interceptions over his final two starts of the year, and the Jaguars were still losing.
With what was considered to be a weak quarterback class, the Jaguars drafted tackle Luke Joeckel with the second-overall pick and decided to remain steadfast with Gabbert and Henne. Jaguars blog Big Cat Country still has Gabbert as the favorite to win, while also noting free agent signee Mike Kafka and undrafted free agent Matt Scott as players to watch.
Though Gabbert and Henne might be getting the starts in the preseason, neither has been able to shut the door on additional competition. They will both likely be getting a chance to do that in August.