The Jacksonville Jaguars Starting Quarterback This Season Will Be Blake Bortles.
Just one week after head coach Doug Marrone suggested that the job was up for grabs, the Jaguars starting quarterback competition has reportedly been settled. The man to lead the offense for your 2017-2018 Jacksonville Jaguars will be Blake Bortles. Coach Doug Marrone has picked fourth-year player Blake Bortles over Chad Henne to be the team's starter for the Sept. 10 season opener at Houston, a surprising turnaround for a player whose career with the team seemed to be in jeopardy a week ago.
Coach Marrone gave Chad Henne the start in Jacksonville’s third preseason game, but was apparently unimpressed by Henne’s 8-of-14, 73-yard performance. Bortles was better, connecting on 12 of 16 throws for 125 yards and a touchdown.
Bortles has started the last 45 regular season games for the Jaguars, but a dreadful start to the 2017 preseason following his downturn in 2016 led Doug Marrone to bench him in favor of Chad Henne for the third preseason contest. Henne went 8 of 14 for 73 yards while getting sacked three times with the first-team offense, while Bortles completed 12 of 16 passes for 125 yards, a touchdown and a pick with the subs.
Despite his downturn in production, the Jaguars picked up his fifth-year option earlier this offseason and did not make any significant additions to the quarterback room. They apparently feel pretty comfortable giving him one more shot at the top job, but given his track record, he seems likely to hold them back from making any progress this year despite the continued addition of talent to their defense.
Bortles is more mobile, having run for 1,088 yards and five touchdowns, averaging 6.6 yards per carry in three seasons. Henne has run for 360 yards and three touchdowns, averaging 3.1 yards per carry in eight seasons.
Tom Coughlin, the Jaguars' executive vice president of football operations, made it clear during the offseason that Bortles had to drastically reduce his turnovers.
Bortles does have 69 touchdown passes, but only five of those have come when the Jaguars were leading the game.
Henne, 32, has started 22 games (5-17) in four seasons with the Jaguars and has appeared in seven others. He's thrown 27 touchdown passes and 26 interceptions, but he has taken only one regular-season snap since he was benched in favor of Bortles at halftime of Week 3 in 2014.
Henne has thrown 58 touchdown passes and 63 interceptions in 65 career games. He was a second-round pick by Miami in 2008 and started 31 games for the Dolphins from 2008 to 2011 before signing a free-agent contract with the Jaguars in 2012.