JACKSONVILLE – As Jedd Fisch sees it, the situation is unusual but it’s not.
Odd? A distraction?
Far from it, the Jaguars’ offensive coordinator said Tuesday.
“It’s business as usual for us,” Fisch said following a two-hour, 10-minute practice at the Florida Blue Health and Wellness Practice Fields.
Fisch said that’s because in the weeks leading up to Monday’s decision, Gabbert took almost equal repetitions with the first team, with Henne taking 330 repetitions with the first team.
“We’ll go out and run our offense,” Fisch said. “The game plan will not change. It will be a game plan set for the Eagles, and we’ll go out and run the final preseason game and we’ll be ready for Kansas City (in the first game of the regular season).”
“Gus and I and (General Manager) Dave (Caldwell) and (quarterbacks coach) Frank (Scelfo) had continuous conversations about the evaluation process,” Fisch said. “I think we all felt that when it was ready to go, that’s when we were going to do it. If either one of us thought it should have been done earlier, we probably would have done it earlier.
“We all really liked the way it was going, and we liked how it was getting each one better. We felt there were continued signs of progress.”
Fisch did say that the Jaguars had reached a point where the team wanted Gabbert to get reps with the first team.
“But unfortunately, Blaine can’t get them anyway,” Fisch said. “He has to start commanding them mentally now.”
Monday’s announcement ended a quarterback competition that officially began in mid-April, when the Jaguars began the offseason program, but Fisch said in fact it started long before that. Fisch also said the decision came down to far more than just Gabbert’s 13-of-16 performance for 165 yards and a touchdown in a preseason loss to the New York Jets Saturday.
“It was a process from the first day we met,” Fisch said of Gabbert. “Whenever he first came into my office to introduce himself, it was the beginning of evaluation. Then, the first time I talked to Chad . . . We wanted to evaluate the guy who was going to be the starting quarterback of an NFL team, not just a thrower, the best this, or the best leader. It was the total evaluation process, so it wasn’t just one game.”
*Starting left guard
*The Jaguars roster remains at 88 players after the Monday release of guard Jason Spitz and wide receiver Mohamad Massaquoi. Teams must reduce their rosters to 75 players by next Tuesday.
*Bradley said Tuesday the team is beginning to more closely evaluate the depth chart as the dates to trim the roster approach. “We’re starting to look more at regular-season roles as we go on with first, second and third groups and trying to finalize things as we get closer with this process in training camp,” he said. “We’ve got to make some tough decisions after this game so that’s why you’re seeing a lot of guys still in the competition mode.”
*Bradley said Gabbert ideally will be able to begin practicing the Wednesday before the regular-season opener, but he didn’t offer that as an absolute deadline for Gabbert to be able to play against Kansas City. “We’ve just got to play it by ear,” he said. “In his mind, I think he thinks he will be back earlier. I know that we’ve got to take a look at it. He’s in cast now and we’ll reevaluate it once it comes out of the cast. . . . We will be smart with him. We will be very smart.”