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Inside the Jaguars: Henne fine with co-No. 1s

Posted Aug 6, 2013

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Chad Henne: “Whenever (Gus Bradley) feels it’s time to make that decision, he’s going to make that decision.”

JACKSONVILLE – Chad Henne doesn’t much mind a tie. Not at this stage, at least.

Henne, competing with Blaine Gabbert for the Jaguars’ starting quarterback position, said it didn’t bother him when the team on Monday announced him and Gabbert as co-No. 1s on the first unofficial depth chart of the 2013 preseason.

In fact, Henne said it wouldn’t have made much sense to do anything else.

“That’s what (Head) Coach Gus (Bradley) said from the beginning, that it’s going to be a competition to the end,” Henne said Tuesday after a two-and-half-hour 2013 training camp practice at the Florida Blue Health and Wellness Practice Fields.

“Whenever he feels it’s time to make that decision, he’s going to make that decision.”

Bradley this week has given no public indication about the eventual starter.

Not only did the team list Henne and Gabbert as co-No. 1s, the duo continues to split repetitions with the first- and second-team offense. Gabbert started the scrimmage Saturday, and took all of the reps with the starters in practice Monday. Henne took all of the reps with the ones Tuesday.

“There are days they both look good, and today I thought they did look good,” Bradley said. “I can say we’re pleased with both’s progress. I told you before, I like it like this. We as a team like it like this; we’re highly competitive every day where they are concentrating on just trying to stay within themselves and do what they need to do. I think it’s very healthy for the team.”

Bradley said the duo likely will split reps Wednesday in practice.

“They’ll each get opportunities with the ones,” Bradley said, adding that no decision yet has been made about the rotation against the Miami Dolphins in Friday’s preseason opener at EverBank Field.

“We haven’t even talked about that,” he said.

PHOTO GALLERY OF DAY NINE OF JAGUARS TRAINING CAMP

Henne, like Gabbert, said his focus isn’t on keeping a day-to-day scorecard of who is or isn’t leading – and that to take that approach would be counterproductive.

“That’s not in our minds,” Henne said. “We know we’re going to have a shot with the ones and a shot with the twos each week. Our job is to get better as quarterbacks and help this team win. We’re not sitting back and saying, ‘Who won this day?’ We’re trying to get better in practice and help this team win.

“You can’t worry about anything outside and wonder who it’s going to be. Then, you’re taking your mind off trying to improve each day. If we’re not doing that, we’re definitely taking a step back for ourselves, but the team, too.”

Henne said overall, his focus remains on learning the offense. He likes the tempo of offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch’s offense, and likes the idea of having freedom at the line of scrimmage.

“I’m an up-paced quarterback,” Henne said. “I like to get into a rhythm where I’m going and it’s kind of in my hands. This is the offense where it’s capable for me to do that.”

Also on Tuesday:

*Rookie Denard Robinson changed jersey numbers from No. 29 to No. 16, with wide receiver Jordan Shipley changing from No. 16 to No. 15. Previously No. 15 had been worn by wide receiver Taylor Price, who was released on Monday. Robinson wore No. 16 at the University of Michigan. “The number was occupied already, so I didn’t want to push anybody out,” Robinson said. “I’m a rookie. I have to earn my way up. It was a smooth transition.” While veterans sometimes demand cash or other compensation to give a number to a rookie, Robinson said Shipley did not. “Shipley’s a good guy,” Robinson said, laughing.

*Although coaches have yet to discuss quarterback rotation for Friday, Bradley said he expects the quarterback rotation to go beyond Henne and Gabbert and include rookie Matt Scott and veteran Mike Kafka. “We’ll look at that and see how we want to set that up,” Bradley said, adding, “Hopefully, everybody gets a chance to play.”

*Henne discussed the offense, saying, “Our biggest job is to score points. I don’t think we did enough of that last year. Our main job is to protect the football. If we protect the football, we’re going to win a lot more games.”

*While the team began preparing for Friday’s preseason opener, Bradley said planning specific to Miami will be minimal. “I think the focus should continue to be on us and what we do,” Bradley said. “We’ve got some work to do, so we just have to continue to take advantage of those reps. Our mindset is completely or 95 percent of the time on us.”

*Bradley for a second consecutive day discussed needing to learn about the pass rush when preseason opens. “We need to see can we get pressure on the quarterback with a four man rush consistently?” he said. “When I say consistently; each play, each game – what can we count on from that rush? And that’s something we’ve got to evaluate and see.”

*Bradley called the locker-room presence of veteran defensive end Jason Babin, “Unbelievable. I can look you in the eye and say that; he’s been tremendous. He’s been tremendous for our culture, he adds to it. I can’t compare to where he was, but all I can say is that he’s been awesome.”

*Though the team released an unofficial depth chart on Monday, Bradley cautioned against reading too much into its depth and details four days before the preseason opener. “It’s more of an organizational chart to us right now,” he said. “We’re just looking at continuing to compete even in the games. We’re going to try some things out and we’re going to see some different things and how we need to play. Hopefully we’ll get in situations that we can teach our players from. Everybody’s going to get an opportunity to play in that game.”

*Bradley said the offensive line had perhaps its best day of camp Tuesday, and that the unit’s intensity carried forward in practice. “It’s the more and the more they play with each other, the more and more they get reps with each other and the more and more they understand what’s asked of them, and it was good,” Bradley said. “Now, does that mean automatically that they’ll be really good tomorrow? No, but they do have a chance to put two good days together. They’ve got that opportunity so that’s what we have to build on and that’ll be the challenge tomorrow.”

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