But according to Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley, that absolutely does not mean a change in the team’s short-term approach to its quarterback position.
“The team has really responded to both of them really well,” Bradley said Friday, a day after the Jaguars’ 20-19 Preseason Week 2 loss to Chicago at Soldier Field in Chicago. “I just think where Chad is at and where our team is at it’s the best thing for us right now.”
Bradley added, “We feel so strongly about Chad right now.”
But the big news from the Bradley’s next-day press conference came when he discussed Bortles.
Bortles, the No. 3 overall selection in the 2014 NFL Draft, has been impressive in two preseason games, completing 18 of 28 passes for 277 yards. That has spawned speculation that Bortles is pushing Henne for the starting job despite the team’s consistency saying otherwise.
Bradley on Friday said Bortles will work about a quarter with the first team Thursday, with Henne starting and playing about a half and Bortles playing after that.
“I’d like to see him get about a quarter this game,” Bradley said of Bortles.
At the same time, Bradley re-emphasized a point he has made for several weeks – that the Jaguars try to work many rookies with the first team. Bortles working with the first team against Detroit, Bradley said, is a function of that approach – not an indication of a quarterback change.
“Our whole philosophy is to get our rookies in with the ones,” Bradley said. “We have to get that done this week and see just how he (Bortles) handles it. … We do that with the majority of our guys, and I think it’s important we remain consistent, so you’ll see Blake with the ones.”
Bradley said while Bortles has been impressive, the team believes strongly that Henne is the best option to lead the team right now. Henne completed 12 of 17 passes for 130 yards and a touchdown in a little more than a quarter Friday after completing four of seven passes for 30 yards against Tampa Bay in the preseason opener.
“That was the Chad we’ve seen in OTAs and minicamp,” Bradley said of Henne’s performance Friday.
Bradley also added that the team believes strongly in Henne’s body of work and experience, and when he was asked directly if Henne was the Week 1 starter, he replied: “Yes.”
“There’s going to be some time we have to take a look at this and see the direction we’re going,” Bradley said, adding of a potential quarterback change, “Right now, that’s not even a question in our mind.”
Also around the Jaguars:
*Bradley on Friday said it appears likely rookie
*Rookie wide receiver
*Bradley said again that “foolish penalties” were a huge issue against Chicago, and something the team must eliminate. The Jaguars were penalized 14 times for 141 yards Friday. “The ones that are under our control, we have to take care of,” Bradley said. …
*The Jaguars averaged 3.1 yards per carry against the Bears Friday, but Bradley said the area felt improved from Week 1. “We had some explosive runs in there,” Bradley said.