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'14 offseason: Henne focused on the now


JACKSONVILLE – Chad Henne can't predict the future.

But he does know about the present, and the seventh-year veteran said on Wednesday it does no good to look beyond the now.

Now, he is the Jaguars' starting quarterback. So, now that's his focus.

And while the Jaguars likely will draft one or two quarterbacks in the May 8-10 NFL Draft, and while those players will provide competition at the position, Henne is expected to open the offseason, training camp and regular season as the Jaguars' starter.

"Nothing's really changed in my mindset," Henne said Wednesday, the first day of the Jaguars' 2014 voluntary offseason conditioning program at EverBank Field. "I just want to come out here and compete and try to be the guy and be the best I can be and help this team win."

Henne, who started the last 11 games of last season and 17 over the past two seasons, re-signed with the Jaguars shortly before the start of the NFL's free-agency period last month. Jaguars General Manager David Caldwell and Head Coach Gus Bradley said at the time they expected Henne to enter next season as the starter.

"I'm extremely happy for him," Jaguars wide receiver Cecil Shorts III said. "He deserves it. He has fought through a tough year – the last two years, really. He produced and I'm excited for him. We're going to add weapons through the draft and free agency, so it's exciting."

The Jaguars traded fourth-year veteran Blaine Gabbert, the No. 10 overall selection in the 2011 NFL Draft and the Week 1 starter over Henne the last two seasons, to San Francisco on the first day of free agency.

September starts in April. — Jacksonville Jaguars (@jaguars) April 23, 2014

"I felt like I was prepared no matter what, even knowing when I was the two," Henne said. "It's more just taking ownership of this offense. Every day guys see me in the huddle, the guys that are going to be out there on Sundays.

"My antics are going to be different (as the starter). I'm not going to just be laidback. I'm going to expect more. I'm going to expect more out of myself and demand more from the guys rather than taking a backseat."

Henne said while the re-signing process in February and March took longer than he expected he hoped throughout to return to Jacksonville.

"I definitely ended up where I wanted to be and was glad it got done when it did," he said. "It's Gus and what he's established. It's David Caldwell. It's (Owner) Shad Khan giving us whatever we want. Being in this same (offensive) system was a big thing. You're not going to play to the best of your ability if you're mixing offenses every year. I felt that comfort level and I saw a lot of upside.

"Not saying we're going to go out and make the playoffs, but we have strong goals and strong foundation here."

Also on Wednesday:

*Jaguars kicker Josh Scobee enters the offseason program in a new role – as the team's most tenured player. Scobee, a fourth-round selection in the 2004 NFL Draft, will enter his 11th season with the team. Jaguars center Brad Meester retired last offseason after 14 seasons. "I really hadn't thought about myself being one of the older guys until (Tuesday) when we had our physicals," Scobee said. "One of the nurses asked if I was a coach. So, I don't feel old. I don't feel like I look old, but apparently to some nurses I look old." Scobee added, "I have thought about it. It's kind of crazy, because it doesn't feel like 10 years ago I got drafted by the team. It really does fly by."…

*Bradley said attendance was "awesome" for the opening of the voluntary offseason program, with "a couple of guys missing for various reasons and we'll probably have that throughout." …

*With the opening of the offseason program, Bradley said he and Caldwell now have double-duty days, meeting with players in the morning and focusing on draft preparation after that. "We spend our afternoons with coaches going through our draft preparations and then at night it's Dave and I and the scouts – a lot of good work done," he said….

*Bradley said he agrees with analysts and personnel officials who consider the upcoming May 8-10 2014 NFL Draft one of the strongest in recent memory. "It's a very strong draft," he said. "Watching these guys, you put another guy on tape and you watch him and go, 'There's another really good player.' Our middle rounds are going to be really important." The Jaguars hold the No. 3 selection in the draft, and Bradley said if the Jaguars held the No. 1 selection they wouldn't yet know the selection. …

*Bradley said the Jaguars have no regrets over their recent attempt to sign Cleveland Browns center Alex Mack. At the time a transition free agent, Mack signed an offer with the Jaguars that the Browns matched, which meant Mack remained with the Browns. "I think it goes along with our philosophy: 'We always compete, and this is out there,'" he said. "'We might not be able to get him but that's OK, let's take a swing, go for it and see what happens.' It was a chance for him to come in here and see what we're all about. The visit and everything went really well. He's a great guy and obviously a very good player. It just didn't work out but we're not embarrassed about going for it because I think we're always competing-type mentality." …

*Bradley said that with Mack not having been signed, third-year veteran Mike Brewster remains the top candidate on the roster to start at center. "Right now he is the guy right there," Bradley said. An All-American center for Ohio State in 2011, Brewster signed with the Jaguars as an undrafted free agent shortly after the 2012 NFL Draft. He worked at guard and center the past two seasons, but played mostly guard with Meester not missing a start in either season. "Obviously the Alex Mack thing, how can you hide from it, but that's the NFL," Bradley said. "Mike knows that. I think his mind is, 'I don't worry about all of that I just want to out all my focus on taking advantage of this opportunity,' and that's great."…

Photos of Poz & the #Jaguars doing some heavy lifting: — Jacksonville Jaguars (@jaguars) April 23, 2014

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