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Jaguars veteran QB Chad Henne says he's ready to work with rookie Blake Bortles

Posted: May 13, 2014 - 10:01pm  |  Updated: May 14, 2014 - 12:58am
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Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Chad Henne (7) jogs off the field after a 32-28 win over the Cleveland Browns in an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 1, 2013 in Cleveland.  AP
Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Chad Henne (7) jogs off the field after a 32-28 win over the Cleveland Browns in an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 1, 2013 in Cleveland.

Jaguars veteran quarterback Chad Henne has seen hot-shot, cocky quarterbacks enter the league.

He doesn’t believe the team’s first-round pick Blake Bortles is like them.

Bortles, the third-overall selection in last week’s NFL Draft, met Henne while visiting the Jaguars during the draft process and left an impression on his future teammate.

“He’s smart and humble,” Henne said. “He’s not a guy that’s going to carry himself like he’s above everybody, which is what I liked.”

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Henne saw some of Bortles’ accomplishments at Central Florida. He then learned more about the 6-foot-5, 232-pound Bortles from his friend, Jordan Palmer. The former Jaguars quarterback worked with Bortles on his mechanics and ran his pro day leading up to the draft. Henne even voiced his support of Bortles to coach Gus Bradley in the draft process.

“Jordan and I have a relationship that goes pretty far back,” Henne said. “It’s good to hear things from around the league about the kid, that he’s humble, wants to work hard and be a good quarterback in this league. I’m happy to have Blake here and have him work with me, compete with me and make me better. Hopefully, I can make him better.”

The coming quarterback competition isn’t expected to be much of one if Jaguars general manager Dave Caldwell and Bradley get their wish. They’ve voiced their hope that Henne starts every game this season so Bortles can be developed for the 2015 season.

Henne (6-3, 230) has logged 50 starts in his six seasons in the league, including 19 in his two years with the Jaguars. He started 13 games last season. In his career, Henne has thrown for 12,439 yards with 55 touchdowns and 62 interceptions.

“I’ve been through a lot of quarterback competitions in my career,” Henne said. “I think there’s only been one year where I haven’t had to compete and battle for that starting job. I’m up for it. You set your ego aside and compete against yourself rather than the person next to you.”

Bradley reassured Henne of his importance prior to Bortles being drafted and after.

“I said, ‘Gus, I know how this business is run,’ ” Henne said. “’You’re not hurting my feelings. You’re doing what’s best for this team. I’m not going to change the way I am.’ ”

Henne admits his way of looking at Bortles’ arrival might be unique.

“I won’t say everybody reacts like that,” Henne said.

That’s why the Jaguars were so eager to resign Henne in the offseason. The team signed him to a two-year, $8 million deal with $4.5 million guaranteed. “Chad is a very good leader for this team,” Caldwell said.

Henne will try to help his two new targets get acclimated. Following the selection of Bortles, the Jaguars took receivers Marqise Lee (Southern California) and Allen Robinson (Penn State).

“I’ll be in their meeting rooms as well, meeting with them one-on-one, showing them coverages and route adjustments that they can do,” Henne said.

Lee and Robinson’s primary mentor will be Cecil Shorts. The fourth-year veteran embraced helping Ace Sanders get up to speed as a rookie last season and is ready to do it again.

“It’s exciting to bring two high-caliber guys in like that,” Shorts said. “I was surprised they both were there. I was keeping up with the draft. Marqise was supposed to be a first-round guy and possibly Allen. It’s good to have those guys in our room, and they’ll make us better on the field.”

Shorts had players meet at his house last year to go over plays in the offseason. Everyone was learning then with offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch in his first season. Now, Fisch’s system is in place.

“I don’t want to say I own the offense yet, but I have a good grasp of it,” Shorts said. “So I can help them get through it and their talent will surface. My job is to help them get better.”

Shorts was already working with Robinson on Tuesday at the facility. Lee can’t report yet, because of USC (like most Pac-12 schools) being on the quarter system academically.

“I can learn a lot from Cecil,” Robinson said. “I learned a lot today, just in terms of route running, the system and how things work.”

Comments (3)

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ALeo 05/14/14 - 12:14 pm
Premium Member

I agree Dave. With their

I agree Dave. With their schedule, if the Jags can have a winning season I'd be happy (and that will be progress from winning 2 games 2 years ago). That said I'm really excited to see what Henne can do with a much improved O line and some top new WRs to throw to. In addition, Shorts now won't always be double covered and should have a great season.
Finally, I have no doubt that our new QB will get some playing time this season in during the Preseason and during "garbage time" in games that we have lost and the opponent has their 2nd stringers in.

Jedevaney 05/14/14 - 11:52 am

A clean win against Indy,

A clean win against Indy, even if we dont hit 0.500, would be tremendous for our team. It would mean that we are starting to be relevant in AFC South. I think we did a good job last year with Houston and Tennessee. I really got tired of reading articles of how they were overlooking their games with the Jags.

Davethecaveman 05/14/14 - 07:24 am

It will be hard for us to win

It will be hard for us to win in September. Too many away games, but if the new OL , receivers and QB can get it going the rest of the season we will have a chance to be good. I'm counting on Henne to throw more touchdowns this year than interceptions and for him to get sacked less. Really, all I want is to beat Indy. If we can do that we can beat Houston, Tenn.

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