Former University of MI quarterback Chad Henne is in a heated battle for the starting quarterback role in Jacksonville. Marrone made a decision to have the two compete for the starting job after another lackluster performance by Bortles in last week's loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. "I'm just looking to see who can lead from that position". Bortles consistently failed to hit open receivers during the 2016 season, which caused him to finish the year with 23 touchdowns and 16 interceptions. He's gone 11-34 in 45 starts and hasn't shown much ability to become a franchise quarterback.
For now, the competition is between Henne and Bortles. We're going to try and go in there, and start fast and start with a spark.
"I think we've paid more attention to figuring out what we're good at", says veteran wide receiver Arrelious Benn.
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Combine that with head coach Doug Marrone's less-than-stinging endorsement of Bortles' play, and signs are pointing to Henne starting over Bortles.
Bortles has struggled to move the ball downfield throughout the preseason. After 53 career starts and appearances in 65 games, Henne has 58 touchdowns, 63 interceptions and has completed 59.3 percent of his passes. He has looked clueless at times during training camp and the team's first two preseason games.
Marrone also semi-intimated he won't be ready to announce a Week 1 starter immediately following the Panthers game. Whenever the Jaguars tried to work the ball down the field, Bortles misfired, most notably missing a wide-open Allen Robinson on two separate occasions.
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Bortles hasn't committed a turnover in two preseason games but he has not played well, either.
"Bortles $3.2 million salary for this year is guaranteed, so the Jaguars would be eating that money if they cut him (barring possible offset language in his contract)".
Marrone reaffirmed that he still likes the plan he has formulated in his mind about the quarterback situation. While most teams like to rest their starters in the last exhibition game, the Jacksonville Jaguars do not have that luxury. Marrone said after the game that Bortles and Henne would compete for the starting job.
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