Sometimes there are storylines in the NFL that are just too hard to believe. For instance, the Jaguars felt comfortable rolling into the 2017 season with just Blake Bortles and Chad Henne on the roster. The assumption they would be fine at quarterback is coming back to bite them thanks to Bortles' bad play, and now it looks like Henne could begin the regular season as the starter.
This belief is largely based on the Jaguars' decision to start Henne in the Week 3 preseason game. It is custom in the NFL for the Week 3 starter to begin the regular season as the starter, especially with limited action for primary players in Week 4 games.
Bortles was an outright disaster in Week 2,to make athletic, instinctual decisions.
Now, there is a caveat here, as John Oesher of Jaguars.com reports the two quarterbacks will each get reps with the first-team offense and will be "splitting repetitions evenly."
In other words, the Jaguars would do just about anything you ask them to in order for Bortles to play well against the Panthers in Jacksonville during Week 3 and come away giving the team enough confidence to name him the starter in Week 1 of the regular season.
Good luck with that. As CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora noted on Wednesday night, the Bortles/Henne situation was bad enough this offseason that it hampered Jacksonville's ability to conduct a thorough coaching search.
Jags say Chad Henne to start 3rd preseason game. Was obvious to many HC candidates team was set on Bortles. Cost them in search. Now this— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) August 23, 2017
Bortles was the No. 3 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft and the current front office, particularly Dave Caldwell, is significantly invested in his success. His rookie season was not great, but 2015 showed a lot of promise for Bortles becoming a franchise quarterback. Last year, however, was an abject disaster. Bortles' mechanics fell apart, and the Jaguars tumbled to another losing season.
Instead of pursuing other options in free agency or the draft -- according to reports, new football czar Tom Coughlin was a big fan of Deshaun Watson, who was available to the Jaguars at No. 4 overall -- Jacksonville decided to stand pat with Bortles and Henne as his backup.
They painted themselves into a corner and now they're trying to jump out of it. The natural inclination is to say this will get messier before it gets better, but Henne is just a flat-out upgrade over Bortles at this point. If you bet against the Jaguars in Week 1 already, you should be getting nervous.