Each day for the next two weeks we’ll review how each position group performed in 2013 as well as taking an early look at 2014. Today we’ll examine the quarterbacks. On Tuesday we’ll do running backs.
Recap: Gabbert won the job in training camp, suffered a fractured thumb on his right (throwing) hand and missed the final two preseason games, but returned in time to starter the season opener against Kansas City. He was terrible, completing 45.7 percent of his passes and throwing two interceptions, including one on a flare pass that was returned for a touchdown. He also suffered a cut on the back of his hand and missed the next two games. He had another poor game against Indianapolis (three interceptions, no TDs) and threw two more interceptions the following week against St. Louis before suffering a strained right hamstring.
Henne took over and never came off the field. He ended the season throwing for 3,241 yards and became the first Jaguars quarterback to throw for more than 3,000 yards since David Garrard in 2009. He threw 13 touchdown passes and 14 interceptions, although he had nine TD passes and five interceptions in the final five games. Henne didn't tear it up, but he did bring stability to the offense and rarely put the unit in a bad position. He also wasn’t exactly working with elite weapons, either. He lost his best receiver to an indefinite suspension, didn't get much from tight end Marcedes Lewis until the last month, and then lost his second-best receiver for the final three weeks because of an injury.
Looking ahead to 2014
Players under contract: Gabbert, Matt Scott, Ricky Stanzi.
The skinny: Jaguars general manager David Caldwell said he’d like to re-sign Henne. Henne said he’d like to come back to Jacksonville. There’s a possibility that could get done before March 17. If it does, then it’s unlikely Gabbert will be on the roster on opening day because the Jaguars are almost certainly going to draft a quarterback in May. It may not be with the No. 3 overall pick, but it’d be stunning if the Jaguars got to the fourth round without drafting a quarterback. Henne would be the ideal player to help mentor the young quarterback and even start the first quarter or half of the season until the young QB is ready to take over. If Henne doesn’t re-sign, then Gabbert likely remains with the team in 2014 because the staff wants at least one quarterback with playing experience in this offense.
The Jaguars signed Scott to a futures contract late last month and Stanzi is under contract through 2014. Both could have similar roles next season: Stanzi as the No. 3 quarterback and Scott on the practice squad.