As we countdown the days until training camp, First Coast News is taking a look at each position group on the Jaguars' roster. Our positional series begins with the quarterback position.
Projected Depth Chart
Ht/Wt: 6-5, 239 lbs.
Experience: 4th Season
Career Numbers: 11,241 passing yards (58.8 completion percentage), 69 passing touchdowns, 51 interceptions, 1,088 rushing yards, five rushing touchdowns
Acquisition: Selected with the third overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft
Ht/Wt: 6-3, 219 lbs.
Experience: 10th Season
Career Numbers: 12,931 passing yards (59.3 completion percentage), 58 passing touchdowns, 63 interceptions, 360 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns
Acquisition: Signed as a veteran free agent in 2012
Ht/Wt: 6-1. 219 lbs.
Experience: 2nd Season
Career Numbers: N/A
Acquisition: Selected with a sixth-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft
Storylines for 2017 training camp
- Will Bortles improve his overall game?
- If Bortles struggles, how long can the Jaguars play him without risking injury and a fully-guaranteed fifth contract year?
- Can Allen beat out Henne for the backup job?
Competition entering training camp
Henne vs. Allen for the backup quarterback job
The Jaguars have been quick to allude to Henne's mentorship of Bortles over the last three seasons.
Henne has shown Bortles the way to be a professional and helped him understand the game at the NFL level. Those are valid reasons to keep a veteran backup quarterback with starting experience.
However, it is Bortles' fourth season and he has already produced more touchdowns in his first three campaigns than Henne did in seven years as an on-and-off starter.
Is there anything else Bortles can learn from Henne? Has the tutoring really worked out how the Jaguars envisioned it?
That's not to say Henne isn't a positive influence on Bortles or the locker room, because he is. It just seems somewhat redundant to have a veteran serve behind a veteran at this point.
The Jaguars have plenty of cap space, so Henne's money shouldn't be an issue. His lack of upside may lead to nitpicking (Editor's Note: Like the previous two paragraphs).
That's why Allen needs to seriously show up this offseason. So far, the Jaguars have given him plenty of time to impress during workouts.
He should receive a pretty large portion of the playing time during training camp and the preseason. Allen, a former late-round pick, has to show he can backup Bortles and/or be a reasonable developmental starter if the top guy goes down or is benched.
Bortles is the key to this season.
The defense has improved (on paper) and the offense has gained another season of continuity. Bortles needs to step up and rebound from last year's drop in production.
The fifth-year option pickup by the Jaguars should put a lot of pressure on Bortles and the organization.
If Bortles plays well and the Jaguars win consistently, he could receive a massive extension. If he struggles out of the gate, he could be benched because of potential injury risks.
The fifth year of Bortles' contract is only guaranteed for injury, so if he isn't playing well, the Jaguars may be forced to cut the cord fairly early on.
Bortles' throwing motion looked improved during the offseason program, but his overall decision-making is still to be questioned.
Under new quarterbacks coach Scott Milanovich, the focus has been on helping Bortles determine whether or not to be overly aggressive based on specific scenarios. Situational football will always dictate the amount of risk taken and Milanovich wants Bortles to have a better understanding of the surrounding variables.
Bortles has produced 69 passing touchdowns in three seasons, which is an impressive number. He also has 51 interceptions, which is a not-so-endearing total.
The turnovers need to go way down and Milanovich's strategy seems viable.
Henne or Allen will backup Bortles this season. At this point, it's hard to really appreciate either.
Henne has plenty of experience with mediocre results. Allen has no experience, but his "potential" was only worth a sixth-round pick.
If Bortles plays well and continues to be durable (he's missed one snap over the last two seasons), Allen and/or Henne won't see the field. If he struggles or gets injured, the Jaguars will need to figure out which backup is the more intriguing option.
Milanovich on limiting Bortles' turnovers:
“It’s decision-making, it’s knowing the offense, there are plenty of things that go into it. It’s protecting him, most of all it’s decision-making. A competitive guy like Blake needs to understand when it’s time to be too aggressive, when you have to be aggressive in a game, when sometimes it’s better to just check it down and punt the ball. I think that comes with experience, I think he’s still a young guy in the NFL.”
Thursday's focus will be on the Jaguars' running back position.
Follow Mike Kaye on Twitter at @Mike_E_Kaye.
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