Marrone says Henne is the Jaguars backup QB, despite Allen's string of promising performances

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - If you were hoping for a change on the Jaguars' quarterback depth chart this year, you may have to wait awhile.

Following the team's sixth training camp practice, Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone put a hold on the backup quarterback competition between veteran Chad Henne and second-year developmental passer Brandon Allen.

“I think [the competition] went on earlier on," Marrone said. "I think that Brandon has had a good couple of days, but I think right now Chad is number two.”

Henne's anointment as the backup to starting quarterback Blake Bortles comes after Allen put together a string of impressive practices. Allen is currently the only member of the quarterback trio to not throw an interception in team drills.

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Henne has been a tad more inconsistent, but is also playing against more talented competition.

The pair of quarterbacks have been able to make some highlight throws to the lesser-known wide receivers on the roster. Henne has developed a rapport with tight end Ben Koyack and wide receiver Rashad Greene, while Allen has found chemistry with wide receivers Shane Wynn and Keelan Cole.

Still, the Jaguars have decided to go with the proven veteran over the potential long-term backup option.

Henne has appeared in 65 games (53 starts) for the Jaguars and Miami Dolphins during his career. While he was never a successful starter, he does know what it's like to play when it counts. 

Allen played in just three preseason games as a rookie last year. He completed just 27-of-48 passes for 302 passing yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions.

The overwhelming experience gap likely factored into the decision to stick with Henne as the backup quarterback.

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Before Marrone's announcement Wednesday, Allen told First Coast News that he would support the team's decision on the backup job, whether it was in favor of him or Henne. However, he clearly would like to be active on Sundays this season. 

"That'd be great," Allen said after practice. "Obviously, that's the main goal. You don't play this game just to be the backup your whole life. Obviously, you want to play, but you also want to do what's best for the team. It doesn't really matter what that job is, you're here to help this team win, so whatever job they give me to help the team win, I'll do that."

Allen believes that no matter who is backing up Bortles, there is always competition at quarterback every day. The trio competes with and supports each other.

"Because we've all been in [quarterback] competitions before, I think now it's to the point where we compete with each other every day, whether we're thinking it or not," Allen said.

"But all of us want to see each other do well. It's just one of those things that you want to see the next guy run the offense and do well. There's no one rooting against the other so it's definitely a healthy competition and we're all a tight knit group in there and I think it's helping us each to perform at a higher level because there is a competition."

Bortles has only missed one snap since taking over the starting job from Henne during Week 3 of the 2014 season. If Bortles stays healthy and/or plays well, the backup competition may not even matter all that much.

However, the Jaguars' quick decision to end the competition likely indicates they have more confidence in Henne's experience than Allen's upside.

Follow Mike Kaye on Twitter at @Mike_E_Kaye.

© 2017 WTLV-TV


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