The Jacksonville Jaguars have certainly improved their team this offseason and their new look on offense should have them on the right track to a better finish in 2012.
After signing Chad Henne, the team has a quandary at the starting quarterback spot with incumbent starter Blaine Gabbert looking to retain his job.
At running back, Maurice Jones-Drew will return and be a top-flight rusher as usual, but that’s about all that’s a sure thing on offense.
The Jaguars traded up in the draft to select Oklahoma State wideout Justin Blackmon. He’ll team with free agent acquisitions Laurent Robinson and Lee Evans to form a solid wide receiver corps.
Jacksonville didn’t have any consistency on offense last season, so a personnel change is certainly needed.
The question remains whether or not Gabbert was the problem or just a product of his below-average receiving corps.
Last season, Gabbert posted a 12:11 TD:INT ratio. He threw 413 times for 210 completions and 2,214 yards.
As for newcomer Henne, who lost time to injury last year, threw 112 times for 64 completions, 868 yards, four touchdowns and four interceptions.
Neither one truly stands out as the clear-cut starter, so the Jaguars need to figure out their identity.
If the team wants to compete in 2012, Henne has to be the starter. With 31 NFL starts to his name, the former Dolphin has the experience to be competitive in a weak AFC South.
On the other hand, should the Jaguars desire to rebuild and contend in a few years down the road, Gabbert is the guy. The team spent an early first round pick on the former Missouri signal caller in 2011 and should look to develop him.
Blackmon will be a good No. 1 for Jacksonville and I could see him ending up like a Stevie Johnson type at the next level. Teaming him with slot receiver extraordinare Laurent Robinson will help the Jaguar offense be somewhat solid.
Either quarterback will have some measure of success in 2012, but I would start Henne if the season started today. He’s just a better player.