Blaine Gabbert got the start for the Jacksonville Jaguars against the Miami Dolphins on Friday, appear as if he might have a slight lead on the starting quarterback job, but he didn't do much with his time on the field to solidify that notion. Chad Henne on the other hand moved the offense, albeit against backups with the starting offensive line, but he didn't really do much of anything impressive, either.
After a live first impression, I thought Gabbert was pretty awful even excluding the interception that wasn't his fault. Going back and re-watching the game this morning however, I didn't really think he was all that bad.
On the first passing pay of the game Gabbert had Cameron Wake in his face right at the end of his three-step drop and had to rush to get the ball away, missing the receiver. It looked like an awful missed pass, but in reality it was a good play to avoid a sack and loss of yards.
"Once we got into a rhythm, we had a nice drive going and we had an unforced error, a turnover down in the red zone," Gabbert said after the game. "You can't have that in that situation. When you're down there you need to come away with points, field goal or a touchdown."
The rest of Gabbert's passes were the typically quicker, shorter passes people love to complain about, but appeared to be by design. The team rolled him out a few times where he hit Marcedes Lewis for short gains. One play it looked by design, the other his second level options weren't open and he made the right throw. He had another back-shoulder throw to Mike Brown that should have been caught and a pass that Ace Sanders dropped, but still wouldn't have been a first down.
After second watch, Gabbert was pretty "meh", but he wasn't really afforded many chances to be anything but. He still wasn't very good, but he wasn't as horrible as people want to make it out to be. Just "meh".
Chad Henne was kind of the same. My initial impression after live watching the game was he was pretty meh, doing the same types of things Gabbert did with short, quick throws. Henne's first handful of plays looked nearly identical to what Gabbert ran, but Lonnie Pryor caught the pass that Will Ta'ofu'ou knocked in the air for an interception. Henne's first down pass to Mike Brown was the same roll out play Gabbert threw to Lewis, but Brown got more yards after the catch.
The first drive Henne had with the second team offensive line ended with a quick three-and-out as Henne finally got pressure, checked down, and had two passes batted at the line of scrimmage.
It wasn't until late in the second quarter with mostly second-team all around that Henne really hit anything downfield. He had a nice throw to Jeremy Ebert down the middle and then a downfield pass to Allen Reisner after he stepped up in the pocket to avoid pressure, but how much can you really make out of those plays near the half of the first preseason game?
Nothing's really changed in the competition. No one really stood out good or bad after second review, in my opinion. I expect to see more of the same this week, as both flip-flop first team reps and Henne probably starting against the New York Jets with Gabbert off the bench for a few series with the first team offensive line.