NFL, SPORTS

Gus Bradley: Chad Henne the right mentor for Blake Bortles

May 29, 2014

Very few people saw the Jacksonville Jaguars’ first-round selection of Blake Bortles coming. Among those select few was head coach Gus Bradley, who spoke about the pick, and the team’s current starting quarterback, Chad Henne, on SiriusXM NFL Radio’s Opening Drive.

“We had a lot of interaction, really, with all the quarterbacks,” Bradley told Ross Tucker and Booger McFarland. “We did due diligence, we visited with all of them. And with Blake, we spent quite a bit of time. We visited with him on campus, we brought him into our facility, we had conversations with him – we felt really good about it.”

Bradley explained the team’s thought process behind leaving Bortles on the bench for at least a year, and how that decision was tied into the Jaguars’ confidence in Henne.

“We had a pretty good idea we were gonna draft a quarterback, and we had those conversations with Chad even prior to when he signed. But we really felt good about the progress Chad was making,” Bradley said. “We felt that his confidence grew as the season went on, he did a good job leading, and we felt like, coming into this year, he was gonna be stronger in this role. So we felt like we had a very capable quarterback to lead our team. We also knew we were gonna draft somebody, so we looked at Blake, [and] we really liked his physical attributes, what he brought to the table. There were some things that we said, ‘OK, he’s gotta develop in some areas,’ and we felt with Chad being his mentor, and coming into an environment where he can grow and get a lot of reps … we kinda had a vision of how we’re gonna put this together, the number of reps, the little meetings after practice, the little one-on-one sessions, we felt like we could bring him along and really take this year to develop him.”

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