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Conference Call: Jaguars QB Chad Henne

Posted Nov 21, 2012


(on the opportunity to get another chance to start in the NFL)

I kind of came here knowing that I could have an opportunity. It didn’t work out, but now my number is called. Just have to perform well and show that I belong to be a starter in this league.

(on stepping in against Houston versus stepping in against Oakland)

I don’t think there was much of a difference. I guess it was more of a surprise in Oakland than against the Texans. With Blaine (Gabbert’s) injury these last couple of weeks, I knew I had to be ready no matter what. Oakland was spur of the moment, but I was still prepared. We just didn’t execute as well in Oakland as we did against the Texans.

(on if he hopes that he can keep the starting job in upcoming weeks with a good performance)

I sure hope so. They’re giving me the nod, and I want to be that guy. I just have to prove each and every day in practice and obviously in the games that I can lead this team to a couple of victories.

(on if he thinks that Sunday’s performance against the Texans is indicative of the team’s potential)

Absolutely, we’ve shown a bunch of strides in the last couple of weeks in practice with our guys and even in the games. The passing game has kind of come along. Sunday was just one of those things where it carried over from practice to the game, just performed very well.

(on Justin Blackmon’s play against Houston)

I think he was in the right spots at the right times. He was winning one-on-one matchups, which you need the No. 1 guy to do. Overall, I thought he was confident in his play and understood what he had to do. He just came up to make some really good plays.

(on if there were any reasons Justin Blackmon was making those plays in this particular game)

No, I mean we kind of just had our game plan, knew what we were going to execute against Houston and kind of rolled with it. They were giving us some good looks for what we had play-call wise, really executed well.

(on how much he moved Justin Blackmon around)

Well, we’ll see this week with what we can do. Obviously, the Titans have a good front four, young guys, young linebackers that can fly around. First of all, we have to worry about protection, and then we’ll mimic what we can do with Justin (Blackmon) and the other receivers. Cecil Shorts has played really well, see how we can get Marcedes Lewis involved in the passing game. I think the biggest thing with us is, do we have that go-to guy? I don’t know. I feel we have guys all around that we need to spread the ball to.

(on if he expects that the Houston game will be a confidence booster for Justin Blackmon)

I hope so. We’re kind of preaching consistency. We just need another good week of practice. Obviously, that builds his confidence. Just communicating with him, understanding what he’s seeing out there and what we can attack with him.

(on how vocal he’s been this season and if that changes as he becomes a starter)

I think I stepped in. When things needed to be said, I said it. I kind of sat back a little bit. This was Blaine (Gabbert’s) team. He deserved that spot, he was the captain of the offense. I kind of coached Blaine up on a couple things of what to say and how to approach different things. Now instead of coming from Blaine, it’s going to be coming from me. It’s going to be similar things, but I’m more high intensity, get after it and just want to make everybody better and myself better in all cases.

(on if motivation is an issue at this point in the season)

It’s definitely been tough. We have a great group of guys in this locker room. Obviously, last year I was in Miami, and we started off 0-7. The team never flinched. We kind of came back, won the last six of nine games and ended the season coming off on a positive note. I feel we have the same kind of guys here, same character. A lot of guys are playing for their position. If you kind of bag it for the whole year, you might not be here next year. We have to understand that also that you’re playing for a contract, and you’re playing to stay here.

(on if the offense ran more combinations against Houston)

I think we’re definitely making combo reads with our receivers and a little bit more progression reading. We’re just trying to find ways of how we can attack the defense and get our playmakers the ball. Whether that is one-on-one matchups or combination routes, we’re going to try to add them all and see what we do best.

(on the news that Blaine Gabbert was just placed on IR)

My approach is to get better myself and be consistent as a quarterback and prove that I belong to be a starting quarterback here. Just try to add a spark to this offense and add some leadership and experience. Hopefully I can carry these guys through. Obviously, I can’t do it by myself. We have to stay with the running attack and have guys outside making plays and the offensive line protecting. I definitely do feel these guys are a great group of guys, and we definitely can win some games along the stretch.

(on how much it will hurt Blaine Gabbert’s progression in his second year)

It’s tough. I’ve kind of never experienced it myself. Obviously, I was out last year after Week 4 on IR. I kind of know bits and pieces of it where Matt Moore comes in and plays well. He sticks in Miami and I move elsewhere. It’s definitely tough in your young career, but you’re still young. You just have to prove to this organization that you’re getting better, which he has from last year. Every week I feel he’s gotten better, still be that leader around this organization and prove to them that you still can be that franchise quarterback.

(on if he has a good relationship with Blaine Gabbert)

We have a great relationship. As much as I’ve supported him, I feel he’s going to do the same with me. I don’t think it’s really going to change our relationship. We’re going to go forward, and I know he’ll be by my side. We have Jordan Palmer in there and John Parker Wilson, so we have a great group of quarterbacks in that room.

(on what stands out about the Titans’ defense)

I just really think the front four is just kind of relentless. They’re straight pass-rushing guys, want to get to the quarterback in passing situations and just never give up. Obviously, watching the last game against Miami, they created turnovers, they got to the young quarterback and made him make decisions that he normally wouldn’t make. We definitely have to protect and be aware of those guys. They’ve got some veteran guys in the secondary, so we have to be aware of those guys also.

(on explaining the Jaguars’ record at home)

It’s tough. A couple of games we were real close, especially Chicago. Everybody sees that score, but really with nine minutes left in the fourth it was still 6-3. Then Chicago went on a rampage, and we made some mistakes as an offense. We just have to stop hurting ourselves, and when plays are there to be made, we have to make those plays.

(on how important the three-step game was to the Jaguars’ success on Sunday)

If you have a good defensive front like the Texans and obviously, the Titans, you want to get the ball out on time and you can’t sit back there. You have to know your progressions, know when to get out of the pocket, know when to scramble and sometimes you just have to take a sack or throw the ball away. Definitely, three-step helps, and just staying on rhythm is definitely going to help us.

(on if he pays much attention to yards-after-catch as a statistic)

Oh, absolutely. If they get yards-after-catch, that only helps you out as a passer and field position and keeps drives alive. Last week was definitely a great example of what we can do. Cecil (Shorts III) did it one time and Justin (Blackmon) a couple other times. If we continue that, we change field position and give ourselves the chance to score points.

(on the keys to getting the most out of yards-after-catch)

I think ball placement, accuracy at the quarterback position. Putting the ball where it needs to be where he can tuck it away and get up the field fast, the transition. Sometimes it’s just one-on-one matchups. Can you make that guy miss and use your mobility, or are you strong enough to break some tackles? I think those are key.

(on if there’s some familiarity there having faced the Titans before)

A little bit, but the coaching staff has changed, so it’s a little bit different on defense with what they’re running. Maybe a little bit personnel, but you guys have a young defense. It’s definitely a lot more change than familiarity.

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