JACKSONVLLE, Fla. – The job of a back-up quarterback is often a thankless one. Their number one priority is to be ready in pinch if the starter goes down. Helping a young franchise quarterback isn’t included in that job description but that’s exactly what’s happened between Blake Bortles and Chad Henne.
“I think we have a great relationship,” said Henne. Whether I’m helping him or he helps me we’re in it together to help this team win. On and off the field we’re good friends.
Henne has started 53 games in his career which is more than double the amount of starts Bortles has racked up in his first season and a half. Henne has used his experience to help Bortles both on the field and in life in general.
“He’s been unbelievable,” said Bortles. “I think he’s definitely been one of the most important people in the past two years of my life, kind of in the development and progress stage of things. He is an unbelievable guy, he’s extremely smart and he’s a very good quarterback as well. He is a good guy to learn from, a good guy to be around and a guy like that that I’m able to see day in and day out and witness him with his wife and kid as well. It’s pretty special and good stuff to learn from him.”
Often times when Bortles heads to the sidelines after a drive the first person he speaks with is Henne. That works to the benefit of the entire offense says offensive coordinator Greg Olson.
“It’s critical, I think, in the young quarterback’s development, in my mind and in Gus and Dave’s mind and the organization’s mind, that he has someone,” said Olson. “I think certainly Nathaniel Hackett is his quarterback coach has got to be a confident in some of the things he can go through, but I do know that Chad has been a very good, strong in his development not only last year, as a rookie, but going into this year, I think Chad provides not only a great sounding board but he’s a very calming influence on the sideline. Now, he’s been a tremendous help for Blake at this point in his development.”