Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 12/13/12
Sunday's game in Miami has special significance for Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Chad Henne, and he doesn't try to hide the fact it will be emotional for him. "There's definitely going to be emotions," he said. "There will be a little bit more excitement and everything." That's because the Dolphins drafted him in the second round in 2008, and he spent four years trying to convince them he could be their quarterback of the future. But he was sidelined in the fourth game last season with a left shoulder injury, after starting most of the previous two years. The Dolphins let him leave as a free agent, then drafted Ryan Tannehill to replace him. Henne signed with the Jaguars as Blaine Gabbert's backup, and became a starter when Gabbert was hurt in Houston and was placed on the injured reserve list. Henne said he feels no ill will against the Dolphins. "I appreciate the opportunity down there," he said. "They drafted me and I appreciate that, but sometimes things don't work out and you move on." After losses to the Buffalo Bills and New York Jets following a win over Tennessee in his first start as a Jaguar, Henne has a lot at stake Sunday. The Jaguars have three games left -- they host New England and play at Tennessee in their final two games -- and Henne needs to play well to keep the job going into next season. "Sure he does," coach Mike Mularkey said, when asked if Henne has the chance to start next year. "We've been evaluating since day one. We'll do the same thing for these three games and make some decisions afterwards." Mularkey added: "Our guys are drawn to him. If you look at it, all the way to that last play (against the Jets), our guys still felt we had a chance to win that game and he had a lot to do with that. He is definitely in the mix (to start next year)." Mularkey suggested Wednesday that Henne is a better leader than Gabbert. Asked by the Miami writers what Henne brings to the team that Gabbert didn't, Mularkey said, "Experience for sure, starter experience. Some of the things he does off to the side when nobody's watching in regards to film study and gathering the players up and spending extra time with them." Mularkey said he talked to Henne when he was coming out of college and said, "I felt then he was a very good leader." It's been tough to judge Henne's play the in the past two losses because the receivers have been injured or have dropped balls, and he's received poor protection. Mularkey said he likes some of the things Henne has done, and said he felt better about Henne's play after watching the film of the Jets game. "He did some good things," Mularkey said. "We can help him do some better things, but there's still some things there. As soon as Chad comes off (the field), he's already saying to me what I'm about to say to him. He already knows some of the things he could've done better, get rid of the ball in a couple of those situations, that's something a veteran knows." Henne can only throw the ball. He can't catch it, and Mularkey noted the drops have "just haunted us all year. You can say they're young guys and (they don't have) a lot of experience, but these are not hard passes to catch, the ones we're dropping." Henne also was without two of his top three receivers last week. Laurent Robinson is on the injured reserve list after sustaining repeated concussions, while Cecil Shorts sat out the Jets' game after getting a concussion in Buffalo. He was limited in practice Wednesday and isn't sure if he'll play Sunday. Henne will face a Dolphins pass rush that ranks fifth in sacks per pass play, and Cameron Wake is fourth in the league in sacks with 14. That's the same number the Jaguars have as a team. Still, Henne knows that ultimately the quarterback gets the blame when the team doesn't win. "As a quarterback you're always going to be blamed," he said. "The head coach and the quarterback are determined by wins and losses and they're going to keep you around if you win. If not, they are going to try to find someone else."
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