The Wolverine

December 2012

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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MICHIGAN IN THE PROS Chad Henne Takes The Reins In Jacksonville something to think about for the long term. "Chad's played well the last two weeks," he said. "He's made some good throws. There's no way we should give up seven sacks to any- body. What I was impressed with is he still stood in the pocket and stayed there and made some good throws when it really counted." Henne spent his first four seasons in Miami, starting 31 games before signing as a free agent with the Jag- uars. He had his ups and downs with Miami, but feels at home in Jacksonville. "I feel like I'm more of an experi- enced quarterback," Henne said. "I think you learn a lot about yourself, especially in your first four years." Just as his teammates continue to learn about him, wide receiver Cecil Shorts noted. "He's got that veteran savvy about him," Shorts said. "You can tell he's been in this league for five years. We know what he's thinking, and we're on the same page." Henne will continue to use the re- mainder of the year as an audition. "That's the quarterback position," he said. "Obviously, they say defense wins championships, but this league is a quarterback league. It's all based on how the quarterback plays. He gives the team a chance." Henne's put in extra study time to In his first start this season, Henne was 17-of-26 passing for 261 yards with two touchdowns and just one interception in a 24-19 win over Tennessee Nov. 25 to help the Jaguars break a seven-game losing streak. arm injury against Houston in mid- November that sent him to injured reserve for the rest of the year. He might have had trouble getting his job back, regardless, given the play of former Michigan quarterback Chad Henne. Henne showed off his old form J acksonville Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert suffered a fore- and nearly led the Jaguars to a win over the Texans, completing 16 of 33 passes for 354 yards with four touch- downs in relief in a 43-37 overtime loss. In his first start of the season the following week, he threw a pick that was returned for touchdown, but he rebounded to complete his next six passes and lead the Jaguars to a 24-19 victory over Tennessee that snapped a seven-game losing streak. 86 THE WOLVERINE DECEMBER 2012 BY CHRIS BALAS two touchdowns despite being sacked seven times. "I thought it was very gutsy the PHOTO BY RICK WILSON/COURTESYJACKSONVILLE JAGUARS He finished with 261 yards and way he played with the number of sacks that he got," Jaguars head coach Mike Mularkey told the Florida Times-Union. "He got hit on the first play when they jumped offsides, and it clearly was not a fair shot to hit an unprotected quarterback. But he stayed in the pocket, and he made some throws." That's the way he was taught to play at Michigan, Henne said. "It's one play," he said. "You play one play at a time, have a singular focus, push that behind you and just go out and attack with the offensive plan." Mularkey has been pleased with Henne's emergence, giving the staff ensure he was ready should anything happen to Gabbert. His study paid off. Mularkey noticed the Michigan grad spending extra time with the offense after meetings. "He went through some of the things he was going to do, giving his thoughts," Mularkey recalled. "He spent a lot more time after the fact, after meetings, after practice when nobody was watching. We could see it happening." Henne played poorly in his first relief appearance at Oakland this year, but it was his first game action in several months. He's steadily im- proved since. "I know this as a player — the faster you can get into a game and get involved into a game, the more comfortable you are, the more con- fident that you are in what you're doing," Mularkey said. "It's hard to come in late in the game on any position, let alone the quarterback position."

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