#39 – Blaine Gabbert
2nd Year Pro
Career Achievements: Most starts by a rookie in Jaguars history (14)
Last Season: 50.8 completion percentage, 2214 yards, 12 TD, 11 INT
To call Blaine Gabbert’s rookie season rough would probably be an understatement. After the Jaguars released QB David Garrard, 99% of America knew that Luke McCown was only the starter in theory and that Gabbert would soon take the reigns. It didn’t take long, as McCown’s outing vs the New York Jets was enough for Del Rio to jumpstart the Gabbert era, the only problem with that was the fact that Gabbert just was not ready to take an NFL snap. He struggled and in turn, Del Rio was let go.
Now Gabbert has a full NFL season under his belt, and he’ll need it with a Jaguars team who’s only bit of offensive talent resides in Maurice Jones-Drew and newly acquired rookie Justin Blackmon.
Gabbert’s main flaw last season was his lack of composure in the pocket, he was way too happy footed, and didn’t always keep his eyes downfield. On almost every play he resembled a deer in the headlights, just waiting to get hit. His passes were errant and lacked control, and in short, he just was NOT ready to play, and I don’t think he is this year either.
Gabbert’s career would have a better outlook if he had sat behind a veteran like Garrard for a few years, learn the tools of the game, what it takes to become a great NFL QB, etc. You could slide him in the game when you’re up big or down big, either one, and let him get a few plays under center during real games, but don’t be so quick to throw him to the wolves. I think this decision by Del Rio has David Carr’d Gabbert’s mental state, and I think it’s going to affect him the rest of his career.
To be a successful NFL QB, you have to put the past behind you, and you have to do it quick because your teammates are counting on you. Right now Gabbert just doesn’t have that killer instinct and that’s going to catch up with him, if he’s awful this year, I expect Henne to replace him rather quickly and for him to find himself labeled as a first round bust by the end of 2013.