Sunday, December 25, 2011

The Blaine Game

As we close in on the end of Blaine Gabbert's rookie season many fans think they have seen enough. The fact that if you put on tape from his first start and then watch his last game and you don't see much difference has fans worried. Also the fact that he is starting to get a rep for not wanting to be hit and worrying more about the pressure than looking down the field. Some of this could be changed but fans are getting impatient and understandably so.

Not that this is fair to Blaine but look at the Jaguars past. In the Jack Del Rio era this team has been average. Also in that time we have had two quarterbacks both who were average. Not since Mark Brunell and Jimmy Smith has this team had a legit quarterback and wide receiver. Because of this fans aren't willing to give a new QB the benefit of the doubt and I'm not sure Gabbert would deserve it either.

This season our passing game is worst in the NFL and looks terrible. Supporters of Gabbert will point to the lack of receivers or the fact that Blaine didn't have an offseason. However these are the same receivers we had last year with Garrard and they played much better. As far as the no offseason goes people treat it like Gabbert is the only person that missed the offseason, when the truth is everyone did. Cam Newton, Andy Daulton, Christian Ponder all missed the offseason and all have shown more that Gabbert.

While I may not be willing to label Gabbert a bust like some, I do think this team needs some insurance. The bottom line is the Jaguars will end up with a top five pick with some really good quarterbacks coming out. I believe the Jaguars should draft one with the idea if Gabbert doesn't pan out in year two you have someone else. However if he does work then trade the other guy. If the Jaguars don't and Gabbert has another year like this one we could loss three years and that could be devastating to a team trying to gain support in Jacksonville.

For what it's worth I like Gabbert and hope he works out but I'm not willing to go down the Byron Leftwich road again. If you feel this isn't the guy then it's time to move on no matter if he's a top 10 pick or not. How the Jaguars draft this year will show a lot about how they feel about Blaine Gabbert and the future of Gene Smith.

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