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Blog Entry

Starting Blaine Gabbert the right move for Jags

Posted on: September 21, 2011 9:33 am
Edited on: September 21, 2011 9:39 am
 
Posted by Will Brinson

Wednesday, Jack Del Rio finally came to the realization that everyone else had before the 2011 season began: his needs to start Blaine Gabbert this season.

Del Rio should have made this move as soon as he made the decision to cut David Garrard a week before the season began.

Really, the only acceptable excuse for not starting Gabbert is if Del Rio believed that Luke McCown could be a starting quarterback for a team in the playoff hunt.

It seemed like a bad idea at the time, and it didn't seem brilliant even after a Week 1 win. It seemed like a worse idea two interceptions in to his debacle against the Jets and by the time he finally brought Gabbert in, it was patently obvious that McCown and his 1.8 quarterback rating weren't dragging this team to a division title.

Gabbert might not either. He is, after all, a rookie. But Gabbert offers the most upside. We knew what Garrard could do on the field. It wasn't that impressive, the now-looking-like-a fluke 2007 season aside. And we've certainly seen McCown's limitations on full display for Jacksonville. He's a decent backup quarterback and could be the right starter in the right situation. Like say, if he were given a full offseason to prepare with the 2000 Baltimore Ravens.

Gabbert's more of an unknown quantity right now, but is that necessarily bad? I don't think so -- we know enough about Gabbert that he's the best option for the Jags right now.  We know that it looks like he can at least compete right now. We know that he's got talent. We know he has more upside than Garrard and McCown. And we know that the Jaguars paid a pretty hefty price to make him the franchise's quarterback of the future.

It's probably not helping Del Rio that right now there are two rookies -- Cam Newton and Andy Dalton -- who've managed to get their respective teams off to starts that are, arguably, better than Jacksonville's.

Gene Smith has to be wondering if Gabbert can do the same. Del Rio should be wondering if Gabbert performing well can help extend the life of his contract another season in Jacksonville.

We'll get the answers to these questions soon enough. The biggest mystery to me is what took so long?

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Comments

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 16, 2012 9:20 am
 

Starting Blaine Gabbert the right move for Jags



tomlye
Since: Nov 28, 2011
Posted on: November 28, 2011 5:49 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator




Since: Dec 5, 2008
Posted on: September 22, 2011 6:18 am
 

Starting Blaine Gabbert the right move for Jags

Unfortunately, it's too late for that, too.  MJD has unquestionably been a stud on a terrible team, but his best days are almost certainly behind him.  They may as well let Del Rio ride them into the ground, whooping and hollering like Slim Pickens riding the Dr. Strangelove H-Bomb, clean out the front office, and start over. 

It's a tough situation for this micro-market franchise, and as someone who has followed the Detroit Lions since their 1962 Milt Plum-Earl Morrall QB controversy, I can appreciate their position. 

In the meantime, I'll play a revolving door DST in fantasy this year: "whoever plays the Jags" is my defense, just as I did with the Lions in 2008.  I still hope the Lions can come back--past .500 mediocrity/respectability, to real annual contender status--and although I don't have the same investment in them, I hope the Jags can, too.  I have my doubts that can happen with the franchise in Jacksonville, but I'll root for Gabbert to surprise, improve and stay healthy long enough to contribute to the Jaguars' eventual renaissance. 

I'm sure Del Rio will catch on as an assistant somewhere, and it will seem like a vacation to him when he does.



Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: September 22, 2011 12:20 am
 

Starting Blaine Gabbert the right move for Jags

Blaine Gabbert seems like the prototypical NFL QB - he's got the height (6-6), the arm (he can make all the throws, including the long ball), the accuracy and quick release (from the little we've seen of him) and seems to have leadership qualities necessary to command the respect of NFL level players. He also has the speed to get out of trouble and even looks like a quarterback.
I have no idea what "even looks like a quarterback" means, but none of these things make a guy an NFL quarterback.  The most important things are yet to be seen - can he read a defense?  Go through his progressions?  Make the right split-second decision?  Understand when to take a risk and when not to?  Those skills have a whole lot more to do with a quarterback's success than his height or his release. 

It's also pretty tough to say a guy has the "leadership qualities necessary to command the respect of NFL level players" based on 7 dropbacks. 



Since: May 2, 2008
Posted on: September 21, 2011 5:29 pm
 

Starting Blaine Gabbert the right move for Jags

While I do not think Gabbert is ready just yet, the thought of going with Luke gives me chills. The one reason I like the move is it keeps J-Ville from having to delay Gabbert's experience. First year QBs have their ups and downs. Get that out of the way this year. You only hope that he can weather the storm and does not turn into a Ryan Leaf.

BTW...for everyone pointing to Cam and Dalton's success, there are a dozen QBs who were started too soon and never panned out. 



Since: Jul 10, 2007
Posted on: September 21, 2011 2:59 pm
 

Starting Blaine Gabbert the right move for Jags


Some things people are ignoring about the entire situation.

1) Gabbert wasn't ready at the end of the pre-season. We don't know if he's ready now but he's had 3 more weeks to get there so it's not like the results would be the same had he started week 1.

2) Garrard was at best a decent QB but he wasn't even proving to be that this offseason. He was, in a word, terrible. If they thought they could get the production they got over the past 3 years he'd probably still be here. He just wasn't showing that he was even that good. And below that wasn't good enough.



Since: Dec 11, 2009
Posted on: September 21, 2011 1:43 pm
 

Starting Blaine Gabbert the right move for Jags

Blaine Gabbert seems like the prototypical NFL QB - he's got the height (6-6), the arm (he can make all the throws, including the long ball), the accuracy and quick release (from the little we've seen of him) and seems to have leadership qualities necessary to command the respect of NFL level players. He also has the speed to get out of trouble and even looks like a quarterback. What we don't know is if he understands the offense - for the Jags it's handoff's, screens and pitches to Maurice Jones-Drew and if that doesn't quite work, a few basic pass plays to set up the next run AND/OR if he can read the opponents' defensive schemes well enough to avoid interceptions and successful blitzes. The latter are the likely reasons for not starting Gabbert from game one. The Jags staff must have felt that McCown understood the Jags offense and opponents' defenses well enogh to get through the initial 5 or 6 games with a 3-3 record so that Gabbert could step in with a bit more knowledge and lesser chance of injury than if he started in game 1. McCown's 4 interceptions, 1 safety in 19 attempts apparently convinced Jack D-R that Gabbert was needed NOW. McCown clearly showed wby has been a back-up at best for 8 years. The Jags couldn't keep Garrard just to use him for a few games at the cost of $8 million. Since I am a Jaguar fan, I can only hope that Gabbert has picked up enough of the cerebral part of the game to let him and the Jags survive through game 7 (Ravens). After that, I think we'll see some real results1



Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: September 21, 2011 12:54 pm
 

Starting Blaine Gabbert the right move for Jags

It's probably not helping Del Rio that right now there are two rookies - Cam Newton and Andy Dalton - who've managed to get their respective teams off to starts that are, arguably, better than Jacksonville's.


Sure.  If you really want to argue that 0-2 is better than 1-1.  Newton had a very nice game against a bad pass defense in week 1, then watched his rating plummet 38 points when he faced a real defense and consistently chucking the ball up for grabs didn't pay off.

Dalton, on the other hand has his team at 1-1 and is the 8th rated passer in the NFL while taking care of the ball.  Of course, it was Gradkowski that led the Bengals to their first victory, so I don't think you can honestly say that Dalton has the Bengals off to a better start than the Jags either. 

When Brinson says things like "We know that it looks like he can at least compete right now", based on 6 NFL throws, I wonder if last week's games are the first he's seen.  Good luck to Gabbert, but this article chooses to ignore the damage that young quarterbacks have taken when thrown in too early, and puts way too much stock in 7 dropbacks. 

Kind of funny.....with three young talents and an afterthought, the afterthought is the only one to actually quarterback his team to a win so far.  Maybe that solves Brinsons' "biggest mystery".




Since: Jan 2, 2010
Posted on: September 21, 2011 12:00 pm
 

Starting Blaine Gabbert the right move for Jags

It's time for del rio to go now. That team needs new direction before MJD is past his prime.



Since: Jan 22, 2007
Posted on: September 21, 2011 11:46 am
 

Starting Blaine Gabbert the right move for Jags

If they really wanted to "buy Gabbert time," they'd have kept Garrard.  They either needed to keep Garrard or go with Gabbert from the outset; starting Luke McCown was idiotic.  At least they realized that rather quickly.


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