Posted by Will Brinson
The Jacksonville Jaguars' quarterback situation is one of the most obvious in the NFL, because Blaine Gabbert is the locked-out rookie and David Garrard is the overpaid veteran. There's a clear-cut hierarchy for playing time, especially as it relates to development, even if Garrard says he's "open" to competition.
And yet, it might be one of the most intruiging situations in the league.
That's because Jack Del Rio's job hangs in the balance based on whether or not the Jaguars make the playoffs, which is based on whether or not Garrard can improve on his performance from the past few years.
If he can't, Gabbert could eventually see playing time. But Del Rio doesn't want that to happen.
"In a perfect world, I'd like to see him not have to play this year in terms of having time to develop," Del Rio told Dan Pompei of the National Football Post. "That doesn’t mean I would keep him on the bench if I thought he was the best option to win. Ideally he’s able to get that time to develop and really learn the game at this level. I'd love to see Garrard have a nice season, lead us into a playoff position, and then see if we can get hot.
"Things don't always happen the way you have them planned though."
No they don't. Especially when your schedule features the Jets, the Saints, the Steelers, the Ravens, the Titans and the Texans before the bye. (Even the easiest game on the schedule, Week 4 against the Panthers, is on the road and features a decent defense.)
That's not an easy stretch of games for any quarterback to play against, and it's entirely possible/likely that Garrard struggles through the first half of the season.
If he does, don't be surprised to see Gene Smith, Wayne Weaver and plenty of fans curious to see what the future of the franchise -- Gabbert -- actually looks like on the field.
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