Tag:Blaine Gabbert
Posted on: November 10, 2011 9:03 am

Is Gabbert playing worse than Tebow?

GabbertPosted by Josh Katzowitz

If you were asked which team currently employed the worst starting quarterback in the league, it’d be an easy answer. Tim Tebow, right? Not even close, yes?

Well, no, not exactly.

As ESPN.com’s Paul Kuharsky reports, on passes that travel less than 10 yards in the air, Jaguars rookie Blaine Gabbert has a 50 percent completion rate, and his passer rating of 60.9 is the worst in the league.

Even worse than Tebow? Yes, apparently.

The article in question wasn’t a comparison between Gabbert and Tebow, but Kuharsky gives an interesting answer regarding the question of why the Jaguars shouldn’t get away from their running game and give Gabbert a chance to show what he can accomplish if he’s throwing down the field. That’s because, according to Kuharsky’s stats, Gabbert is 10 for 10 on screen passes with a quarterback rating of 105. His long-distance passing is somewhat less than that.

And even though running back Maurice Jones-Drew hasn’t been as effective as a pass-catcher this year, there doesn’t seem to be any reason to believe that Gabbert suddenly would become a rookie of the year contender if he began heaving throws down the field, especially considering his top two receivers are Mike Thomas and Jason Hill

But what about Tebow, you ask?

Funny thing, he’s getting more comfortable in the Broncos offense (going 2-1 in your first three starts and having your coach install more of a college-style offense probably doesn’t hurt).

"Our offense is what it is, and we'll continue to run that, but every week we'll continue to game plan new things, just like any team would to try to take advantage of the defense we're going to face," Tebow said, via the Denver Post.
So, with Gabbert’s worth falling and Tebow’s worth rising, what can we gather from all this information? Easy, Gabbert is not > Tebow.

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Posted on: October 25, 2011 4:31 pm
Edited on: October 25, 2011 4:55 pm

Critics can't pan Joe Flacco fast enough

If you don't think Flacco is a good QB you don't know football, his coach says. (US PRESSWIRE)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

John Harbaugh, perhaps taking cues from his quarterback, who threw a game-deciding interception on the Ravens' last drive Monday night against the Jaguars, has really bad timing. In one of the ugliest games you'll ever see (and we say this 24 hours after being subjected to Seahawks-Browns and Broncos-Dolphins), Jacksonville outlasted Baltimore, 12-7, in 60 minutes of football that featured absolutely no offense.

It's expected from the Jags, one of the league's worst teams that also starts rookie quarterback Blaine Gabbert. The Ravens, however, have been in the Super Bowl conversation since the preseason, and their Week 1 clubbing of the Steelers only solidified their position as a legit threat in January and February.

If the team has an Achilles heel it's their offense, which we've been able to say since those heady Trent Dilfer days earlier this century. Flacco, Baltimore's 2008 first-round pick, hasn't missed a start in his four-year career, and while he's clearly an upgrade over the likes of Kyle Boller, there are still doubts if he's the guy to lead the Ravens to another title.

But before we hear from the Flacco critics after his performance against the Jags, here's Harbaugh before the game.

“You start talking about Joe not being a good quarterback and not being this or not being that? Well everybody can have their opinion, but anybody that knows football knows that is not the case," Harbaugh said during an appearance on 105.7 The Fan in Baltimore (via SportsRadioInterviews.com). "He is the first quarterback in history – the fastest quarterback in history to reach 40 wins – so that’s real."

We were half-expecting Harbaugh to then say, "This is the true story of what happens when people stop being polite and start getting real...The Real World Owings Mills." Sadly, he didn't.

"That’s the measuring stick because in the end this is a team sport and how a quarterback interacts and relates to his team and plays the game in such a way is to win games," he continued. "That’s what counts. That’s the bottom line. … However you want to label the guy an ‘elite quarterback’ or not an ‘elite quarterback,’ when he wins a championship, which is going to happen then people can start talking about the ‘elite,’ label. We don’t care about that. I could tell you one thing: Joe could care less about what label you put on him. He wants to be a winning quarterback.”

And then Monday night happened. The Ravens didn't get a first down until late in the third quarter. They were shutout for nearly 58 minutes, and Flacco, fittingly, threw a pick on the offense's last play of the game.

So, yes, I think we can all agree that Flacco isn't yet elite.

The Baltimore Sun's Mike Preston gave Flacco an F for effort, and the always level-headed Skip Bayless called Flacco "Joe Uncool." (See what he did there? Cute.)

“[This] is why I’m going to stick by what I’ve said all along: I do not believe the Ravens can win it all with Joe Flacco as their quarterback because I don’t think the rest of the team, deep down, believes that they can win with Joe Flacco as their quarterback,” Bayless said on whatever they now call Cold Pizza. 

The most demoralizing thing to come out of the loss? Bayless might actually be right. Former Browns coach Eric Mangini, however had Joe's back. “It’s a group effort,” he said. “You’ve got to protect better. You’ve got to be able to run the football. And those receivers have to get open. It’s not just the quarterback, although he takes the bulk of the responsibility.”

Wherever the blame lies and the fingers point, this much is certain: the Ravens' offense is a mess. And unless the defense can score every game, we should probably take it easy on the Super Bowl talk.

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Posted on: October 19, 2011 5:21 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2011 5:39 pm

Rosenhaus says TO ready to play, but will he?

OwensPosted by Josh Katzowitz

For a player who’s getting over knee surgery and who might be (involuntarily) retired, Terrell Owens makes a ton of news.

One week, he’s telling Eagles receiver DeSean Jackson, who wants more money from Philadelphia, not to play, and the next week, he’s flying to Korea to get stem cell treatment. Or he’s getting sent to the hospital or he’s having money problems.

But now Drew Rosenhaus, Owen’s agent, has a serious announcement to make: Owens has been cleared to play.

That’s the word from Rosenhaus himself, who tweeted, “I just watched Terrell go through a full football workout and he looked awesome! He is 100% healthy & ready to play right now! I will be contacting the teams today to inform them that (he) is immediately available to visit and work out for them. He could play this Sunday!”

Which immediately led to this response from CBSSports.com’s Mike Freeman: “Rosenhaus is playing the media. Again.”

And yes, it is difficult to believe most things that emerge from Rosenhaus’ mouth. You’ll recall that he said the NFL would fall apart if he wasn’t around and he proclaimed Terrelle Pryor a first-round pick in the supplemental draft when, as we all knew, Pryor was nowhere near that.

Owens' offseason
So, when Rosenhaus says Owens is ready to go (and willing to listen to offers), you have to check the BS meter, because it’ s probably pretty high.

But …

There’s a decent enough chance Owens still can play. He’s not a No. 1 receiver any more -- although he was the best Bengals receiver last season --– but he can probably fill out a roster’s depth. Hell, he probably is still good enough to start.

The problem is that Owens is such a clubhouse downer that it might not make sense for anybody to bring him in as a 10-game stand-in.

Think about it. Which teams need receiver help? The Rams, though Brandon Lloyd was a decent enough pick-up. What about the Broncos, who don’t have a ton of help for Tim Tebow any more? What about the Jaguars, who are so thin at receiver they had to resort to picking up Mike Sims-Walker again?

Those teams could benefit from Owens’ talent. But would those organizations want young quarterbacks like Sam Bradford, Tebow or Blaine Gabbert, respectively, having to deal with a presence like Owens? I think we all know the answer to that. And if it’s true that Owens really is cleared to play -- and, as much of Twitter pointed out, who exactly is clearing him? -- Rosenhaus shouldn’t expect to have Owens signed fast enough where Owens could actually play anytime soon.

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Posted on: October 18, 2011 1:46 pm

Mike Sims-Walker headed back to Jaguars

Posted by Will Brinson

Mike Sims-Walker's headed back to the Jaguars, after being cut by the Jaguars, signed by the Rams and cut by the Rams. Get excited, Duval County!

This is based on Sims-Walker's Twitter feed, which features a pair of messages that strongly indicate he'll be returning to Jacksonville.

For starters, Sims-Walker kicked the day off with a "And the phone calls begin ..." tweet, indicating that his agent was getting calls about where he could end up playing.

Shortly thereafter, MSW shouted (the typing version anyway), "Duuuvvvvvaaaallllllllllll!!!!!!!!!!!!" For those that don't know, Duval County's the home of Jacksonville (see above).

And when asked by a follower if it was a "Mike [Thomas] and Mike [Sims-Walker] sequel," the wideout tweeted "on the way!"

Sims-Walker became extraneous for the Rams when he failed to produce and they managed to swing a trade with Denver to acquire Brandon Lloyd on Monday.

The ex-Jaguar was a healthy scratch in Week 6, indicating exactly how unhappy coach Steve Spagnuolo and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels was with his production in St. Louis.

And while Sims-Walker won't exactly turn around the Jaguars season, he'll at least provide some experience at wide receiver that should help rookie Blaine Gabbert.

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Posted on: October 4, 2011 12:03 pm
Edited on: October 5, 2011 1:05 pm

NFL Winners/Losers and experts live chat

Posted by Will Brinson

The world is a far better place when there are clear and distinct delineations between who is a winner and who is a loser. Since actual football records only do so much of that for us, let's dive into who's winning and who's losing a quarter of the way into the 2011 NFL season.

BUT FIRST -- we need to talk. No, seriously, let's chat -- starting at 1:00 pm ET on Wednesday. You can tell Pete Prisco his Power Rankings are awful, ask fantasy questions or just yell at me for not including [insert your favorite player's name here] in the winners list below. Either way, come on by.

Carolina Panthers: Yes, the Panthers are 1-3 and that is not what you would call winning. But this season, thanks solely to the early emergence of Cam Newton, is already eleventy billion times better than 2010, when the Panthers went 2-14. In fact, I'd argue that Carolina could lose out the rest of their schedule -- and they could! -- and it would be a better season than last year, when they despondently limped to the worst record in the NFL. There are plenty of arguments to be made against Newton's performance thus far (namely: he's posting some garbage-time stats and he's made plenty of rookie mistakes), but there's little doubt that Carolina landed themselves a franchise quarterback, and did so at a very reasonable cost.

Detroit Lions: This is a case where the record actually does match up with the placement. Matthew Stafford could go here, as he's proving himself to be a potentially elite quarterback. So could Calvin Johnson, who's vaulted himself into the pole position when it comes to wide receivers in the NFL. And so could Jim Schwartz, as he's clearly the best "new" head coach in the NFL. Which is why the organization as a whole gets the nod, since they've somehow managed to justify the hype and make the early Thanksgiving game -- a Packers-Lions matchup -- more meaningful than it's been in years.

Ryan Fitzpatrick/Fred Jackson: The oft-overlooked offensive duo that drives the Buffalo Bills are in full-on resurgence mode early in the season, with Jackson sitting at fourth in the NFL in rushing yards being the most obvious example. Fitzpatrick's been pretty spectacular himself even if his total passing yardage only ranks him 13th in the NFL. Passing yards can be misleading anyway -- he's thrown nine touchdowns to three interceptions and completed 63.4 percent of his passes. Most importantly, the Buffalo Bills are 3-1, something no one saw coming. They were so hot at one point this season that Fitzpatrick was impossible to book for an interview this season and both he and Jackson are working their way towards new, big-money contracts.

Matt Hasselbeck: Mentioned it in Sorting the Sunday Pile, but Hasselbeck is seeing a serious return to dominance as a result of his move to Tennessee. He's got 1,152 yards in just four games -- last season he barely crossed over 3,000 in 14. His average yards per pass is all the way up to 8.9, and his passing yards per game, 288, is currently the highest of his career. It helps to play for a coach that puts an emphasis on the offensive line, of course, and is willing to keep blockers at home in order to make sure Hasselbeck doesn't get touched and is able to throw the ball deep.

Darren Sproles: Arguably "the Saints" could be on this list ... just for landing Sproles. Has a guy ever fit what Sean Payton wants to do better than the diminutive Kansas State-star-turned-Chargers specialist? We used to think that Reggie Bush was the king of Payton's offensive scheming, and he did fit what the offensive guru loves to do, but Sproles, with better big-play burst, is the perfect addition to the already explosive Saints.

Gary Kubiak: First of all, kudos to the Texans for correctly playing the 2011 offseason. We've said this before, but they failed to draft for secondary help, which seemed weird, but now looks genius, especially since they went out and signed Johnathan Joseph in free agency. He's been a difference maker for Houston, and not just because he represents better value than Nnamdi Asomugha already. Kubes, on the other hand, is sitting at 3-1 and has a pretty clear path to a division title, the Titans success notwithstanding. Obviously the Texans aren't locked into the 2011 playoffs just yet, but their chances are looking pretty good right now, and that'll do a lot to justify his return for this season.

Matt Forte: Another topic in this past week's SSP, Forte is mauling defenses this year -- even if they are the Panthers! -- and forcing the Bears to pay him this offseason. For whatever reason, Chicago believed that Forte wasn't worth the cash and didn't pony up before 2011 began. That's fine, and that's their prerogative. But if they want to keep him, Forte's success this year is going to make it expensive.

NFL Fans: In just a few hectic weeks, fans of football went from "OMG, we might not get football at all this year" to "OMG, football is more exciting to watch than at any period of time, ever." We've seen scoring cranked up, we've seen incredible storylines (Lions, Bills, oh my), we've seen incredible comebacks (four 20-pointers in the last two weeks) and we've seen no truly noticeable ill effects of the missed offseason. If there are any complaints, it might be the new kickoff rules and the lack of consistency on replays. The former everyone who's not over now will be over by the end of the year, and the latter can be fixed. It's a good time to be an NFL fan.

Todd Haley: That Haley ended the quarter-season mark on a high note, with a victory over Minnesota, is a good thing. Otherwise the Chiefs might be starting at an 0-4 start and his seat would be somehow be hotter. It's really an unfathomable dropoff from winning the division in 2010. Haley's been victimized by a lot of key injuries -- Eric Berry, Tony Moeaki and Jamaal Charles all went down for the year -- but things weren't all that good with the win against Minny, as Haley managed to get in a screaming match with Matt Cassel.

Tony Romo: It amazes me that Romo can't do anything right. Or, maybe, he can't avoid whatever he does being scrutinized to the nth degree. After Week 1, when he threw a terrible pick against the Jets that cost him the game, he was a goat. Then he injured his ribs against the 49ers, led the Cowboys to victory and he was a hero. Then he played with busted ribs against the Redskins, overcame his entire team stinking the joint up and morphed into a different person that we knew.  Then came the Lions loss. Romo tossed back-to-back picks that Detroit took to the house and everyone hopped off the "I heart Romo" bandwagon and back on the "Choker" train. It's not fair to Romo because it's not all his fault, but none of that matters to anyone that applies the labels.

Ben Roethlisberger: For years, the Steelers have managed to succeed despite a porous offensive line. That's mainly because Roethlisberger's strength is keeping a play alive by being a physical beast. But even he's struggling to fight through the Steelers inability to block, and suddenly Pittsburgh's in a precarious position at 2-2 with Roethlisberger banged up. Of course, he missed time for non-injury reasons last year, and he also suffered through injuries and the Steelers line was also terrible last season. Still, it's hard to fathom Roethlisberger staying healthy if he keeps getting destroyed at this rate.

Kyle Orton/Donovan McNabb: Because quarterbacks seem to be succeeding at an earlier stage than ever before, there's immediate cries for the next guy any time a veteran struggles. Orton and McNabb, neither of whom is putting up great numbers thus far in 2011, are the best examples because of the two guys -- Tim Tebow and Christian Ponder, respectively -- who sit behind them. Both Orton and McNabb are slightly under 60 percent in terms of completion percentage this season, and while neither one is lighting up the scoreboard with touchdown passes and passing yardage, it's important to remember that one (Orton) is running a John Fox offense and the other (McNabb) is on a team with Adrian Peterson.

Juan Castillo: The Eagles shipped out Sean McDermont because Jim Johnson's shadow was too much to overcome. And then they brought in Castillo, who coached Philly's offensive line for 12 years. Yes, that's offensive line. Given that the Eagles added both Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie in the offseason, it looked like it might not matter. But Castillo's new-age "don't tackle" defense hasn't gone over well against an opponent yet, and the Eagles find themselves 1-3 primarily because they simply can't stop anyone. Sure, they're tough to pass on ... unless you have a good tight end. And if you don't, and you happen to have a decent power running game, you don't even have to worry about it.

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Posted on: September 24, 2011 2:04 pm
Edited on: September 24, 2011 2:06 pm

For the gambler in you, Week 3

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Each Saturday, we’ll take the best -- and most clever -- odds collected by bodog.com for the upcoming week and give our take. This is important stuff, perhaps the most important post you’ll read all week. Because if you can’t lose money while watching a game in which you have absolutely no effect, what’s the point of watching sports at all?

How many teams that are currently 0-2 will make the playoffs this season (Note: The last two years 17 teams have started out the season 0-2 and none of them made the playoffs)?

0 4/7

1 or more 7/5    

Right now, there are seven teams that are winless this season, and among them, the Dolphins will turn out to be the best. But with the Patriots and Jets -- and Bills (!) -- in that division, they’ve got no chance at the postseason. However, you also have to remember that two of those squads -- the Rams and Seahawks -- reside in the NFC West and the rest of the division is 1-1. I still think St. Louis will rally to win the division and take that playoff spot. So, I’d take “1 or more."

Which team will be the last remaining undefeated team in the 2011 regular season?

New England Patriots 5/4

Green Bay Packers 9/2  
Washington Redskins 5/1   
Detroit Lions 6/1    
New York Jets 6/1    
Houston Texans 8/1  
Buffalo Bills 16/1    

Count the Bills out. They’ll lose to New England on Sunday. The Patriots won’t lose until Oct. 30 at Pittsburgh (and that’s if they get by the Jets beforehand). The Packers will last a week longer than that when they have to travel to the Chargers. So, go with Green Bay at some pretty decent odds.

Regular season win total -- Kansas City Chiefs  
Over 4½ (-115)

Under 4½ (-115)

I see three wins -- vs. the Vikings, Colts and Broncos at home. And that’s all I see.

Blaine Gabbert -- total TD passes Week 3 (Must start)

Over ½  (-200)

Under ½ (+160)

Blaine Gabbert -- total interceptions Week 3 (Must start)

Over ½  (-200)

Under ½ (+160)

On the first bet, Gabbert will go over. On the second bet, Gabbert could go way over. But he won’t beat Cam Newton and the Panthers. Not when Newton will throw for more than 600 yards this week

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Posted on: September 21, 2011 4:25 pm
Edited on: September 22, 2011 11:27 pm

Podcast: Cowboys-Redskins, Bills-Pats, fakers

Posted by Will Brinson & Ryan Wilson

Our latest Film Room posts with analyst Andy Benoit are out (you can read Dallas/Washington here and read New England/Buffalo here) so Andy and I jump on the old podcast machine to break down the matchups.

We discuss whether Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Bills are "for real," what the Patriots will do in order to mitigate the loss of Aaron Hernandez, whether Tom Brady can be slowed, how Tony Romo's injury will affect him, whether he is a "choker" or "tough," and if Rex Grossman and the Redskins are a contender or pretender.

We also talk about Peyton Manning's status, the Jaguars going with Blaine Gabbert, and who's the worst team in the NFL.

Hit the play button below to listen (and did we mention that you should subscribe to the podcast via iTunes?). If you can't listen to the podcast below, download it here. And if you'd like to keep working while listening in your browser, pop that puppy out in a new tab here.

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

Starting Blaine Gabbert the right move for Jags

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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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com