What if Blaine Gabbert finally puts it all together and becomes the player the Jaguars and the fans here in Jacksonville had hoped for two years ago?
What if the much maligned quarterback (only second to everyone’s favorite son, Tim Tebow) throws for 3,500 yards and 20 touchdowns?
What if instead of two wins, this team triples its win total to six in 2013?
Could former Jaguars general manager Gene Smith be vindicated for making the choice that ultimately help sink him and his job in Jacksonville?
Well, let’s not get ahead of ourselves, there is plenty of football to be played this season. But this is the time for Gabbert to “win or go home.” Owner Shad Khan knows it, current general manager David Caldwell knows it and Gabbert himself knows it.
If he doesn’t, there are handfuls of media to remind him of it everyday.
Jacksonville, for all its lackluster football, is still a hot read with the national media, even if it is for negativity.
I’m here to tell you there is plenty to get excited about with this franchise. What a difference a year makes, what a difference a college draft makes. What a difference a team standing its ground makes (see Tim Tebow).
There are 29 roster spots which will see new faces when the regular season starts. That is 29 opportunities to do something great. Now more than ever, Gabbert and these new players will need to show what they are made of, what heart they have and how they can leave a lasting impression on the NFL and the city.
But ultimately, everything rests on the arm of a 23-year-old kid who came out early when he should have stayed in school for his senior year. This is the third offensive system Gabbert has learned in three years in the NFL. This year he must produce.
The offensive line must block for him. Maurice Jones-Drew must come back and run with abandon. All these things have to happen in unison for anything resembling an improvement over last year. If it fails behind center, everything else will fail as well.
In this case, failure is not an option.