I, Blaine Gabbert, take you, Jacksonville Jaguars, to be the NFL franchise I fail with. I promise to allow you to change coaches and offensive systems at the drop of a hat.
I will try to improve my performance on a game-by-game system. I also promise, as the 10th selection in the 2011 NFL Draft, that you and your coaching staff can criticize, chastise, and berate me for my inconsistent play over the last two seasons.
In return, I promise to continue to become an enigma and a high-priced question mark as to when the real player inside me will show up. Till death do us part (or I am bumped down to 2nd-string).
Regardless of how you feel about the play of Blaine Gabbert and the way the Jacksonville Jaguars have handled the former Missouri passer, there is reason to believe this may be the year the third-year pro will put it all together and finally have the season the team envisioned when they passed on Tim Tebow the year before and selected him 10th overall.
I know - this is something we have all heard time and time again but if you would indulge me for a few minutes, I would like to state my case for having No. 11 behind center when the team opens the season.
The marriage vows taken by Gabbert and the team are on a slippery slope now that former general manager Gene Smith and the past two head coaches, Jack Del Rio and Mike Mularkey, have left town in getaway cars.
This is the third season - the one where quarterbacks must take that leap to stardom or be buried in the cemetery of failed talent. John Elway took three years to develop. Troy Aikman took three years to develop. Those two have five Super Bowl rings between them.
This is the year we may finally see Gabbert put it all together with two speedy receivers in Cecil Shorts and Justin Blackmon, a solid running game (provided his foot has healed) in Maurice Jones-Drew and a dependable safety blanket in Marcedes Lewis.
The offensive line is still questionable and should be addressed in free agency and the upcoming draft (Eric Fisher, anyone?) I may be the only one outside the organization who still believes in this kid.
To me, he shows flashes of brilliance like Drew Bledsoe. Those flashes may be short, few and far between but this is also a man who was 20 when he was drafted out of college as a true junior, and has endured three offensive coordinators and new game plans in each of his three seasons in the league.
The kid who looks like Ronnie “Sunshine” Bass from “Remember the Titans” could be Boomer Esiason this year. We can only hope.
If the offense can gel and the Jaguars find spackle to patch up the line to protect him, there is no reason to think 3,500 yards and 25 touchdowns is out of reach. If that happens, those vows the team and the player took three years ago should be rewritten.