If you combine the stats between Jacksonville Jaguars starting quarterbacks Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne, you have one quarterback who had a decent season. Not great, but decent.
The Jaguars don’t want the term “decent” to describe their leader behind center and certainly do not want the “C” word when training camp opens later this summer.
The word is "Controversy" for those who wanted to know.
A quarterback who throws for 3,700 yards and 20 touchdowns would be a welcomed surprise in this organization. That is what former general manager Gene Smith envisioned when he hitched his career to Gabbert and made him the 10th overall pick in 2011.
Now, Gabbert is in a fight for his quarterback life with journeyman Chad Henne, who I have stated in a previous article is the man who should start for this team. But I can see the possibility of Gabbert behind center when the season opens. Like it or not, Gabbert has plenty of long-ranged potential if he is given the right mentoring.
While this article is not a plea to save Gabbert’s job, it could be one that shows this is a kid who since he came out of Missouri as a true junior and only 20 years old, has been dangled like a yo-yo in this organization from day one.
You cannot expect a kid to come from college and its passing philosophy to an organization that is working on its third offensive coordinator in three years time. That is enough to make anyone want to visit Dr, Phil.
Gabbert has a better arm than Henne, although we may not know it from what we have seen in game situations. There are three or four throws we can say he has plenty of potential with, especially long bombs to Cecil Shorts. But four throws do not make a Pro Bowl thrower.
Gabbert deserves the chance to move forward with this team. The organization does not need Geno Smith, Matt Barkley or dare I say it, Tim Tebow. He is better than all three of those players. I have said before if Gabbert is given a chance to “learn” he can be Drew Bledsoe.
That’s a big “If.”
Players must continue to produce and develop. Cecil Shorts, III and Justin Blackmon need to make more catches and move the chains. Maurice Jones-Drew must come back from foot surgery and run for 1,200 yards. Tight end Marcedes Lewis must be a safety blanket for Gabbert. And of course, the offensive line must remain healthy and keep him upright.
Those are big variables in helping Gabbert get over his learning curve. Everyone is quick to throw this experiment in the trash, but I say take it out of the garbage and see if it can be altered for a better hypothesis.
If it does not work this year, then the team goes back to the drawing board. This team reloads and maybe takes a swing at someone in free agency. But for now, Gabbert needs to be the man for this franchise. Anything else would be a declaration the Jaguars are not willing to try and fix the biggest problem with his organization.