JACKSONVILLE, FL - OCTOBER 24: Blaine Gabbert #11 of the Jacksonville Jaguars celebrates after the game against the Baltimore Ravens at EverBank Field on October 24, 2011 in Jacksonville Florida. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
Jacksonville Jaguars rookie quarterback Blaine Gabbert picked up his first win of the season on Monday Night Football against the Baltimore Ravens. Statistically he was pretty poor, completing just 9 of his 20 passes for 93 yards and no touchdowns or interceptions. That's basically what his season numbers have looked like. On the year, Gabbert is completing 48.3% of his passes with 810 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions after 5 games.
Here's the thing.
I've seen a lot of people beginning to grumble about Gabbert not having his break out game yet. I've been accused on multiple fronts on not blaming Gabbert enough and giving him a pass. Well, I am giving him a pass. I'm giving him a pass for the entire season. He's a rookie. He's played five NFL games. This is a situation with Gabbert where we need to be patient and let things work themselves out.
Gabbert has the talent you look for in a franchise quarterback. He's smart, he has a very good arm, he's got great size, and he's athletic. He's also got the type of competitive mentality that you look for from your quarterback. He does have some major issues, however.
Gabbert's footwork is piss poor, to be perfectly honest. While he's suffered from drops and has played behind a make shift offensive line for much of his games, he's still just flat out missing guys because of his footwork. That's going to happen, though. These are the kind of growing pains you're going to have to go through with a rookie quarterback. It's clear what Gabbert needs to work on. He throws off his back foot more often than he should, which causes his passes to sail. He's still getting used to dealing with NFL pressure, and he rushes some throws.
These things are going to happen. He needs a good quarterback coach to refine and tap his potential, because he flashes it quite often, just not consistently enough yet. The best thing he has going for him however is, he doesn't make a lot of mental mistakes. Gabbert doesn't make many throws that make you say, "What in the hell is he doing?" He also doesn't turn the football over. One of his interceptions was thrown in a monsoon before half time and the other was Gregg Williams baiting the rookie to make a throw. Outside of that, his mistakes as far as bad throw decisions have been minimal. He just got finished playing the top three defenses in the NFL in a row and his only turnover was on a fumble.
Basically what I'm saying is; Be patient. It's going to be a long season.