JACKSONVILLE, FL - NOVEMBER 27: Quarterbacks Blaine Gabbert #11 and Luke McCown #12 of the Jacksonville Jaguars warm up for play against the Houston Texans November 27, 2011 at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Jacksonville Jaguars rookie quarterback Blaine Gabbert was yanked in the middle of the fourth quarter on Sunday against the Houston Texans for Luke McCown. Outside of a couple of drives early in the game, Gabbert was woefully ineffective as the Jaguars passing offense once again struggled to get out of their own way. It was the usual recipe for disaster for the passing offense, with Gabbert missing on some passes, some passes being dropped, and some suspect pass protection from the right side.
Gabbert being yanked however, was one of the most confusing things I've seen Jack Del Rio do this season.As I mentioned, Gabbert was struggling to do anything offensively. This was no different than the vast majority of other starts he has had on the season. I'm sure the stock reason for pulling Gabbert for McCown was to "add a spark" to the offense and try to win the game. If that's the case, why did Jack Del Rio wait until he was staring 3-8 in the face to do so? Why wasn't a move like this made in the other many close football games, to... "provide a spark"?
"Blaine's our starting quarterback,'' Del Rio told the Florida Times-Union after the game. "Until I tell you otherwise.'' Del Rio added, "You know how I operate. If I have something to tell you, I'll tell you.''
Is this going to be something new now, that Gabbert will have to worry about in the back of his head? The team has said Gabbert is still the team's starting quarterback and will start against the Chargers on Monday Night Football, but is there a chance he can get yanked in that game as well?
What did yanking him accomplish, other than completely undermining his confidence? Doesn't it essentially admit that you were wrong to start him in the first place and he wasn't ready?