JACKSONVILLE, FL - OCTOBER 9: Quarterback Blaine Gabbert #11 of the Jacksonville Jaguars warms up for play against the Cincinnati Bengals October 9, 2011 at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
It's no secret Jacksonville Jaguars rookie quarterback Blaine Gabbert has struggled mightily, especially in his last three games. I won't go into why he's struggled because we all know the reasons, be it supporting cast, coaching, or mechanics. One good thing with Gabbert's struggles however, is his confidence hasn't wained and has been tested. A lot of people voiced concern that starting a rookie early on would crush their confidence, but I've made the point that if a guy's confidence is crushed in his first season... you picked the wrong guy. In this regard, Gabbert seems to be mentally fine.
"I think Blaine has handled himself very well," Jaguars receiver Mike Thomas said about the young quarterback. "He hasn't wavered. His mindset has been to come out and make plays, make the throws. His passion is still there from my eyes. When he misses a throw, he cusses himself out. He's been like that since Day 1." Gabbert's shown in his post game interviews, he comes off as a professional and shoulder's the blame even when he shouldn't. His mindset is where it should be.Not only has Gabbert's confidence not wavered, but his teammates still believe in him. He's shown the ability to take control of the huddle and that's one thing that gets your teammates attention on offense, showing that leadership ability. "For a rookie to do that is an impressive thing to do," Brad Meester said. "A lot of times it takes guys years to come with that type of confidence in the huddle. He comes in with great confidence - humble, but with great confidence," center Brad Meester said of the young quarterback. "That's what you want out of your quarterback and out of your leaders."
As I've mentioned previously, Gabbert does all of the things off the field you want your quarterback to do. We've gone over before that he doesn't seem to make a lot of mental mistakes and seems to understand where to go with the football and recognizes defenses. Part of that is because he puts the work in, like a franchise quarterback should. "He's constantly in here watching film on Tuesdays and in the morning," Meester said. "He's always finding ways to get better, finding ways to correct himself. That takes a special guy right there, to do that type of stuff," Meester told John Oesher of Jaguars.com. "He's doing all the right things. That's what I really like about him."
Now, we just need Gabbert to translate this onto the field into completions, into yards, into touchdowns, and into wins. He seems to have those intangibles you look for in a quarterback, now we just need to get the "tangibles" working with the intangibles.