While there have been quite a few Jacksonville Jaguars fans who are ready to bail on quarterback Blaine Gabbert, it's not time to give up on him. I wrote earlier in the week for SB Nation Tampa Bay, asking if the Jaguars should consider looking at a quarterback in the 2012 NFL Draft. While I think they should consider it, it doesn't mean I'm giving up on Gabbert nor do I think they actually will consider it. Adam Stites wrote a good piece as to why the Jaguars shouldn't think quarterback in 2012, and fundamentally he's right. It's highly unlikely the team will target a quarterback, early, and the set of circumstances Gabbert was thrown into isn't conducive to building a quarterback. Gabbert's teammates seem to agree, and support him.
"You're talking about the worst possible situation in which a quarterback was thrown into the fire," guard Uche Nwaneri told the Florida Times-Union. "It's B.S. that people think Blaine isn't going to be any good. I think he's going to be a beast.
Naturally, the team is going to have support for their quarterback. I tend to take what Uche Nwaneri says to heart, however. He's one of the more honest and blunt players I've ever spoken with. While I didn't speak with Nwaneri on this manner, I imagine it was typical Nwaneri speaking.
"Blaine is going to be as good as hell. We just got to get more time with him," wide receiver Mike Thomas told the Times-Union. Thomas brings up a good point about time. The problem with Blaine Gabbert's performance thus far is just the perfect storm of disaster. No rookie quarterback was going to succeed here. It doesn't help fan sentiment either when four other rookie quarterbacks have come in and at times played fantastic football games while Gabbert has been limited to just look great on a handful of drives.
Take a moment and assess the situation. It was a lose, lose. Yes, David Garrard was moderately successful with roughly the same cast of characters, but he was a nine-year veteran. He knew where to go on the intermediate routes when the plays broke down. We have to remember however, in training camp and the preseason David Garrard was poor as well. The offensive unit outside of Maurice Jones-Drew isn't very good. The offensive line has good pieces to it and Marcedes Lewis is having quite a bit of off year, but overall it's a bad unit. Blaine Gabbert was never going to put up big numbers.
From something I wrote the morning after I first reported Gabbert was the new starter, and something we always need to remember this season:
It's going to be fun to watch Gabbert grow, but just remember a few things as he grows:
- Starting Gabbert isn't throwing away the season automatically.
- Gabbert is going to make mistakes, probably a lot of them.
- Gabbert is going to make mistakes. Seriously, he's a rookie. Be patient now that he's playing.
Tighten the buckle. It's frustrating, believe me. Even my patience is wearing thin, but tighten the strap.