The reason I am saying this has more to do with the performance of McCown yesterday. It has more to do with the performances of two other rookie QB's who had good outings yesterday, that being Cam Newton and Andy Dalton. Cam Newton has shown over the past two weeks that he can perform at this level and Andy Dalton showed a very bright chance that he can too. Yeah, Newton threw three picks but he still had over 400 yards passing against the Packers, which is impressive to say the least. With his record breaking showing last week, there is no reason to believe he won't be able to keep it up, although he is bound to have a poor outing at some point. Dalton was up against the Broncos defense which is in somewhat of a rebuild mode, but watching him play myself yesterday was quite the surprise. He was getting the ball out on time, making the right reads and making even better throws. He keeps playing like that and it won't matter who he is up against, because as they say; "There is no defense against a perfect throw." And that was exactly what I was seeing from Dalton yesterday, perfect passes. Granted, he won't face a formidable defense until week 10 when they play the Steelers and he has A.J. Green to throw it to (who is going to be a beast), so I'll be watching to see how he does until then.
So what does any of this has to do with Gabbert? It's simple really. I was under the belief that Blaine was the #1 consensus overall rated QB of this draft class. So if that is the case and Newton and Dalton have done what they have done, why isn't possible for Blaine to give this offense a boost as these two have done for their respective teams? I don't want to hear any more about this lack of an offseason program or the whole 'throwing him to the wolves' thing any more. I've seen enough from Newton and Dalton to know that if Blaine is who Gene thinks he is, he should be able to achieve a respectable level of success. I know there are other variables to consider such as the protection, the receivers getting separation and the playcalling, but the Bengals and Panthers offensive line, receiving corps and offensive scheme can't be so much better than the Jags that Gabbert's ability should be hindered by them. I know the Jags have a better defense than the Panthers and it's safe to assume that they are just as good, if not better than the Bengals defense. Which means putting Gabbert in shouldn't make the team worse if he is able to be consistent in his play. It will also set the team up for a better start next year if he gets in now and experience going up against a NFL defense week in and week out. It was apparent yesterday that McCown is a career backup and there is no sense in not giving Gabbert the start. It'll be a good opportunity for Blaine to get his start against the Panthers defense, which I believe is not one of the better defensive units in the league.
Lastly, I think this is an excellent opportunity to see if Gene's talent evaluation is good enough to put a perennial playoff contender, year in and year out, on the football field. So far only one of his three first round draft picks, that being Tyson, has shown the potential to become a dominant player at their position. With QB being the most important position of them all, how Blaine performs and progresses will be the deciding factor in how successful Gene's tenure as General Manager will be gauged. But that's just my opinion. So as the headline of this post states, I think Blaine should start. What do you think?