It was made very clear this Sunday that the Jaguars simply do not have the talent to compete with most teams in the NFL. After the loss there were a lot of people screaming for Gene Smith's firing and the replacement of Blaine Gabbert. This lose however was not Blaine Gabbert's fault. He was not mistake free in the least, he made a bad pass on that interception and missed an occasional WR. That being said, Gabbert posted one his best games in terms of completion percentage yet and that was with numerous drops from his WRs. The terrible play by the offense should not be blamed on Gabbert. He has done little to get the blame for the poor performance of the offense. He has spent a lot of time under constant pressure and when he does hit his WRs they have a habit of dropping the ball. This is a theme that we thought we had fixed in the offseason but apparently with all our draft picks and FA signing, nothing has really changed there.
Gabbert is just in a tough situation where he is neither the problem nor the solution. Gabbert is seemingly a capable QB who is not bad, but he simply is not good enough to carry an offense with his arm. The team around Gabbert is very weak in many areas due to both injury and lack of talent. Gabbert is not the type of QB that can carry a weak team like a RGIII or Cam Newton. I also wouldn't say that Gabbert is holding the offense back right now as even RGIII would find a tough going with drops and a poor offensive line. The problem all stems from Gabbert being a Top 10 pick, he is expected to be above average but in fact is turning out to be very average. In order for Gabbert to succeed he will need a lot of talent and help around him so that he can improve and get this team in the playoffs. The tough reality for Gabbert however is that he is most likely not going to get that time to try to develop or play with better talent around him. Gene Smith's time is running out with the Jaguars. The Jaguars are simply low on talent and many teams who were "rebuilding" during the same time period have much superior rosters. Gene Smith tried his "base hit" plan but it has not resulted in any real improvements to this team. In 2008 our main issues were lack of pass rush, mediocre WRs and a weak OL. Sound familiar? Thats because the same issues that were problems then, are still now. We have invested a 1st rd pick, a 2nd rd pick, two 3rd rd picks, and two 5th rd picks on the defensive line in the Gene Smith era but still no pass rush. The fact that we have only 2 sacks after 4 games is embarrassing. Gene Smith is not a terrible GM and he is far from Matt Millen status but nevertheless he hasn't not improved this team to an acceptable level over the last four years.
Unfortunately for Blaine Gabbert if Gene Smith is fired, which I would support, then Gabbert must go too. No newly hired GM is going to want to keep the old GM's QB at the helm. The new GM is obviously going to want to draft his own QB and start fresh with his guys. This situation could also extend to coach Mike Mularkey though it might be a little less likely. People like to say that everyone makes excuses for Gabbert but the truth is that he has been put in a terrible circumstance. I could list to you all the things that has gone wrong for Gabbert over his short career but that isn't the point of this post. The point is to say that people need to stop blaming solely Gabbert for the Jaguar's problems, he is not the reason why our team is so terrible right now. The sad part is that even though it isn't his fault, if Gene Smith is fired, then he will also be gone. Even though it might not be fair, that's the way it has to be.