JACKSONVILLE, FL - Much of the focus of the Jacksonville Jaguars minicamps and training camp will be the progress or lack there of by second year quarterback Blaine Gabbert. Gabbert is in a new offense with new targets and an entirely new offensive coaching staff and so far it looks like it's paying off. Gabbert seems to be in command of the team's offense and looks confident out on the football field.
The fact that Gabbert is able to walk to the line and bark out the plays so quickly and confidently also seems to show up in his play. Gabbert just carries himself differently on the field and it carries over to some of his throws. For the most part, the squatting throw in Gabbert's drop back is seemingly gone as is the long stride at the end of his drop. It's very clear that Gabbert has worked with the coaching staff with his fundamentals and it almost looks natural for him already. It helps quite a bit too that it seems Gabbert has the offense down, so he can focus on things like his drop back.
Hit the jump for some more observations.
I focused quite a bit on the offensive side of the football since it's minicamp and the players aren't in pads. Here's some notes from the day:
- If Chad Henne is supposed to beat out Blaine Gabbert like some pundits have hinted at, he's going to have to significantly up his play and hope Gabbert takes a nose dive. Henne underthrew virtually every deep pass on the day nearly having one intercepted.
- Blaine Gabbert had a few misses, but was on the mark much of the day and even hit on two nice deep passes to UDFA Kevin Elliott who beat T.J. Heath down the field on one of the plays.
- Justin Blackmon had a few nice catches on shorter routes in traffic but struggled to get a step on T.J. Heath down the football field and couldn't bring in a pass from Gabbert as it was broken up. After the play, Blackmon was signaling for a flag.
- Kevin Elliott stood out on a few plays down the football field and Cecil Shorts III looked once again like the Shorts we saw star in training camp last year. Mike Thomas had an up and down day dropping a few passes, but did haul in a tough falling catch on the sideline.