June 12, 2012; Jacksonville FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert (11) after minicamp at Florida Blue Health & Wellness Practice Fields. Mandatory Credit: Phil Sears-US PRESSWIRE
The Jacksonville Jaguars held their annual scrimmage at EverBank Field on Friday evening and it was a bit of a coming out for second-year quarterback Blaine Gabbert in front of a big crowd of Jaguars fans. For a lot of fans, it was their first look at an improved Gabbert and he didn't disappoint on the night, leading two touchdown drives in team drills and at one point connecting on five straight touchdown passes in redzone drills.
"Yeah we started clicking. We got in a rhythm right there. Hit some big runs. Rashad and the O-Line did a great job again especially on the check downs when they were dropping in coverage," Gabbert told reporters after the scrimmage. "The receivers took their coverage deep and opened some stuff up underneath.But yeah we started clicking, getting in that rhythm, started flowing and moved the ball pretty well."
Each day in practice Gabbert had gotten more comfortable and looked better throwing the football and that continued on to the Jaguars scrimmage by all accounts.
"He made some nice throws," Jaguars head coach Mike Mularkey said of Gabbert. "He had a nice throw down on the first drive to Cecil (Shorts) and we've got to make some plays like that. When you stick the ball in like that you've got to make those plays. I was pleased with Blaine."
Blaine wasn't the only offensive player who put on a show, however.
Jaguars running back Rashad Jennings ran with a purpose in the team's scrimmage by all accounts, with at least three plays of 10+ yards and multiple touchdown runs in redzone drills.
"Rashad did a phenomenal job," Gabbert said afterwards. "Catching the ball out of the backfield on check downs, protection and running the ball. He ran hard and that helps with our guys up front. The O-Line did a tremendous job opening holes all night long."
After the first couple of drives, Jennings had four carries for 20 yards and three receptions for 37 yards, showing his versatility in the new offense. With the concern of when Maurice Jones-Drew will show up and report, or if he even will, the Jaguars don't look like they'll have too much of a drop off with the combination of Jennings and Jalen Parmele, who continued his strong showing in practices in the scrimmage.
The Jaguars receivers did still have way too many drops according to virtually everyone in attendance, especially the back end guys who are trying to make the roster, Cecil Shorts III and Kevin Elliot continued to show something on the field. Elliot caught a fade pass for a touchdown in redzone drills and Shorts was a factor on quite a few of the drives, running as the starter opposite of Laurent Robinson with Mike Thomas running with the second team.