I still think its too early to write off Blaine.
Look at Alex Smith, he was also drafted young (Right at 21). Was also very green, and looked really bad his first few years. Everyone (The fans and media) wanted to write him off, no one saw what the team saw in him.
He was drafted by a god awful 49'ers team, that in his first few years was often full of injuries, and sub-par players, and a carousel in the coaching dept.
But through all the Coaching changes, WR changes, OL changes, injuries, etc.. The 49’ers believed in him and he slowly and steadily, he and the team got better and NOW the 49’ers are the #1 team in the 2012 power rankings.
I see the Jaguars right now as a 49'ers fan in 2008 had to have seen his 49'ers. A team with promise, a team that needs to fix a few things, a team if a few things go right, and that can dodge the injury bug they can go from medicore to great again.
That said, hopefully it doesn’t take 5 seasons for him to mature, and the Jaguars to accelerate their improvement. But I still want to believe Blaine Gabbert has what it takes to be a NFL superstar.
In the end, like with the 49’ers, its still a team sport. We have a WR Corps now that is vastly improved from 2009-2011, we have a lot of bright spots all over the team. Problem is as a complete TEAM, we have a lot of issues we had last year, our secondary is suspect, and our OL is laughable. Those two things will kill the team more than anything else.
Right now it does grate my nerves and irritate me to no end that we are listed everywhere as the 32nd team in the league. But right now, going into THIS WEEKEND, maybe its a fair evaluation by those that don't know the Jags. But, I don't think its accurate.
We are a blocked extra point from winning against the Vikings in Minnesota. Then we played arguably the best team in the AFC, with a broken OL that was patched with a guy off the streets and Guy Whimper and missing some of our best players on defense. We win the Vikings game, and pull Blaine at first sign of injury (Instead of letting him go out and play hurt) the narrative is completely different.
Here is an example from 2008 - tell me it doesn't sound familiar and remember this was Alex Smiths 3rd year in the league - OH and in 2008 the 49ers were ranked 32-29 in power rankings at start of the season.
See those dire needs listed two paragraphs below? Receiver, offensive tackle, guard and outside linebacker? Only one was addressed in the draft. Kentwan Balmer and Chilo Rachal will help this team, but the 49ers still have major holes, including the quarterback position. If Alex Smith keeps fumbling the ball away, it could be Matt Stafford, Sam Bradford or Tim Tebow in the 2009 Draft.
Other than the Justin Smith signing, I can't say that I'm a fan of any of San Francisco's acquisitions. Granted, Bryant Johnson was stuck behind Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald on Arizona's depth chart, but he really failed to produce when Boldin and/or Fitzgerald were out of the lineup. Isaac Bruce could work in Mike Martz's system, but he turns 36 in November. How much does he have left in the tank?
The 49ers have a lot of work to do in the draft. Dire needs include receiver, offensive tackle, guard and outside linebacker. The quarterback position will once again be an issue, but unlike last season, San Francisco won't be wasting its time with the talentless Trent Dilfer; in brief action, Shaun Hill looked like the best quarterback the 49ers have. This includes Alex Smith, who is learning three different offenses every year. Tough learning curve.
As recently as 2010
Week 1 - The defense is already strong, and the offense is finally in position to improve -- if QB Alex Smith is ready.
Week 14 - Facing an elimination game, the 49'ers appear ready to go down swinging with Alex Smith at quarterback.
The media can be, and often is wrong. Wrong about teams, wrong about players, and simply like to talk they are experts about things they have no clue about.
Now its 2012 and Alex Smith is 28, the Niners ended 2011 as the 3rd ranked and this week are 1st ranked. Alex Smith looks like a QB that can lead the team for a while.
So like a diehard 49'ers fan in 2005-2010, I will always have faith.. and as starters return to the team, and Mularkey settles in hopefully 2012 will play out like the 2010 49'ers. 0-5 start 6-10 finish, and a climb into the playoffs and the rebirth of winning team.
That said, hopefully it can start sooner than game 6 and it doesn't take 5 seasons for Blaine to settle into his role. Even if is does, I will have faith and always believe.
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