The Jaguars have indicated in just about every way possible that they are interested in West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith; however, if it were up to running back Maurice Jones-Drew, the team would likely roll with Blaine Gabbert for another season. In a feature published on Thursday morning, Jones-Drew told Jim Trotter of Sports Illustrated that the Jaguars can "definitely" win with Gabbert at the helm and that the 2011 first round pick has been a victim of circumstance.
Asked if the Jaguars can win with Gabbert as the starter, Jones-Drew answers: "Yeah, definitely. But he's like any quarterback -- if you consistently put pressure in their face they're not going to play well. That's no different from Tom Brady or Peyton Manning. Blaine is in his third system in three years; that's tough. But I believe if we're able to protect him better he'll be OK."
Jones-Drew also said that it "pisses [him] off" that an anonymous, former-Jaguars coach referred to the quarterback as Blame Gabbert in a column posted by Mike Silver of Yahoo! Sports.
Gabbert, 23, started in 10 games in 2012 and managed to improve him passer rating to 77.4 after finishing his rookie season with an abysmal 65.4. However, the Jaguars won just one of his 10 starts and his 166.2 yards per game finished among the bottom of the league.
To Jones-Drew's point, though, Gabbert was sacked 7.3 percent of the time when he dropped back to pass, the tenth highest percentage in the NFL and even less than Chad Henne who was dropped 8.3 percent of the time, the fourth most.