It is hard to find any sort of silver lining in a season that has been as bad as the Jacksonville Jaguars 2012 campaign, but alas not all is negative for the Jaguars.
Despite the struggles of their offense, second-year quarterback Blaine Gabbert has played much better this year than in his horrendous rookie season and is on pace to put up a 3,000 yard passing season. In the current NFL it appears that 4,000 passing yards is the new threshold for a great season, but if Gabbert could get to 3,000 it would be a sign of some progress.
The biggest knock on Gabbert entering this season was his toughness. He has since silenced those questions by playing through a significant injury in his non-throwing shoulder. His footwork and mechanics have also improved with better coaching. However, concerns remain about his accuracy and his tendency to not let plays develop downfield, but that may be a product of the poor offensive line he is playing behind.
The question moving forward is whether or not Gabbert does enough to earn a third year as the Jaguars starting quarterback. That decision will likely fall to whoever Jaguars owner Shahid Khan hires to be the new general manager this offseason in the likely scenario that current GM Gene Smith gets fired.
New regimes typically want to bring in their own quarterback, but the Jaguars have so many holes on the roster and the 2013 NFL Draft appears to be lacking in elite talent at the quarterback position. The best scenario for the Jaguars may be to use the 2013 draft to help fill the numerous holes on the roster and to give Gabbert one last season to prove himself as a franchise quarterback.
The decision to give Gabbert a chance to start in 2013 may be easier for Jaguars fans to swallow if he finishes strong over the last seven games and gets to the 3,000 passing yard mark.