Blaine Gabbert: 2013 is Success or Bust for Jacksonville Jaguars QB

By Ryan Heckman
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

After two disappointing seasons, Jacksonville Jaguars third year quarterback Blaine Gabbert has been given the green light to take another shot at impressing. With other young quarterbacks flourishing over the past two seasons, general manager Dave Caldwell is going out on a limb and letting Gabbert attempt to showcase his skills for a third consecutive season. This opportunity, however, may be his last.

The Jaguars are not for lack of talent offensively. Running back Maurice Jones-Drew is one of the NFL‘s premier backs and is in the prime of his career at the moment. It would be a terrible talent to waste on years of losing seasons without a Super Bowl appearance within grasp.

Many thought the wide receiver position would be a weakness for the Jaguars going into the 2012 season. In some ways it may appear so, but receivers Cecil Shorts and Justin Blackmon both showed promise of being the two clear cut options through the air. As a third year pro, Shorts caught 55 passes for 979 yards and seven touchdowns with an impressive 17.8 yards per catch average. Blackmon on the other hand didn’t record the type of season many were hoping to see, but still managed 64 catches for 865 yards and five touchdowns. Both receivers are decent options for Gabbert to have alongside him.

To bore you with stats from his first two seasons would be pointless. The only thing you need to know about Gabbert is that he has finished his first two NFL seasons with a 65.4 and 77.4 rating, respectively. He has not proven he can make all of the throws when his team needs him to the most, and is inconsistent with his accuracy.

This off-season, Caldwell and some of Gabbert’s teammates have come forward to say what support they have for the quarterback. Honestly, I don’t know where that comes from. Whether it’s blind love or denial, that remains to be seen.

Unfortunately for Jacksonville, I tend to believe Gabbert is not the guy they are looking for, based on his first two seasons. He was average at best last season before getting hurt, and woefully unproductive as a rookie. On the other hand, he could come out in 2013 and shock the world with the performance Jaguar fans have been waiting for. I whole-heartedly assume the former will end up happening, but it’s always nice to have hope, right?

Ryan Heckman is a Minnesota Timberwolves writer and NFL contributor for Follow him on Twitter, “Like” him on Facebook, or add him to your network on Google.


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