April 28, 2011

Why I Like Blaine Gabbert Even More Now Than I Did Before

     Chad Pennington.  Philip Rivers.  Aaron Rodgers.  What do these three QB's have in common?  They all understand the value of patience.  Specifically, they're the only three first-round QB's since 2000 to not start in their first two NFL seasons.  Each of them has turned out to be a solid or great quarterback because of that learning experience.

     So where does Blaine Gabbert fit into this?  Well, he was just drafted at #10 to the Jaguars, where David Garrard has been a good starting QB for the last few years.  I understand that Garrard is not Vinny Testaverde, Drew Brees, or Brett Favre, but if Garrard can play well enough to keep his starting job while mentoring Gabbert, it could mean great things for Jacksonville.  Gabbert is pretty much what Aaron Rodgers was as a rookie:  a smart player with a great arm and underrated athleticism.  Give him two years of learning under a veteran QB and he just might become what Rodgers is now:  one of the game's elite passers.

     The problem is that the Jaguars are not a good team.  They have a terrible fan base.  Which means if the team starts off 4-6, a reasonable scenario, then Jacksonville will be under pressure to pull Garrard in favor of Gabbert even if the quarterback position isn't the problem.  I don't think they'll be able to keep the kind of stability at QB that I want them to.

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