That scenario is a little harder to envision after Friday’s action. Both David Garrard and rookie Blaine Gabbert struggled against the Falcons, but the rookie’s difficulties were more glaring.
First, the numbers:
Garrard: 7-for-12, 99 yards and a pick. The Jaguars scored 3 points in three drives with Garrard. They should have had a touchdown but Garrard missed an easy score on his last drive.
Gabbert: 11-for-23 for 96 yards. The Jags scored six points in seven drives with Gabbert. One of the field goals came on a three-and-out, which happened in three drives Gabbert led.
This competition really isn’t about Garrard. It’s on Gabbert to show he’s ready to lead a team now. This was his best chance and it didn’t happen. He’s averaging 4.64 YPA through two games. (For comparison, Jimmy Clausen was last in the NFL with a 5.2 last year.)
While there have been some flashes of promise from Gabbert, we just didn’t see that on Friday night. Gabbert often felt pressure that wasn’t there. He was hurt by drops, but he generally showed poor pocket presence and shaky accuracy.
This happens for almost all rookie quarterbacks. That’s why most rookie quarterbacks don’t start right away if there is a solid veteran alternative on the roster.