Rookie quarterbacks struggle. But Jaguars rookie Blaine Gabbert has struggled in such a way that has inspired some harsh criticism, including on this site.
It’s all about pocket presence. As noted by Tania Ganguli of the Florida Times-Union, Trent Dilfer has called Gabbert timid in the pocket. Joe Theismann said Gabbert was a shrinking violet. NFL Films’ Greg Cosell didn’t think Gabbert could learn the skills in the pocket to ever become a quality starter.
Jaguars interim coach Mel Tucker sees things differently.
“I see Blaine as being courageous in the pocket,” Tucker said this week. “I see him as being super-tough. I see him being very, very competitive and my feeling is that his teammates and his coaches feel the same way.”
Tucker seems to be overcompensating here. Even the biggest Gabbert fan would have to admit that his pocket presence and ability to not get bothered by the pass rush is a major issue that needs to be corrected.
Tucker went on to say that Gabbert does have areas to improve, but didn’t cite his pocket presence directly.
Tucker’s answer makes us wonder: Will all potential Jaguars head coaching candidates have to believe Gabbert is super-tough?
That doesn’t seem like the best way to find the best possible man for the job.