Unsigned first-round pick Justin Blackmon has missed five days of camp. Franchise running back Maurice Jones-Drew is holding out, with no resolution in sight. Big-ticket offseason addition Laurent Robinson struggled throughout the first few practices, and dropped more passes on Monday. Head coach Mike Mularkey says $35 million tight end Marcedes Lewis “has to get in better shape.”
They drafted a punter in the third round.
Jaguars training camp is off to a brutal start. One development that could spark the team would be a big second-year leap from quarterback Blaine Gabbert. But if Monday’s training camp display was any indication, Gabbert isn’t yet ready to deliver.
According to Vito Stellino of the Florida Times Union, Gabbert executed just one completion among 12 passing snaps in Monday’s morning practice. He scrambled seven or eight times. The remainder of Gabbert’s dozen passing plays fell incomplete. Mularkey explained away Gabbert’s tendency to scramble as a product of coaching. As relayed by Stellino, Gabbert is “taught not to force throws.”
Perhaps the receivers were to blame. Or maybe the offensive line. Either way, Gabbert doesn’t get the benefit of the doubt after an abysmal rookie year. And based on the training camp attendance and performance of his would-be supporting cast, Gabbert isn’t exactly rallying his teammates. If he’s going to meet expectations inherent for a top-ten draft pick, Gabbert needs to elevate his team’s play.
Disregard Stellino’s practice stats, and the first few days of Mularkey’s first Jaguars camp still couldn’t have played out much worse. For Jacksonville to silence the preseason doubters, Mularkey is going to need a whole lot more help from his players.