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Jaguars see a different Blaine Gabbert this season

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The Jaguars are getting running back Maurice Jones-Drew back on Sunday, but their chances of an improved record this season hinge on more than just the return of the NFL’s leading rusher from last season.

Quarterback Blaine Gabbert’s play is going to have a lot to do with the final record in Jacksonville this season, something that would be a bit scary if he’s the same player he was as a rookie. Gabbert posted the third-lowest completion percentage of any rookie quarterback making double-digit starts in the modern era, something that needs to change dramatically if Gabbert and the Jags are going to succeed.

He’s looked improved during preseason action and the Jaguars are unanimous in their belief that Gabbert’s made progress off the field as well. Guard Uche Nwaneri called him more composed and there’s a lot of talk about his increased comfort as a leader after his first full offseason in the NFL. Offensive coordinator Bob Bratkowski also thinks that Gabbert has been unfairly maligned as being skittish in the pocket.

“If he was scared, you wouldn’t by any stretch of the imagination see him making the improvement he has,” Bratkowski said, via Gene Frenette of the Florida Times-Union. “Quarterbacks have to protect themselves. I think what’s probably come along a little bit better is he knows where those checkdowns are. He can get them out if they’re there. If not, and he knows he’s going to take a hit, he’ll take the hit. Now there may be some times where there’s nothing for him to throw the ball at. You got to get down and protect yourself. That doesn’t mean you’re scared.”

Changes to the Jaguars offense based on getting the ball out quickly should also help Gabbert in that department, but, truthfully, last year’s criticisms no longer matter. It’s a new system in Jacksonville with Bratkowski and coach Mike Mularkey in charge and Gabbert’s rookie results will be forgotten if he can build ont he improvement he showed in the preseason.

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14 Responses to “Jaguars see a different Blaine Gabbert this season”
  1. dewjags says: Sep 2, 2012 11:21 AM

    GO JAGS!!! Pocket Hercules is back!!

  2. bspurloc says: Sep 2, 2012 11:23 AM

    so what completion percentage did he get in preseason….

  3. pcjag says: Sep 2, 2012 11:27 AM

    A major improvement this preseason. He looked like an NFL QB. That said- improving to a ranking around 20th would be a great 2nd year.

  4. shackdelrio says: Sep 2, 2012 11:35 AM

    He looked like a different QB this preseason. Amazing the difference that real coaching and actual receivers can make.

  5. jvillenole says: Sep 2, 2012 11:37 AM


    He was 36 of 59 for 355 yards with 3TDs and no interceptions in the preseason. That is a 95.0 QB rating, which ranked him 4th in the NFL among starting QBs in the preseason.

    He is a completely different player this year. Amazing what quality coaching can get you.

  6. jvillenole says: Sep 2, 2012 11:50 AM

    Rashad Jennings also led the AFC in rushing yardage.

    I hope everybody keeps predicting “doom and gloom” for the Jags. Especially now that MJD is back.

  7. rca26 says: Sep 2, 2012 11:53 AM

    Gabbert was always going to be a project. Felt bad for the kid that he got tossed to the wolves last year, but I’m rooting for him to turn it around and make the most out of the experience. Good luck

  8. slickster35 says: Sep 2, 2012 12:50 PM

    Things will look a little different when he starts seeing actual blitz packages. Remember the Gabbert that looked scared to death? Yeah that guy will be back soon enough.

  9. mtheparrothead says: Sep 2, 2012 1:02 PM

    Thanks for an honest assessment josh. Go jags

  10. baffinbay says: Sep 2, 2012 2:40 PM

    slickster you’re wrong. And you’re a tool. Go Jags!!

  11. tonyinjax says: Sep 2, 2012 3:01 PM

    It’s a new system in Jacksonville with Bratkowski and coach Mike Mularkey in charge and Gabbert’s rookie results will be forgotten if he can build ont he improvement he showed in the preseason.

    This last sentence speaks volumes and there are plenty of fans in and around Jacksonville that can’t seem to grasp this concept.

    All 17 of us. (I kid, I kid)

    Blaine has already shown great strides in the preseason, MJD just ended the hold out Blackmon looks to be the real deal. The arrow is definitely pointing straight up.

    Go Jags!
    All IN!

  12. jags216 says: Sep 2, 2012 4:01 PM

    Looked improved in preseason, now show me something when it counts. We’re behind you Blaine!

    I’m Jags 216 and I’m all in.
    That’s what he said…..

    Go Jags!

  13. spellingcops says: Sep 3, 2012 2:29 AM

    They’ll still be competing for the cellar of the division.

  14. section112 says: Sep 3, 2012 11:00 AM

    No mention of everyone’s darling, Tim Tebow’s completion percentage for 2011 season…a staggering 46.5% !!!!!

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