David Caldwell: Gabbert still has upside

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The big story out of Jaguars General Manager David Caldwell’s introduction to the media was his firm statement that Donald Duck has as much chance of being a member of the Jaguars this season as Tim Tebow.

Tebow wasn’t the only quarterback who came up for discussion, though. Blaine Gabbert, who finished his second season with the Jaguars on injured reserve and didn’t do much to encourage confidence that he was the man for the future before that, was also on Caldwell’s list of talking points. Caldwell plans to have four quarterbacks on the roster in camp and said there would be an open competition for the quarterback job, but said that wasn’t something to interpret as writing off Gabbert altogether.

“He is still young. He’s had two different offensive coordinators in his first two years. Get a coach in here and get some sustainability for him. I think it’s important to see what he can do. Look at some quarterbacks. It takes maybe more than two years, three or four years. He came out as a junior and he’s a very young quarterback and he still has a lot of upside,” Caldwell said, via the Florida Times-Union. “I always thought Blaine was going to be a long-term project when he came out anyway. I studied him when he came out and he came out from the spread offense. I felt like it was going to be a longer process for him. Look at the quarterbacks like Matt Ryan and Peyton Manning, they spent a full five years in college. Blaine should be a rookie coming out this year. Let’s work with him.”

There’s a long time between now and camp, to say nothing of the start of the season, so any plans are in their infancy at this point. Gabbert may yet wind up being passed over, but it sounds like he’ll get another chance or two to prove himself before the new Jaguars regime is convinced they have to pull the plug.

31 responses to “David Caldwell: Gabbert still has upside

  1. I can understand not wanting Tebow. But you can’t at the same time think that Gabbert can be the answer. I have to believe that the only reason he’s saying this is because he doesn’t believe that there is anyone else out there worth bringing in, either via free agency or the draft, and thus he knows he’s going to be stuck with Gabbert, at least for next year.

    Even Henne isn’t a great solution going forward. So Gabbert will probably get one more chance, simply because there isn’t a worthy replacement out there this year, and if he doesn’t show any improvement(which honestly I don’t think he will) then Jacksonville will be drafting another QB again in 2014.

  2. While some people point to “Improvement” by Gabbert this past year, you really need to dig a little deeper to see the truth.

    Yes, his completion percentage went up, but his yards per pass were the lowest in the league.

    He looks lost to me.

  3. Boy, that all sounded well thought out and reasonable.

    Notice he never says Gabbert will succeed, only that it’s too early to definitely say he won’t.

    Between this and his ability to realize that bringing in a QB that can’t play just to sell a few tickets is a bad idea, and I think the Jags may be on to something here.

  4. Can someone please dredge up the Henne quote from a couple of years ago where he basically says he hates Tebow. No one has brought that up and frankly Henne didn’t look bad for them.

  5. Gabbert has just been saving his “upside” for his 3rd year. He’s just letting all the other good rookies get tired before he shows them what he can do.

  6. The fact that this guy is willing to put his trust in Gabbert before Tebow tells me all I need to know about him as a GM. Enjoy your 2-year, 6 total win stint in Jacksonville, Caldwell.

  7. Time and again, young inexperienced QB’s come into the league and are thrown into the fire of playing with not only inferior talent, but inferior coaching as well. Let’s reserve judgement and see how the HC and OC that Caldwell brings in will work with the kid. I’m no big fan of Alex Smith, but he was god-awful for years before Harbaugh got ahold of him and turned him into at least something serviceable. Think of Rich Gannon, Kurt Warner, Brad Johnson, Trent Green, etc – guys who initially flopped, then got some solid coaching. Gabbert does have things you cannot teach – size and arm strength… now it’s up to the coaches to do what they do.

  8. Gabbert’s biggest upside is that he isn’t Tim Tebow. So if he spends a year keeping the team in the tank while a competitive roster is built around him, he isn’t going to cause nearly as much outcry when you bench him for Johnny Football.

  9. You can’t teach balls and this guy doesn’t have them. He hasn’t shown the ability (willingness) to stand in vs. the blitz, keep his eyes downfield and make a throw. He didn’t do it in MO and he hasn’t done it in the NFL.

  10. I am left to wonder how long we are going to live in denial about the Jaguars orgnization. The obviously poor management has been identified and addressed by the owner, and though Mularkey has yet to prove he deserves the job, he hasn’t yet proved he does not. The changing of the guard provides an opportunity to build from the ground up. Why waste another year with Gabbert? There have been too many successful rookie qb’s to continue to be buying into the pipe dream.

  11. Gabbert’s passer rating for the season was better than Luck, Tannehill, Locker, to name a few. His completion rate was better than those three and Cam Newton. All were taken earlier than him in the past two drafts, they are all older than he is, and they all earn more money than Blaine. Quit the whining.

  12. Is there seriously actually ANY people on here in support of this DIII level college QB that shouldn’t even be in the league let alone being in consideration AT ALL for a what, starting position..you clowns, are ridiculous. There’s only about 10-12 TRUE starting qbs that should be in the league starting. The others are pretty much getting a ‘pass’ that they should have NEVER received.

  13. “I think it’s important to see what he can do. Look at some quarterbacks. It takes maybe more than two years, three or four years”.

    But Projects aren’t taken with the 10th pick in the 1st round.

  14. The average first round quarterback is taken 10th overall. In the past 25 years or so. Exactly where Gabbert was taken. The average production for first round quarterbacks through their first two years in the league isn’t even close to what Blaine has managed. Look it up before you start spouting off.

  15. polapea says: Jan 11, 2013 12:22 PM

    You can’t teach balls and this guy doesn’t have them. He hasn’t shown the ability (willingness) to stand in vs. the blitz, keep his eyes downfield and make a throw. He didn’t do it in MO and he hasn’t done it in the NFL.

    *******************
    He played several games with the same injury that sidelined Locker for half the season.

  16. The kid is a good athlete. He possesses nice arm talent, but he really seems to struggle under duress. His time at Missouri and thus far in the NFL, he struggles throw accurate balls when he doesn’t have a clean pocket. He is still rather green in terms of experience, and hasn’t had much around him to work with. That being said, if he can’t stand in the pocket and deliver under pressure he will soon be an afterthought.

  17. Re: ““He is still young. He’s had two different offensive coordinators in his first two years.”

    Caldwell is a genius….you don’t want Tim, a guy who has actually won a playoff game and saved the season for the Broncos, and was one of the most decorated QBs ever in college football. Instead, you make excuses for Blaine, who was a zero in college, never winning a bowl game and is a zero in the NFL.

    Jim, just in case you were wondering, Tim has had 3 coordinators in 3 years. I guess that he isn’t still young.

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