Gabbert may be bad enough to make Jaguars draft another QB

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Blaine Gabbert is playing so badly right now that the Jaguars may consider something practically unheard of in the NFL: Taking Top 10 quarterbacks in back-to-back drafts.

Gabbert’s horrible game in Thursday night’s loss to the Falcons has continued a horrible rookie season for the quarterback the Jaguars chose with the 10th overall pick in this year’s NFL draft. Gabbert is last in the league with a passer rating of 65.6, and he looks lost out there. It’s tough to see why the Jaguars’ next coach, whoever he is, would want Gabbert as his starting quarterback.

So would the Jaguars, who will likely draft somewhere between the fourth and 10th overall picks, take a quarterback? It’s impossible to say right now, as we have no idea who the new coach will be or what kind of offense he’ll run. We also don’t know where new owner Shahid Khan stands on the matter, and whether he’ll take a hands-on or hands-off approach to the draft. But if Baylor’s Robert Griffin III or USC’s Matt Barkley is available to the Jaguars, they’d have to think long and hard about drafting one of them in the Top 10.

That almost never happens. The Cowboys used their first-round picks in 1989 and 1990 on quarterbacks Troy Aikman and Steve Walsh, but the 1990 pick was used in the supplemental draft. (The Cowboys traded Walsh to the Saints in 1990.) The last time a team used consecutive first-round picks in the regular draft on quarterbacks was in 1982-83, when the Baltimore Colts drafted Art Schlichter and John Elway. But that was a highly unusual circumstance in which neither one of those quarterbacks played for the team in 1983: Schlichter was suspended for the entire 1983 season, and the Colts traded Elway to the Broncos before he ever played a down for Baltimore.

Before the Colts, you have to go all the way back to the early 1960s Los Angeles Rams to find a team that used first-round draft picks on quarterbacks in back-to-back years. The Rams actually drafted quarterbacks in the first round three years in a row: Roman Gabriel in 1962, Terry Baker in 1963 and Bill Munson in 1964. But Baker was a college quarterback who played halfback in the NFL, so that’s not quite the same thing, either. Prior to those Rams, the last team to draft quarterbacks in back-to-back first rounds was the 49ers, who took Earl Morrall in 1956 and John Brodie in 1957. The 49ers traded Morrall to the Steelers before the 1957 season.

What does this history lesson tell us? NFL teams only take quarterbacks in back-to-back first rounds under the most extraordinary of circumstances. If Jaguars G.M. Gene Smith takes a quarterback in the first round a year after he took Gabbert 10th overall, he’ll be doing something NFL general managers just don’t do. But Gabbert might be bad enough to make the Jaguars do it.

88 responses to “Gabbert may be bad enough to make Jaguars draft another QB

  1. Perhaps Gabbert isn’t broken. Perhaps he was rushed into playing too soon. Give him a mentor and some time and then decide.

    It worked for Aaron Rodgers.

  2. Please, Gene, make history!!

    Gabbert looks like a practice squad center piece, at best. I tried to talk myself into thinking that he needs more time.. but he keeps throwing scared and it’s pathetic… MJD is getting older and deserves a winning season… draft Barkley

  3. Most of his guaranteed money was paid up front first year. There was never a rookie salary cap in past history, look for it to happen more often in the future NFL.

  4. Team is bad and Gabbert doesn’t really have the skillset to make plays on his own like Cam, and he doesnt have weapons like Dalton has.

    Should give him another year and a full offseason.

  5. There are many other positions the Jaguars could address with the draft to help Gabbert rather than replace him.

    Imagine what he could do if the pocket didn’t collapse like a Chilean mine on every play.

    I bet Gabbert could do something if he had someone to throw to besides Jones-Drew and Lewis as well.

  6. He has looked terrible, particularly his pocket awareness, but you can’t give up on him after less than a full season of starts, especially after trading up in the draft to get him.

  7. All we heard before the draft is how big of a project Gabbert was supposed to be, with tremendous upside…if you fail in your first year, you’re just unsalvageable now?

    Jimmy Clausen though I get. He’s just a douche.

  8. Gabbert’s passer rating at the moment is 66. Which is the mid point of all rookies who qualified for a rating over the past decade. He is also the second youngest (I think) to Matt Stafford to start. Alex Smith and Josh Freeman were 21 as well when they started, but later in the season. Stafford finished with a 61 passer rating, Freeman 59, and Smith 40, in their rookie season. Gabbert has the best passer rating OF ALL TIME for any QB before he turned 22.

    Get some perspective or get out of here.

  9. One of these days NFL scouts will learn that having a strong arm and looking good throwing in shorts doesn’t make you an NFL QB.

    Gabbert had this problem with happy feet in college as well.

  10. knew this kid was destined to fail at this level. He is not the answer and never was for jax. I feel sorry for them. Love MJD, hope they get it straight soon or ship the man to a contender.

  11. sure glad the Lions didn’t give up on Stafford after he posted a rating of 61.0 his rookie year….just saying he’s a rookie, with no off season and was a declared project before he even was drafted. Draft some weapons (Justin Blackmon anyone???) and see what he can do

  12. The locals seem to think the team will not draft a QB next year despite what they have seen thus far. Granted, he may have the worst receiving corps in league history and Guy Whimper was little more than a turnstile vs. Abraham last night. Word inside the building is that they are sold on him and just feel he needs more weapons and experience. I still think drafting an RG3 and making it an open competition would produce the best reults for the team, but Shahid Khan has not hired me as a consultant. …yet.

  13. He has no pocket presence and looks scared to take a hit. Jags probably should draft another QB even though they have other needs.

  14. Reasons NOT to give up on Blaine Gabbert:

    1. He comes from a spread offense in college–it takes time to adjust.
    2. We had a lockout until August–No OTAs, no summer workouts.
    3. There are no WRs in Jax.

  15. I never liked Gabbert coming out because in college he.never saw pressure and his drop backs were awful. But you got to give the guy at least another year perhaps with some receivers. I mean they started Jason Hill at the number 2 and he’s by far one of the worst receivers.

  16. Gabbert looks exactly like Clausen did last year. Zero pocket presense… panics at even the hint of a pass rush… poor accuracy… can’t go through his progressions, etc. I agree he doesn’t have good WRs, but you don’t need good WRs to know how to read a blitz or to have reasonable pocket presence. It’s no excuse.

    The Jags need to realize this is a lost cause and draft another QB.

  17. The Jags should hang onto Gabbert for a year, but trade MJD to get some extra picks to upgrade their WR corps. Gabbert may suck, but it’s too early to know that for sure considering his pathetic line and awful receivers. Meanwhile, MJD will be 27 next season, and considering his hefty workload probably only has 2-3 good seasons left. Some decent team that needs a RB (Packers? Bengals?) would probably give up a late-1st round pick for MJD, which could be turned into a WR who will be able to contribute if/when the Jaguars become relevant again.

    The only drawback to trading MJD would be if doing so craters fan support to the point where Gabbert and his WRs end up playing for the Los Angeles Jaguars.

  18. About Dalton–a great fit for that offense and his college system was better. However, here is how I had my QBs ranked before the draft (and I am a Panther fan., keep in mind):

    1. Dalton (Most NFL ready-a leader, a bit small though)
    2. Newton (a project and huge gamble)
    3. Ponder (ready to play when needed, but stay behind McNabb as long as possible)
    4. Ryan Mallet (project who needs a strong OL, but what an arm)
    4. Kaepernick (a project not to see the field in 11)
    5. Gabbert (a project not to see field in 11)
    6. Locker (a project who needs a QB coach to live with him)

  19. Smith is too freaking stubborn to admit he made a mistake on Gabbert..means Jags will be stuck in a holding pattern for one or two more years til they have to draft another one…unless Khan does the smart thing and fires Smith..please..oh please!

  20. If the Jaguars think they’re the laughing stock of the league now (and we certainly are with all due respect to the Colts) then they should use back to back top 10 picks on a QB.

    Gabbert was 3-Stooges comical last night. But the team needs to spend their top pick on a WR – no questions asked. Maybe get a solid QB as a “just-in-case” backup, but you can’t use another top 10 pick on a QB. Then what? Throw another 21 year old in there and just hope for the best?

    Gabbert skipped his senior year, so he’s got a lot of time left to play this game. If the new coach/owner are smart, they’ll not only give more weapons, but they’ll give him more time as well.

  21. The Panthers took Jimmy Clausen at the top of the 2nd round and then took Cam Newton the following year…..Needless to say, it turned out to be a great move despite basically tossing away a high 2nd rounder for Jimmy in 2010.

    QB is such an important position, you better make sure you have a good one or you’re going to stink it up for years. It was a mistake to draft Gabbert that high…..Don’t compound that mistake by passing on elite players like Barkley or Griffin.

  22. Some decent team that needs a RB (Packers? Bengals?) would probably give up a late-1st round pick for MJD, which could be turned into a WR who will be able to contribute if/when the Jaguars become relevant again.
    Teams hardly use their first round picks on a brand new running back fresh out of college, let alone one who’s approaching 1500 career carries. I seriously doubt anyone is giving up a first for MJD.

  23. @mhs8031

    Hit the nail on the head!!! Who would comment on a article about the Jags terrible wide receivers and Mercedes Lewis has been in the garage all year! He still throws better than the guy in Denver

  24. And to think that, as a Redskins fan, I was once mad about passing on Gabbert and trading the pick to Jax instead. Sometimes the best moves are the ones you don’t make.

  25. Granted, Gabbert has a terrible offense to play with so it’s not all his fault, but anyone who watched him at Mizzou wouldn’t be surprised to see how he’s playing right now. He’s just not a very good NFL quarterback. He’s not smart enough and not decisive enough. People become enamored with a player’s strong arm and forget to pay attention to whether or not they can read defenses.

  26. Gabbert has struggled and I’m most concerned with his fear of being hit. With that said he was never suppose to start, is VERY young at 21 i think, and has no talent around him but MJD. So you can take all that and make a conclusion for yourself. I’d draft a qb not because I don’t believe in Gabbert, but because I wonder what a year like this does to ones confidence.

  27. I would lean more towards the lack of coaching and general ineptitude of the of the organization this year being the reason for subpar play. Don’t submarine the kid yet. Give him a solid foundation in which he can sink or swim.

    I hate when teams do that…you all will laugh, but I think that was one of the reasons Brady Quinn has flamed out. He was on the Browns who refused to stick with him or coach him appropriately because they somehow thought Derek Anderson was a better idea. Would Quinn have failed…who knows, probably…but no one will ever know. He never had a chance.

  28. Can’t see it happening. I don’t know how you give up on a rookie who was thrown to the wolves with no talent around him, before he was ready.

    Nothing wrong with drafting an insurance policy in the later rounds, but I strongly doubt they would use their #1 for a QB.

    But as mentioned, it comes down to the new owner and whoever replaces Del Rio.

  29. Redskins, don’t you DARE win another game and let someone draft your QB next April!!! Colts aren’t the least bit ashamed and we shouldn’t be either!

  30. Technically, the Panthers just did this last year. Yes I know full well Clausen was technically a second-round pick, but he was their first pick they had available because their first was lost in a (very bad) trade.

    I wouldn’t be at all surprised if you look back at the history and find a few more teams have drafted QBs with their “first available” pick in consecutive years at least a FEW more times than if you only look at the “first round”.

  31. Blaine Gabbert looks like Tim Couch at his low point.

    Giving him another year makes sense, but the writing is on the wall. I’d consider going OL-WR-WR with the first three draft picks.

  32. Unfortunately, he has David Carr syndrome, it’s terminal, there is no treatment available.

  33. Even with Gabbert on the roster you can only pass on Barkley or Griffin for a franchise left tackle like Kalil. Those guys can be pro bowlers for years to come.

  34. touchdownsyndrome says:
    Dec 16, 2011 2:35 PM
    Some decent team that needs a RB (Packers? Bengals?) would probably give up a late-1st round pick for MJD, which could be turned into a WR who will be able to contribute if/when the Jaguars become relevant again.
    Teams hardly use their first round picks on a brand new running back fresh out of college, let alone one who’s approaching 1500 career carries. I seriously doubt anyone is giving up a first for MJD.

    There’s always Oakland, but rb isn’t a need.

  35. Rodgers had a passer rating of 39 his rookie year. Favre was 0 for 4 passing with two interceptions. The top 5 passer rating guys in the league at the moment took over as starters at the age of 25 years 2 months on average. Which will be Gabbert’s age when his four year contract expires.

    It’s pretty disgusting when guys like Mayock and Lombardi jump on the bandwagon to bury Gabbert. They sure don’t show much faith in their own opinions. You go to war with guys like that. Knowing that if things aren’t going well, they will grab a uniform from a dead enemy and switch sides. Maybe just put it on over top of their own in case the tide turns again.

    The rookies are all playing as projected. Newton displays a lot of natural talent and a brain the size of a pea and an overblown ego. Locker is wild and erratic and dumb. Ponder is decent but fragile physically. Dalton is pro ready, but maxed out. No upside. His game doesn’t get any better with time, and won’t. Gabbert is still the best prospect of the bunch. It isn’t close.

  36. You can’t really expect a rookie that wasn’t asked to do progression reads in college to be a competent qb in the NFL, especially when he doesn’t have receivers. Not saying he’ll be great, but it’s too soon to write him off. Give him a full offseason and training camp next year, then evaluate him.

  37. Oh, sure. A QB-deep draft, but now, everyone who already has a QB they got in the recent past (Gabbert, McCoy), suddenly wants to get another one.

    Oh well. Guess Seattle will trade down into the end of the first round and grab Nick Foles.

  38. The only people who expected him to be good were Mel Kiper, Todd Mcshay and Jacksonville….none of those three would give me any reason to think that this pick would ever work out….

  39. Gabbert bluffed his way to the top end of the draft, without a doubt. Based on his college film he shouldn’t have gone that high. Based on his college record he should have stayed another year. But you know what, he didn’t. So he has 7 million more dollars than Andrew Luck in the bank at the moment.

    Then he bluffed his way into a starting job, to some extent. He wasn’t better than Garrard or McCown necessarily on the practice field, but he is smarter and more articulate than either. So he is the youngest starting QB in the league. Next week he becomes the youngest quarterback in history to make his 13th NFL start.

    The price he has to pay is now, when everyone says, “hey this kid was bluffing, he isn’t ready!”. But you know what? He is a lot more ready than he would have been if he hadn’t bluffed. So live with it. Gabbert will be as good as anyone that has come into the league in my time (after Favre), but he had to get to the starting line first to make it happen.

  40. To all of the people here who blame Gabbard’s extreme terribleness on the players around him or his youth, please get some Jag tape and watch HIM play. Not the whole offense, just focus on his pocket poise, his footwork, his ability (or lack thereof) to feel pressure and move the pocket, etc.

    Yes, with more time and better weapons, he could probably rise to the level of his own incompetence and be 15-20 QB in this league.

    Unless you haven’t been watching the league lately, that just doesn’t get it done, championship wise.

    With the new rookie wage scale, you don’t need to break the bank on these first rounders anymore- you could afford to bring in another top 10 guy.

    And I’m sorry, but if RGIII or Barkley are sitting there, I don’t think you can afford NOT to.

    If Gabbert rounds into a decent back up, you can always flip him for a 2nd or 3rd down the road.

  41. Ya its Blaine Gabbert fault that his WR’s and TE’s have been dropping balls all year round.

    Get him some WR’s and TE’s that can catch then if he still sucks then look else were.

  42. Wow I guess maybe Jacksonville should have probably drafted their local hero Tim Tebow the year before . That guy is winning completing two and three passes a game . Very similar teams really . The Broncos and Jags are built on tough D and running the football ……….Hahahahahahaha !

  43. He doesn’t even want to throw the ball downfield. It’s all dump-offs and checkdowns. You’re never going to accomplish anything like that.

    I mean, at this point, T.J. Yates has nothing to work with but he’s not scared to take a chance and advance the ball anyway. I will say that Houston has a far superior offensive line, though.

    He’s far and away the worst quarterback in the league, a Matt Leinart without the accuracy. Oddly enough, Sam Bradford isn’t far behind him.

    I wouldn’t be exceptionally surprised to see either team take a look at another signal-caller early in the draft.

  44. No chance.

    Gabbert is terrible and will never be a good NFL quarterback, or even a marginal one, but Gene Smith traded up for him. That’s his guy.

    Fact of the matter is you can’t teach a guy pocket presence. His supporting cast is a joke, but Gabbert will fail regardless of who’s around him.

    He’s about the easiest gameplan in the league. D coordinators know, you put pressure on this kid, he wilts quicker than a dead flower.

    No supporting cast or coaching is going to give him the toughness and mindset of an NFL QB. That’s innate.

    My guess is Gabbert is terrible again next year and then the Jags cut ties.

  45. Gabbert plays scared. I’ve never seen an NFL quarterback so terrified of pressure, even if it’s not there.

    Not sure if it’s fixable, but with such a bad offense he deserves more than a one year opportunity. Get insurance via a 2nd to 4th round pick or free agent, and see if you can teach the guy some toughness.

  46. Gabbert faces an avalanche almost every time he drops back, and on the rare occasion he has time to throw, no one is open. And if he manages to get the ball to the WRs, they drop it.

    Let’s get some perspective here, folks, the guy is working with WRs he just met for the first time a couple of days ago. The Jaguars have put 27 players on IR.

    There’s no way he could possibly succeed with what’s going on around him.

  47. People say Manning should be MVP because the Colts are obviously lost with out.

    What about Garrard lol? Its clear that he was a lot better than people thought, because at least he made the Jaguars relevant and competitive!

  48. @trbowman – Well, it’s lucky you and all your roommates living at the same IP address agree on Gabbert. Makes for a more harmonious household. As long as there isn’t a lineup to use the computer at the same time.

  49. I saw some passes that weren’t terrifically timed between Gabbert and the receiver. Why is that only Gabbert’s fault? This can be fixed.

    I saw some terrific passes that were just dropped. That’s not Gabbert’s fault.

    I saw Gabbert on a number of occassions, when the rush was coming, simply bail out directly into the path of the rusher ( causing sacks and fumbles ), rather than stepping forward ( or quick hopping forward – watch Brees do this ). That’s his fault. But this is something that can be worked on and perhaps fixed.

    I’m not a Jax fan, but I think this guy needs some coaching, some familiarity with good receivers, some extra work, and be made to understand that no one is giving up on him.

  50. The kid needs time. As a Packer fan the best comparison I have is to look at Matt Flynn vs. the Bucs as a rookie in 2008 and contrast that with him in 2010 versus the Pats.

    In 2008 he looked completely shell shocked, and didn’t look fit to be in the league. He was so terrible that they put Aaron Rodgers back in the game with a separated shoulder.

    Move to 2010 and he looked like a competent QB, probably because he had a chance to get some experience and learn the offense.

  51. The problem for Gabbert and a lot 9of these young QB’s have is a legitamite #1 recevier to throw to. That was B. Quins issue in Cleveland, now its C. McCoys. The reason C. Newton has played as well as he has, although the TEAM hasn’t, was because they didn’t trade S. Smith. Stafford in Det. has the luxury of C. Johnson, A. Dalton has A.j Green, probably the best rookie WR in the past 5 yrs. Who has Gabbert, McCoy, Bradford have to throw to? You see the difference it had on M. Ryan.

  52. I’d have happy feet too if I got blown up basically every play. He senses pressure when it’s not there because that’s on like 5% of the plays so he just assumes he’s always about to get drilled.

  53. I watched a little bit last night… I watched the drive where Jones Drew ran for a long run to set up a potential scoring drive. Gabbert put two or three balls right on his WR’s hands & they were all dropped…. The balls were good. It’s utter fail if you take another QB, I think you get some weapons to put around him… Their WR’s are probably the worst in the league.

  54. if they take Matt Barkley then expect the SAME exact results as you had from Gabbert. Barkley has more talent than Gabbert, true, but he cant throw to himself. as for RG3, if that happens, expect him to be injured due to him trying to do too much. Gabbert isnt great yet, no, but how can you expect him to be??

  55. It’s not going to happen. Not even sure why an article which says it could happen was written. A lot of things could happen. MDS could write a decent article someday for instance.

  56. Can’t judge Gabbert on that game, it was a perfect storm of disaster for the team coming in. Short week, on the road, third game in 11 days, 27 players on IR, two coaches fired and not replaced. Going against a team fighting to establish their playoff position, relatively healthy, playing in front of their fans.

    The top receiver available is a career special teamer who has never caught more than about 10 balls in a season. Marcedes Lewis quit on the team as soon as he signed his contract back in training camp. Backup tight end was a defensive tackle when the Jags drafted him. Third string was interviewing for office jobs a couple weeks back. Focus of the offense is to get Jones-Drew a rushing title and All Pro nomination and nothing else. Third string offensive tackle playing on a bad knee going up against one of the best pass rushers in the game. Replaced by an undrafted rookie free agent off the practice squad.

    Gabbert probably had better support as a third stringer playing in the exhibition games prior to the season.

  57. Giving up on a first round QB after one season would have been unthinkable as recently as ten years ago. And what has changed? Not the players. The only thing that’s changed is the expectations, because of impatience and the cost of rookie contracts. Gabbert’s different, though. With the rookie cap, is salary isn’t high. Giving a QB a year or two to grow is still the ideal situation. You need to give him another year.

    I swear, it’s like nobody remembers how bad Peyton Manning, John Elway and Troy Aikman sucked their rookie years.

  58. This story is wrong about the Cowboys drafting Troy Aikman and Steve Walsh in consecutive years. Walsh was selected in the supplemental drat, but they were both drafted in 1989.

    Steve Walsh even started several games over Troy Aikman in 1989 before being traded away the next season.

  59. Looking over rookies who started (and threw enough passes to qualify in the rankings) over the last 10 years (2001-2010) the average completion ratio is 55%, 11 Tds, 13 Int, 66.5 passer rating. That includes a few of the best ever first year seasons from Roethlisberger, Ryan, Flacco, and Bradford.

    Gabbert is pretty close to the average in all departments. 51% completion, 11 Tds, 10 Int, 65.6 passer rating. With a couple of games to play. I think all of the players on the list are still in the league, except Chris Weinke who was nearly 30 years old as a rookie back in 2001.

  60. Gabbert can complete a few balls, true….however….he was touted as a great ‘running’ and ‘scrambling’ quarterback who created more time and forced defenses to cover him. He was touted as a ‘smart’ guy, big Wunderlick score, but when I youtube’d the highlight reels from him at Missouri, he threw into coverage, threw with too much air under the ball, relied on slow DB’s in college to ‘not catch up’, and seemed to bail on plays too early. But we were condescended to, and were told to ‘trust the people that know football’….(one whom now is out of a job, the other soon will be)…..yeah, I’m the one who is blind…ha!

  61. When are all you tools going to stop comparing rookie QB ratings to those of 15 years ago…THERE IS NO COMPARISON! It is so much easier for a QB to get a higher rating these days….given the pass happy nature, liberalization of offensive rules, etc. One of the reason you see all these rookies succeeding now…

  62. “I hear that Donovan McNabb has booked a flight to Jacksonville to check out real estate.”

    He might want to divert his travel plan to LA!

  63. mhs8031 says:Dec 16, 2011 2:30 PM

    About Dalton–a great fit for that offense and his college system was better. However, here is how I had my QBs ranked before the draft (and I am a Panther fan., keep in mind):

    1. Dalton (Most NFL ready-a leader, a bit small though)
    2. Newton (a project and huge gamble)
    3. Ponder (ready to play when needed, but stay behind McNabb as long as possible)
    4. Ryan Mallet (project who needs a strong OL, but what an arm)
    4. Kaepernick (a project not to see the field in 11)
    5. Gabbert (a project not to see field in 11)
    6. Locker (a project who needs a QB coach to live with him)
    Judging by the behavior of some of you Panthers’ fans when it comes to Cam, one wonders exactly what you are looking for in your QB.

    It’s funny to read the many excuses being made for Blaine. Here’s an FYI, MJD is the number one receiver over the Smitty you folks keep talking about who is helping Cam. How can MJD be the number one receiver and be so bad that Blaine can’t get more balls in his hands. Or, maybe the truth is, the problem is Blaine.

    To think many of you on here will go on and on about any little mistake Cam makes or start the rally cry to get rid of Ponder but your ridiculous and sometimes dishonest defense of Blaine is pathetic.

    Also, Cam, Jake, Dalton, and Blaine are all the same age. Ponder and Mallet, are 23 years. The way you guys sound, one would believe Blaine was 19. Since when did Blaine become so much younger than the other rookie QBs. They are all 22 years old.

    During the draft Blaine was 21. I guess he must be really outsmarting you folks in Jacksonville.

  64. Forget Age, Lack of Receivers, Rookie Mistakes, O-Line, Coaching Staff. Etc….

    When you have FEAR in your heart of getting hit by a

    defensive player in the NFL. Their is no future for

    him in this league!!!

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