Well, it is Happy Hour on the East Coast.
Cardinals coach Bruce Arians, who has never hidden his fondness for a good cocktail, may have been hitting it a little early Wednesday considering the difference in time zones.
Via Kyle Odegard of the team’s official website, Arians was singing the praises of third-string quarterback Blaine Gabbert, saying he looks like a guy who could start in the league again.
“I’ve been very pleased,” Arians said. “Short-term, I’d be very comfortable if he had to play for us. Long-term, if he continues at this rate, he could be a starter.”
The Jaguars and 49ers have tried that with the former No. 10 overall pick, and he has a 9-31 record as a starter. And even if you believe that team record is not an accurate indicator of a quarterback’s ability, there’s also his 71.5 career passer rating, his 56.0 completion percentage and his 6.0 yards per pass attempt.
Gabbert is obviously in a much more stable situation now than he’s been in his career, and Arians has the reputation as a quarterback whisperer.
So far this preseason, Gabbert’s averaging an adult 8.7 yards per pass attempt, and is 36-of-57 passing for 496 yards, with a touchdown and an interception (which the team’s own website blames on one of their own wide receivers).
The Cardinals will need a long-term answer at the position, as Carson Palmer has been talking about retirement and backup Drew Stanton‘s in the last year of his deal. But if Arians is serious, and can speak this reclamation project into being, then his football wisdom is stronger than whatever’s in his glass right now.