Jacksonville Jaguars QB David Garrard has a tight back and had to sit out of practice late last week – and a report from PFT suggests he’ll skip the Jaguars’ Sunday scrimmage as well. That opens the door nice and wide for 1st round draft pick Blaine Gabbert to become the starting QB for the struggling franchise that Giants coach Tom Coughlin once manned at the helm.
But Coughlin’s ties to the team is not why I bring this up — no, no, no. It’s Gabbert. I remember vividly his first press conference at the NFL draft where he gave the best Peyton Manning impression I’ve ever seen. Gabbert totally nailed it — he was down to earth, funny, honest, humble… but he handle the press like only a Manning could. Clearly this guy was a fierce competitor, a student of the game, but something about his demeanor just showed everyone how ready he was to become a true professional and franchise QB for the team that drafted him.
So that’s why with David Garrard sitting out this Sunday, Blaine Gabbert has a legitimate shot to make headway towards a starting job in the NFL. In less than a weeks time, he’s got another bigger shot in a televised preseason game to really turn some heads and become the starting QB in many people’s eyes when the Jags visit the Patriots for a prime time showdown up in Gillette. In a month, who can say for sure where things will be with the competition between Gabbert and Garrard but I know this — Gabbert is up to the challenge.
I like David Garrard, but frankly it’s his 10th season and he’s showing serious signs of deterioration and no sign of leading the Jaguars healthfully into the post season. I think a change might be overdue in Jacksonville, and Gabbert looks like he’s in the right place at the right time.
You’ve got to love stories like this — the timing is perfect. I predict that Blaine Gabbert has one hell of a debut against the Patriots next Thursday, en route to being the most talked about QB’s for the duration of the NFL preseason schedule. It’s the kind of story that still comes to mind when you think of the Giants Victor Cruz, but this time you’re talking about the token leader of the entire offense. If he has a good game against New England, it’s all downhill from there playing Atlanta, Buffalo, and St. Louis after that. My prediction is that Blaine Gabbert DOES have a good showing in this Sunday’s scrimmage, and that he has an even better outing up in New England. Assuming he has a good showing for each test he faces this preseason, the Jaguars will have no choice but to week 1 against Tennessee at home.