NFL Preseason: Jaguars QB Blaine Gabbert Not Ready for Primetime
Blaine Gabbert is the future quarterback for the Jacksonville Jaguars, but that future should not start in week 1.
David Garrard, the incumbent starter for the Jags, will miss at least the first preseason game against New England with a sore back, which means that Gabbert will get a lot more time with the first team in practice and in preseason games.
According to John Clayton from ESPN.com, the coaching staff likes what it sees from the rookie quarterback so far.
"Gabbert has impressed the coaches with his physical presence,"Clayton wrote. "He has a strong arm. He's mobile..."
These coaches and analysts who go "gaga" over a player in practice have to understand that what they are seeing is, in fact, practice. Quarterbacks are going to be protected and made to look good because you can't touch them no matter what.
Gabbert might look like Joe Montana this preseason for all we know. But what does that really mean? It's not like New England is going to play a bunch of starters in this game, or if the starters do play, it won't be a significant amount of time.
As much Jaguars' fans love to hate on Garrard, he is a better choice for this team right now. He is not a terrible quarterback - he completed 64.5 percent of his passes last year with 23 touchdowns and over 2700 yards - and he has had led this team to the playoffs before.
There is no doubt that Gabbert will get a chance to start for this team this year because they are not a playoff team, but that chance should not come until they are officially eliminated.
Garrard can be used as trade bait next year, but he has to play in order to have any value to another team.
If Gabbert starts for this team right away, it will be the worst possible move for both the player and the team. They need to see what they have in Garrard early on before giving Gabbert his time in the spotlight.
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