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Could Blaine Gabbert Start in Week 1 for Jacksonville Jaguars?

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Could Blaine Gabbert Start in Week 1 for Jacksonville Jaguars?
FOXBORO, MA - AUGUST 11: Blaine Gabbert #11 of the Jacksonville Jaguars looks to pass in the first quarter against the New England Patriots on August 11, 2011 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Blaine Gabbert hasn't been impressive so far in the preseason, but he hasn't been terrible either.

Against the New England Patriots, Gabbert completed nine out of 16 passes for 85 yards—not too bad against, maybe, the best team in the NFL.

He faltered against the Atlanta Falcons, only completing 11 of 23 passes for 96 yards. He earned a QB rating of only 59.3.

That said, Garrard was worse, making seven out of his 12 attempts with one interception in the end zone. He earned an even lower rating of 50.3.

Obviously, neither of them did much to shoot in front of the other in the race to start, but if you have two even quarterbacks and one is 21 and your future starter while the other is 33 and on his way out, doesn't it make sense to start the new guy?

Most rookies struggle their first years, even if they get to sit out.

Just because the Aaron Rodgers move is in vogue right now doesn't mean that it's always the best move to make.

If you add in the fact that Gabbert is likely to start by the end of the season, the move becomes even more obvious.

Why not simply let Gabbert struggle through this year and have him completely ready to play as an NFL quarterback in 2012?

The approach worked pretty well with 2009 first-rounder Josh Freeman.

His first year was terrible: Freeman only completed 54.5 percent of his passes for 1,855 yards and threw 10 touchdowns to 18 interceptions.

His second year, however, he looked like a Pro Bowler, completing 61.4 percent of his passes for 3,451 yards with 25 touchdowns to only six interceptions.

Who should start for the Jaguars in week 1?

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If Gabbert starts this year, the Jaguars should expect him to struggle in the same way.

The way I see it, he may as well struggle now so he can succeed later instead of struggling later to succeed even later than that.

Garrard was no good in his one preseason appearance.

If he improves against Buffalo and St. Louis, then it makes more sense for him to be the starter, but if a guy who's supposed to be a game manager throws interceptions on long plays to the end zone any more, then he isn't a very good game manager and Gabbert should start.

If Gabbert looks better in the preseason, Gabbert should obviously start. If both play to the same level, Gabbert should start anyway.

Garrard needs to earn his place as a starter.

I hate to make too many judgments based on one preseason appearance, but if Garrard doesn't step up, he'll find himself a backup, quickly.

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