I Told You So…It’s Gabbert Time

Posted: September 19, 2011 in Jacksonville Jaguars
Tags: , , , , ,

Of course the Blaine Gabbart Era has begun. Anything else would be stupider than cutting David Garrard five days before the start of the season.

What option does Coach Jack Del Rio have? He can’t put Luke McCown back under center — even if this week’s opponent, Carolina, has given up the 27th most points in the NFL. McCown may be a hard working, dedicated pro and all-around great guy, but he’s also a lousy NFL quarterback. His performance Sunday in New York against the Jets ranks as the worst in Jaguars history and one of the worse in NFL history. You can’t get much worse than a 1.8 passing rating. And the numbers don’t lie. McCown looked as bad as the numbers indicate.

Obviously, the Jaguars coaching staff never imagined McCown being this bad, but surely the coaches never had high expectations for him. The reasons he has been a career backup are as obvious as the difference between a football and a pumpkin. Clearly they were hoping McCown wouldn’t embarrass himself and the team and give Gabbert a little time to get up to speed. Now, after what we’ve seen, not playing Gabbert would be admitting the Jaguars made a mistake drafting him 10th overall last April because even a bad Gabbert has to be better than what we saw from McCown.

I still believe the best course of action for an NFL team is to let quarterbacks watch and learn before you hand them the ball. I know we are in an era where quarterbacks often start as rookies – some with success — but there is plenty of evidence that giving them time to develop is still best. Want examples? Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers, San Diego’s Phillip Rivers, New England’s Tom Brady and Houston’s Matt Schab (who was a backup in Atlanta) come to mind.

As far as I was concerned, cutting Garrard signaled the Jaguars were thinking more about the 2012 season than the immediate future. The plan, no doubt, was to slowly work in Gabbert and allow him on-the-job training so he’d be ready next season.

So much for that plan.

This is the NFL and things can change quickly. The Jaguars do have a solid running game and maybe a better than average defense. If Gabbert proves to be anywhere near as talented as the team thinks he can be, perhaps even this season could be salvaged and a playoff spot could be earned, but that’s a longshot. But not as much of a longshot as sticking with McCown and playing a 1960-style offense.

I still can’t imagine the McCown experiment being Del Rio’s idea unless he has a secret handshake deal with owner Wayne Weaver that he’ll still be the Jacksonville coach next year regardless of how this season goes. That’s the reason I disagree with the growing number of fans who want Del Rio’s head right now. Even more befuddling is the growing number of fans who now are screaming for offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter’s job. Exactly what would they like Koetter to do with this collection of receivers and McCown?

Bottom line: With McCown, the Jaguars’ offense looks like a Mini-Cooper racing a . . . well, a jaguar. With Gabbert, it can’t be any worse.


  1. producewiz says:

    think David would come back if jags would say they’re sorry and they did something really stupid before the season began.Actually, the McCown decision wouldn’t have been made by any fans the Jags have.Nice guy, but has literally stolden money for years.Old George Rafferty, back up to Otto Graham, said bench me or trade me, but don’t play me.Smart guy.Luke fits him perfectly.

    • Joe Jax Fla says:

      I agree with Uncle Dave.

      I have one question. Why is almost everyone commenting on the Jaguars site about “wait until next year”?…I don’t think the NFL will give us many more “next year”‘s.

      Not trying to sound like the “north end of a southbound horse”, but Wayne needs to do something.
      It seems like the Jaguars are laughing at the fan base here in Jax. Many of us don’t have the funds to attend the home games, however many do. After DG was let go, it seemed as if the front office was telling us……”ok, now put up your money or shut up”.

      I am a true Jags fan and have always been since they began. Please give us some long term hope for the future, instead of trying to pump up ticket sales game by game.

    • Tampa Jack says:

      AG, it was George Ratterman who backed up Otto Graham.

  2. Barry says:

    Thank you Uncle Dave! I agree completely. I know the Jags were trying to save money but I think it would have been in the best interest of the team to keep Garrard and have Gabbert learn under him. I think with Garrard we would have at least made it a game if not win yesterday against the Jets. They didn’t look at all like a contender for the AFC crown like they did last year.

  3. Terri says:

    “Bottom line: With McCown, the Jaguars’ offense looks like a Mini-Cooper racing a . . . well, a jaguar. With Gabbert, it can’t be any worse.”

    Should read: “Bottom line: With [GENE SMITH], the Jaguars’ offense looks like a Mini-Cooper racing a . . . well, a jaguar. With Gabbert, it can’t be any worse.

  4. I could say a lot of things, but I will say this: If the Jaguars look bad or incompetent against the Carolina Panthers, then owner Wayne Weaver should hold a news conference. He should tell the public what he was told by coaches and management should be the expectations of the Jaguars for this season. He should state what his expectations were and what they are now. He should lay out the truth for fans, players, coaches, and management for what he sees as reasonable demands for the rest of this season and next season. No need to talk of firing or not firing coaches, etc. His statement should be clear enough for everyone to see where they stand, whether fan, player, coach, or management by the goal he would set for the rest of this season.

    This is a necessity, for it is what leadership at the top of any good organization does. Weaver does not have to know football to see things for his self. His position of power demands that he set the long term and short term goals of the team. At this point in time, his leadership is the key to everyone else focusing on achieving owner epectations. Otherwise, the wheels could fall off this wrecklessly driven bus before the season is over, with few fans showing up for the games.

  5. Joe Tana says:

    Well Uncle Dave we disagree I think JDR should get a pink slip hell for years he has blamed everybody else around him for the way this team has played in the last 9 years. In 9 years they have had only one great season. JDR has fire nearly 20 asst. coaches who he blamed for his trouble. Well heck he picked them therefore the blame belongs to him. I think he should be given a pick slip and so should Dirk. The fans would fill Everbank Feild just to say goodbye.

  6. Tampa Jack says:

    Well said Joe Tana!! It’s not Jack del Rio……it’s Jack del Blameo. How he is still the head coach is one of the all time great mysteries of professional sports.

  7. This team has been badly managed from a long time back. They should have long since drafted a young quarterback, as soon as they waived Byron Leftwich. I thought Shack Harris was a bust as a GM, but Gene Smith ain’t doing much to make me forget him. At least Harris’s later-round picks panned out at times. And, I think they have to drop this “boy scout” drafting philosophy they have adopted. I ain’t saying go out and get Attila the Hun, but damn, don’t let a one-time pot bust or bar-fight stop you from picking a potentially good player. Sooner or later, you’re gonna have to pick a star OTHER than the QB. PEACE.

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