More Than Winning or Losing for Jags

Posted: September 23, 2011 in Jacksonville Jaguars
Tags: , , , , , ,

There’s an old saying: Be careful what you wish for.

Many Jaguar fans have been screaming for rookie Blaine Gabbert to be the starting quarterback. They’ve now got their wish. Will they be happy? Will they be patient?

Unfortunately for Gabbert, he makes his first NFL start with another rookie quarterback, Cam Newton, on the other sideline. Already, Newton has become the talk of the NFL. Comparing Gabbert with Newton isn’t fair.

Based on the results of other quarterbacks drafted among the top 10 players, it’s about 50-50 Gabbert will have a solid career. It far less than that he’ll become a franchise quarterback.

Whatever, many Jaguar fans have gotten what they wished for. Gabbert starts Sunday at Carolina. It has created a much needed buzz for team. My advice: Don’t expect too much too soon. Patience is a virtue.

Now that is wishful thinking.

How will Gabbert to do? One key to his performance is how much of the offense coach Dirk Koetter installs in the game plan. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Jaguars open up much more than they have in the first two games. Don’t expect the Jaguars to ignore the run. Coach Jack Del Rio’s football DNA is running and defense. But JDR isn’t stupid. He hasn’t opened up the offense because he obviously knew he couldn’t with Luke McCown. Gabbert has the arm and the guts to throw into tight spaces and down field. We’ll find out if he has the poise and smarts to know when not to do those things.

It may not be a disadvantage that Gabbert’s first start is on the road. Expectations will be lower on the road than they would be in front of his home crowd. It helps that Carolina’s defense has struggled. It also helps so much of the attention is focused on Newton.

I expect Gabbert to do okay. I expect a 15-25 for 220 yards, a touchdown and a pick. Anything less would be a disappointment. What I want to see more than his numbers are how comfortable Gabbert looks running the offense and how much confidence JDR and Koetter have in him.

Sunday’s game won’t tell us what the future holds but Jacksonville but it will give us a peek into the Jaguars’ future. Strangely, in a league where the only things that matters is winning and losing, I don’t think the outcome will be nearly as important as Gabbert’s performance.

That’s good news for Jaguars fans because I think Carolina wins this one, 28-24.


  1. ctjags says:

    Both great intelligent articles. However the fan base gets mad over everything. A top d and yet not enough. Blaine throws a td with pressure coming and 8 men in coverage in Monsoon like downpours right on the money and does not matter. The sky is always falling in Jacksonville. Don’t believe see the message board on it is ridiculous.

    • lammatlarge says:

      Most fans have grown tired of looking for silver lining; they’re tired of looking for positives in a loss. And with the upcoming schedule as tough as it is, there’s not much to look forward to other than silver lining and small positives. It’s gonna be a rough year for Jags fans.

  2. Was it a new Jaguars record for bungled snaps from center to qb? Didn’t Tom Coughlin preach time management, while coaching the Jaguars? Doesn’t Jack Del Rio and every other coach teach time management? So, if a team hasn’t subconsciously quit on the coach and itself, how could the Jaguars fail to manage those last 16 seconds better? Could Gabbert have spiked the ball to stop the clock or not? If so, why wasn’t every player on the line immediately and screaming “Spike the ball” to make sure Gabbert was aware of what to do, since he’s a rookie? Why was the time that elapsed between the Ref upstairs contacting the Ref on the ground, that a review of the previous play must take place, not put back on the clock? Aren’t team captains supposed to be aware of little things, like when the clock will start, so they can lead by speaking? Lots and lots of questions connected with the way the game against the Panthers was played. Too many, in fact. I would be tempted to bench or cut Brad Meester for his lack of awareness as a 10, 11 year veteran.

    Gabbert, I rate his game a C+, defense a B+, Jones-Drew had his best game to date, and there were probably other positives; the rest, bizarre? Is it time for fans to don grocery store paper bags for the Saints game? David, have you ever played center on a football team? The Jaguars might have an opening. Maybe nice guys do finish last. Jaguars need to get as mean as an alley cat come Sunday.

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