2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Gabbert down to final chance with Jaguars

By MARK LONG - AP Sports Writer
    2013-04-17 17:26

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) - Blaine Gabbert's first two years with the Jacksonville Jaguars were adventurous to say the least.

He was thrust into the starting lineup as a rookie, then benched and injured in his second season. While trying to learn all the nuances of one of the toughest positions in team sports, he went through three offensive systems and four different position coaches.

As a result, his bright spots have been few and far between.

Now, entering his third season, Gabbert is down to his final shot at becoming the team's franchise quarterback.

Gabbert and Chad Henne are in an open competition for the starting job, and it's unclear whether the loser will even make the 53-man roster in the fall.

``I view it as an opportunity,'' Gabbert said Wednesday, the second of a three-day voluntary minicamp for veterans. ``Everybody's got to go out there and prove themselves year-in and year-out. In the NFL, there's always somebody looking to take your job.''

In Jacksonville, most fans and even some teammates are ready to see someone take Gabbert's job.

It could be Henne, the former Miami Dolphins starter who signed a two-year contract with Jacksonville in March 2012.

``The only thing you can ask for as a professional athlete is competition,'' Henne said. ``It's only going to make you better. There's going to be a lot of pressure. But if you're a quarterback, you want that pressure because there's pressure on you at all times. I think that's what makes us grow and become great quarterbacks.''

Henne started the final six games last season after providing an offensive spark off the bench against Houston in November. The former regime seemed committed to Henne, but then coach Mike Mularkey and his assistants were fired after the worst season in franchise history.

New general manager Dave Caldwell and coach Gus Bradley gave neither quarterback a head start in the competition, even saying they plan to bring in another signal caller before training camp.

The Jaguars explored trading for Seattle backup Matt Flynn, who ended up in Oakland. They're now likely to pick a quarterback in the second or third round of next week's NFL draft.

``Well, we have two quarterbacks on the roster, so we know we have to have more going into camp,'' Gabbert said. ``Honestly, you can't worry about that. We're pretty individually motivated to go out there and play a little football. ... All you can worry about as a player is the things you can control, and that's how you prepare, how you study, how you practice, how you eat, how you sleep, just little things like that.

``If you accomplish that on a daily basis, you can sleep well at night.''

The Jaguars haven't played well since trading up to get Gabbert with the 10th overall pick in the 2011 draft. Eight teams with apparent quarterback needs passed on the former Missouri standout, but former Jaguars general manager Gene Smith gambled on the two-year starter who played in a spread offense and worked mostly from the shotgun formation.

The choice eventually doomed Smith as well as former coaches Jack Del Rio and Mike Mularkey.

In 15 games as a rookie, Gabbert completed 50.8 percent of his passes for 2,214 yards, with 12 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.

He was supposed to be considerably better last season, after the team brought in an entirely new offensive staff. But improvements were slight as his inconsistency continued. Gabbert completed 58 percent of his passes for 1,662 yards, with nine TDs and six INTs in 10 games.

He was benched the day before it was revealed he would miss the final six games with an injured right forearm. He also had surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left, non-throwing shoulder.

He recovered in time for minicamp - and to learn a third offense in as many seasons.

``It's a new year, a new mindset, new team, that's the kind of the way we're viewing things,'' Gabbert said. ``There are challenges every year regardless of the situation and you've got to go out there and prove yourself regardless if you have a new coaching staff or whatnot.

``You have to go out there and play at a high level and prove to people you can still play in the National Football League.''

The only ones who really matter now are his coaches, who have the final say on his final shot in Jacksonville.

``I appreciate what the fans want to hear right now, but we've had one practice and we've had whatever amount of meetings - seven?'' offensive coordinator Jeff Fisch said. ``We have two guys competing as hard as the possibly can to put themselves in position to be the starting quarterback. I think they need to have tunnel vision. I think they need to focus on what they can control and not focus on really anything other than that.''

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Miles AustinMar 30 11:42a

Free-agent WR Miles Austin (Browns) will likely sign with the Philadelphia Eagles this week if all goes well with his physical, according to a source.

R. Griffin IIIMar 29 07:42p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III will be the first-team quarterback during offseason workouts, according to head Jay Gruden, but Gruden also said he expects QB Kirk Cousins and [ More ]

Stevan RidleyMar 29 10:12a

Free-agent RB Stevan Ridley (knee) is scheduled to meet with a few teams this week. Ridley is expected to receive full medical clearance in around six weeks.

Andre EllingtonMar 27 07:52p

Arizona Cardinals RB Andre Ellington, who averaged 20.6 touches per game in 2014 before being injured, won't have his role reduced in 2015, according to head coach Bruce Arians. [ More ]

C.J. AndersonMar 27 07:32p

Denver Broncos RB C.J. Anderson, who finished 2014 with 648 rushing yards in the last six games, will enter the 2015 season at the top of the running back [ More ]

Jonathan MartinMar 27 04:32p

San Francisco 49ers OT Jonathan Martin was claimed off waivers by the Carolina Panthers Friday, March 27.

Alan BallMar 27 03:02p

Free-agent CB Alan Ball (Jaguars) signed a one-year deal with the Chicago Bears Friday, March 27. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Jarrett BoykinMar 27 02:12p

Free-agent WR Jarrett Boykin (Packers) signed a one-year deal with the Carolina Panthers Friday, March 27. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Nick FolesMar 27 01:22p

St. Louis Rams head coach Jeff Fisher said it's the team's intention to draft a quarterback in this year's draft, despite trading for QB Nick Foles in the offseason. [ More ]

Dont'a HightowerMar 26 08:02p

New England Patriots LB Dont'a Hightower (shoulder) will miss six to seven months after undergoing surgery on a torn right labrum. Hightower's availability for the beginning of the regular [ More ]

Brian QuickMar 26 06:52p

St. Louis Rams WR Brian Quick (shoulder) is making progress in recovering from a torn rotator cuff and separated shoulder he suffered last October. Head coach Jeff Fisher has [ More ]

Jay CutlerMar 26 06:32p

Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler will head into the offseason as the team's No. 1 quarterback on the depth chart, but head coach John Fox said there will be [ More ]

Danny LansanahMar 26 05:42p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers LB Danny Lansanah signed his one-year tender Thursday, March 26.

Jonathan MartinMar 26 04:52p

San Francisco 49ers OT Jonathan Martin was waived Thursday, March 26.

Pat SimsMar 26 04:22p

Free-agent DT Pat Sims (Raiders) signed an undisclosed deal with the Cincinnati Bengals Thursday, March 26.

Victor CruzMar 26 01:32p

New York Giants WR Victor Cruz (knee) 'looks really good and light,' according to head coach Tom Coughlin. Cruz started running last week six months after he tore the [ More ]

D. Heyward-BeyMar 26 11:52a

Free-agent WR Darrius Heyward-Bey (Steelers) re-signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers Wednesday, March 26. Heyward-Bey signed a one-year deal with the team, but financial terms were not disclosed.

Paul RichardsonMar 26 12:43a

Seattle Seahawks WR Paul Richardson (knee) might not be ready for the start of the season, head coach Pete Carroll indicated Wednesday, March 25. Carroll did say Richardson's rehab [ More ]

Blake BortlesMar 25 08:43p

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles received an endorsement from head coach Gus Bradley Tuesday, March 24. Speaking at the AFC Coaches Breakfast at the NFL Annual Meetings Tuesday, Bradley [ More ]

Travis KelceMar 25 06:03p

Kansas City Chiefs TE Travis Kelce played at roughly 250 pounds in 2014, but head coach Andy Reid wants Kelce to report bigger in 2015, and Reid thinks Kelce [ More ]

Drew BreesMar 25 05:03p

Oregon QB Marcus Mariota isn't an option for the New Orleans Saints in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft, according to head coach Sean Payton. Payton said [ More ]

Adrian PetersonMar 25 04:33p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is wanted back in Minnesota, but the question is if Peterson wants to come back. Head coach Mike Zimmer said he doesn't believe Peterson [ More ]

Ifeanyi MomahMar 25 03:13p

Free-agent TE Ifeanyi Momah (Lions) signed a one-year contract with the Arizona Cardinals Wednesday, March 25. Financial terms were undisclosed.

Terence NewmanMar 25 01:53p

Free-agent CB Terence Newman (Bengals) agreed to a one-year deal with the Minnesota Vikings Wednesday, March 25, according to a source. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Jordy NelsonMar 25 12:23p

Green Bay Packers WR Jordy Nelson (hip) underwent hip surgery this offseason and is expected to be sidelined for six to eight weeks.

Victor CruzMar 25 11:53a

New York Giants WR Victor Cruz (knee) could miss the start of the 2015 season with a torn patellar tendon in his knee, according to head coach Tom Coughlin. [ More ]

Josh HillMar 25 11:03a

New Orleans Saints TE Josh Hill is expected to have a bigger role in the offense in 2015. Head coach Sean Payton has mentioned him quite a bit since [ More ]

Adrian PetersonMar 25 10:53a

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is disgruntled and reportedly wants out of Minnesota, but head coach Mike Zimmer said the team has no plans to trade him.

Cody LatimerMar 24 09:33p

The Denver Broncos plan to use WR Cody Latimer as the third receiver behind WRs Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders in 2015. 'I think it's time for him to [ More ]

Casey MatthewsMar 24 06:32p

Free-agent LB Casey Matthews (Eagles) agreed to terms with the Minnesota Vikings Tuesday, March 24. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

R. Griffin IIIMar 24 04:42p

Washington Redskins general manager Scot McCloughan said that the team will go with the best player available in the 2015 NFL Draft with the No. 5 overall pick, which [ More ]

Michael CrabtreeMar 24 03:02p

Free-agent WR Michael Crabtree (49ers) is having a hard time being signed this offseason, reportedly due to concerns regarding lower-leg injuries and a negative perception about his attitude.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group