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

Mike PounceyJul 23 12:33p

Miami Dolphins C Mike Pouncey (hip) could miss the first eight weeks of the season because of the hip surgery he had this offseason, according to a source. He [ More ]

Evan RodriguezJul 23 12:23p

Buffalo Bills FB Evan Rodriguez (cramps) and TE Chris Gragg (cramps) were hospitalized because of complications from cramps and were getting hydrated, according to head coach Doug Marrone. Rodriguez [ More ]

Dustin HopkinsJul 23 12:20p

Buffalo Bills PK Dustin Hopkins will have to try to make the roster as a kickoff specialist, according to head coach Doug Marrone.

Vernon DavisJul 23 12:13p

San Francisco 49ers TE Vernon Davis has reported to camp Wednesday, July 23, according to an Instagram post from 49ers S C.J. Spillman.

Jason BabinJul 23 12:03p

New York Jets signed DE Jason Babin (Jaguars) to a two-year contract, with the second year being a team option. He's expected to serve as a situational pass rusher.

Reggie WayneJul 23 11:13a

Indianapolis Colts WR Reggie Wayne (knee) said he has been medically cleared to practice. He's expected to be limited, though, especially in the near future.

Kraig UrbikJul 23 10:53a

Buffalo Bills OG Chris Hairston continued to receive first-team repetitions at right guard in the red zone drills Wednesday, July 23. OG Kraig Urbik struggled with first-team the previous day.

Jamaal CharlesJul 23 09:53a

Updating previous reports, Kansas City Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles will not report to training camp Wednesday, July 23, barring a major contract breakthrough.

Vick BallardJul 23 09:33a

Indianapolis Colts RB Vick Ballard (knee) reported to camp and has passed his physical.

Rob GronkowskiJul 23 08:53a

New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski (knee) has been cleared for contact and will not be placed on the Physically Unable to Perform list, according to head coach Bill Belichick.

Evan RodriguezJul 23 08:43a

Buffalo Bills TE Chris Gragg (cramps), FB Evan Rodriguez (cramps) and CB Brandon E. Smith (leg) were out of practice Wednesday, July 23. OT Seantrel Henderson (hip) returned to action.

Rashad JenningsJul 23 08:23a

New York Giants RBs Rashad Jennings, David Wilson and Andre Williams could be used in a three-man rotation this season to keep Jennings fresh.

Caleb McSurdyJul 23 02:53a

The St. Louis Rams waived four players Tuesday, July 22, as they cut loose OL Abasi Salimu, WR Diontae Spencer, LB Caleb McSurdy, and LB Tavarius Wilson.

Carl NicksJul 23 02:43a

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Bobby Rainey, G Carl Nicks and DE Da'Quan Bowers may be fighting for roster spots once training camp begins due to other competition for their [ More ]

Chris CulliverJul 23 01:13a

San Francisco 49ers CB Chris Culliver (knee) has been cleared to take part in practice when training camp opens this week. He suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament to [ More ]

Ben TateJul 23 01:13a

Cleveland Browns RBs Ben Tate and Terrance West will compete for the starting tailback job during training camp and the preseason, and it's a battle head coach Mike Pettine [ More ]

Joel BitonioJul 23 01:03a

Cleveland Browns OG Joel Bitonio (ankle) lined up with the first-team offense during organized team activities (OTAs), and he held the spot until he suffered a sprained ankle June [ More ]

Paul McQuistanJul 23 01:03a

Cleveland Browns OLs Garrett Gilkey, Paul McQuistan and Jason Pinkston are fighting for position in the pecking order at right guard, and one of them might even push OG [ More ]

Craig RobertsonJul 23 01:03a

Cleveland Browns LBs Christian Kirksey and Craig Robertson will compete for an inside linebacker job during training camp, according to head coach Mike Pettine.

Joe HadenJul 23 01:03a

Cleveland Browns CBs Justin Gilbert and Buster Skrine will compete for the starting cornerback job opposite CB Joe Haden in training camp. 'We weren't going to hand Justin that [ More ]

Gary BarnidgeJul 23 01:03a

Cleveland Browns TEs Gary Barnidge and Jim Dray will battle for the No. 2 tight end spot during training camp and the preseason.

Eli ManningJul 23 12:23a

New York Giants QB Eli Manning (ankle) has shown no ill effects during camp from ankle surgery that sidelined him for earlier offseason activities.

Tom CoughlinJul 22 11:53p

New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin was not happy that several players were forced to leave practice with dehydration issues Tuesday, July 22. 'It pisses me off,' Coughlin [ More ]

Brandon LloydJul 22 11:23p

San Francisco 49ers WR Stevie Johnson is the frontrunner for the No. 3 WR job, according to Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com, but he added that neither Johnson nor WR [ More ]

Darren SprolesJul 22 11:13p

Philadelphia Eagles RB Darren Sproles' ability to win one-on-one matchups in space is what head coach Chip Kelly plans to exploit this season. Kelly said opposing defenses played a [ More ]

Thaddeus LewisJul 22 11:03p

Buffalo Bills QB Thaddeus Lewis and WR Tori Gurley had miscommunications on three occasions Tuesday, July 22, resulting in two incomplete passes and an interception. Joe Buscaglia of WGR [ More ]

Thaddeus LewisJul 22 10:53p

Buffalo Bills QB Thaddeus Lewis and QB Jeff Tuel are in an open competition for the backup quarterback job, head coach Doug Marrone said Tuesday, July 22.

Brian MoormanJul 22 10:43p

Buffalo Bills P Brian Moorman was more effective than P Jake Dombrowski on punts in terms of both average hang time and average distance Tuesday, July 22.

Titus YoungJul 22 09:53p

Updating a previous story, free-agent WR Titus Young (Lions) was charged with felony battery with serious bodily injury from an alleged July 8 incident inside a Los Angeles-area hospital. [ More ]

Ryan MathewsJul 22 09:43p

San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Mathews' rookie contract will expire after the 2014 season, which means this could be his final year with the organization, in the opinion of [ More ]

Mario WilliamsJul 22 09:43p

Buffalo Bills DE Mario Williams, DT Marcell Dareus and DT Kyle D. Williams were all rotated out of the lineup at times during team drills Tuesday, July 22. LB [ More ]

Nigel BradhamJul 22 09:23p

Buffalo Bills LB Nigel Bradham was one of eight players to record sacks during team drills Tuesday, July 22. The team's pass rush has been consistent since camp began, [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group