So much for the circus. The Blaine Gabbert Era is underway in Jacksonville, as Jack Del Rio has officially announced to the players and media that Gabbert will start Sunday against the Charlotte Panthers and rookie phenom (at least through two games), Cam Newton. The quarterback position has already seen it’s fair share of tumult this year in Jacksonville, as four year incumbent David Garrard was released merely two weeks ago. Luke McCown was anointed the starter after outplaying David Garrard in practices and preseason games, with the idea being that Gabbert would continue to develop and overtake the position at the beginning of the 2012 season or earlier, if he was ready.
A lot changes in 10 days. After looking efficient in the home opener against Tennessee, McCown showed how bad things can get against the New York Jets, throwing for less than 33% accuracy, 59 yards, 3.1 yards/attempt, and 4 (ugly) interceptions. That convinced Jack Del Rio and Co. to give rookie Blaine Gabbert the starting nod for this coming weekend in what is sure to be a high-profile showdown between two top rookie quarterbacks from the 2011 Draft Class.
Cam Newton is off to a record start and many Jacksonville fans have asked “Why Not Blaine?”. Looks like Blaine will get to answer that himself this Sunday.
- Andrew Hofheimer