Every season it seems there is somebody who comes out and says they are going to have a superb season. Whether it’s the now-ignored Rex Ryan talk of Super Bowl after Superb Bowl or the exclamation of top-tier play that Joe Flacco thinks he can produce, someone thinks they are the best and can prove it.
Eli Manning did it this past season. He won’t be throwing for as many yards as Drew Brees, his brother Peyton, Matt Stafford, or Tom Brady but he’ll get the ring and that is truly how we measure greatness. Joe Flacco came close. Alex Smith came close. Manning was the man though.
Yet the Jaguars are relatively quiet about their offseason exclamations. There always seems to be a severe lack of offseason exuberance coming out of Jacksonville. Jack Del Rio tried to get everyone interested with the Oklahoma Drill but failed to translate the product to the field. Even then, he may have been the most cocky person on the team (excluding the 2008 receiving corps).
Under Gene Smith the Jaguars preach high character. Some may say this translates into being a good, hard working, humble man. While I agree that those are three good characteristics I think there is a little something about someone with that little je ne sais quoi – a little pizzaz to go with his game.
Currently the most outspoken player on the team is probably kicker Josh Scobee. Like Pat McAfee (the punter for the Colts who routinely gets a little too rowdy and sometimes wakes up in the street) he’s got a bit more attitude than the other players on the roster. Maurice Jones-Drew doesn’t have the same outspoken nature that Scobee has. But what about Gabbert?
Since the young quarterback doesn’t seem to be doing it himself, I think its about time we started to give him that little bit of something. He isn’t Dan the Man, the Blonde Bomber, or Elite Eli but he very well could be Gabbert the Great! The coming season won’t just prove whether he has the skills to be a true NFL quarterback, it will show whether he has the ability to be the leader of the franchise. He will either become Gabbert the Great (or at least show it) or he will forever be the guy who failed during his rookie campaign.
We know that Gabbert has the attitude to make it work. He brings it on the field, even when running out of bounds his mouth is moving. He has a little bit of attitude. While his long locks have been cut off, his ability will not disappear (that’s a Samson reference for you) and with it some attitude should be coming. The leader of a franchise has some attitude. Brees does it with some cool confidence, Brady does it by demanding perfection, Peyton Manning does it through humorous minivan commercials. Whatever it is, somebody brings it – Gabbert has got to become something more than himself and start to fashion that image if he wants to last long in this league.
- Luke N. Sims
You can also find me on Twitter @LukeNSims