Recently, ESPN’s Paul Kuharsky noted that the Jaguars will focus on developing Gabbert’s rhythm in order to get the offense going. I agree whole heartedly with his assessment. However, I do not agree with his assessment that the Jaguars will be focusing on short routes to build his confidence.
Building confidence of a player is important, and for Blaine Gabbert it is especially crucial to develop confidence in the pocket. However, I do not see Mike Mularkey and Bob Bratkowski focusing too much on building his confidence during games.
Mularkey and Co. know what they have in Gabbert and have been working with him through the offseason. This offseason they got a look at him before the draft and decided they liked what they had enough to work with him for the season. What they have is not some gun-shy rookie but a 14 game starter who is a little antsy in the pocket. If short plays are being called, it will be because Mularkey wants to focus on the short game and not because of Gabbert’s inability to come into a game ready to play.
Confidence building during a game would be crucial during the season if a young quarterback is suddenly thrust into the limelight. This happened to Gabbert with the abrupt parting of ways with David Garrard before last season and the sudden move of placing Gabbert at starter after Luke McCown’s disastrous week 2 performance. Gabbert’s rhythm is being developed now, not at the start or during the season.
It is about time the fans and media stops focusing on the inability of Gabbert and start focusing on how he is developing. We’re still talking about a project at quarterback, but we are also talking about a young man who has seen a season of starting and will be coming into the season looking to establish his rhythm early.
It will be about Gabbert dictating the game a lot more than the game dictating Gabbert.
– Luke N. Sims
You can also find me on Twitter @LukeNSims