It’s time we, the fans, realized something. Mike Mularkey likes Blaine Gabbert and there’s nothing we can do about it.
Whether you like Gabbert, hate him, love Chad Henne, wished we still had David Garrard and Jordan Palmer, or are just tired of seeing the terrible Jaguars offense this is a fact you need to get used to. Mularkey keeps Gabbert in the game not just because he thinks he deserves a shot, but because he likes him.
When Mularkey came in to be the head coach of the Jaguars, he did so knowing that he would have to work with Gabbert. He watched the tape. He payed attention when he came out for the draft. He knows that Gabbert has potential, and he likes what knows Gabbert can do. Not what he hopes he can do, but what he knows he can do.
Gabbert is a raw product. Sure, GM Gene Smith has not gone for a lot of boom or bust products, but Gabbert is one of them. Gabbert has the arm to be a successful NFL quarterback. Gabbert is coachable. Gabbert has the attitude to lead an offense. Gabbert can be good.
Coaches don’t come into a situation like Jacksonville and think, “oh man I hope this young QB can turn out at some point, I’m just not seeing it though.” That is professional suicide. That is giving up before you get there. That is the reason that coaches in Oakland seem to come and go so quickly. This isn’t Mularkey’s first rodeo. He knows what goes on as a head coach. He knows what happens when you underperform. He knows that in the NFL your opportunities can be cut short quickly. He took on Gabbert because he knows he can be successful.
Let it sink in.
Let the optimism and analysis of a veteran offensive mind flow through you.
This isn’t an armchair GM’s thinking. This isn’t the thinking of a young Raheem Morris type coach. Mularkey’s decisions and actions are a reflection of a football mind that understands that things can work out.
We won’t see Henne start a game this season unless Gabbert is injured. It’s not because Mularkey doesn’t believe he can do the job, it’s because he thinks Gabbert can do it better. He’s just going to take his lumps first.
Yes, coaches can get things wrong. That’s understandable. I find it hard to believe that Mularkey will get it wrong his second time around though. I think he’s able to figure it out. If he gets it wrong, then maybe cleaning the house (something a lot of fans want apparently) will happen anyway. But for now, let’s just live with the fact that Gabbert is the man Mularkey wants and none of our own pleading will change that.
– Luke N. Sims
You can also find me on Twitter @LukeNSims