The future face of the franchise? Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE

Meet the future of the Jaguars... Matt Barkley

It’s Thursday, April 25th, 2013.  Commissioner Roger Goodell steps up to the podium. (to a mixture of cheers and boos, as per usual) He pauses, for effect, and calmly says, “With the 1st pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Jacksonville Jaguars select Matt Barkley; Quarterback, University of Southern California”.  And with the abruptness that has become customary with the Jaguar organization making big changes, this city will be ushering in the Barkley era and closing the door on the Blaine Gabbert experiment.


Roger Goodell is most likely announcing the Jaguars’ draft pick first next year… Mandatory Credit: James Lang-US PRESSWIRE


Don’t believe me yet?  You will.

Everyone (myself included) has tried to be 100% supportive of Blaine Gabbert and his development, or at least his anticipated development.  You know all of the reasoning and justification that has been drilled in to the head’s of every Jaguar fan who questioned the pick after one of the many embarrassing performances over the last season and a half…  Blaine is the youngest quarterback in the league, he didn’t get an offseason because of the lock out, the coaching change is a setback, there aren’t enough playmakers around him, etc etc.  The decision makers at Everbank field are going to be Gabbert apologists and spin whatever they can to try and defend their selection, and frankly who can blame them?  Gene Smith knows all too well that his job is directly tied to Blaine’s success or failure.  All the excuses considered, NO ONE, not even the eternal optimists here in Jacksonville can say they have seen anything near the level of play from our current quarterback to warrant any faith in his future as an NFL player.


Here are the numbers. Unbiased, no excuses, no criticisms, just the numbers.

Out of 20 career games, sixteen (yes, 16!) games have produced less than 200 yards passing.  that’s 80% of Blaine’s starts as a pro.  Even more alarming, 5 of those 16, he threw for less than ONE HUNDRED YARDS.  Please, let that sink in.  in 25% of Gabbert’s starts, he couldn’t muster up enough passing yardage in the entire game to even cover the length of the football field one time.  He has as many 2 Touchdown games as he does 2 Interception games (3).  He finished last year as the 33rd rated passer in yards per game, yards per attempt, and completion percentage and Total QBR, worse than the likes of Curtis Painter and yes, even Tim Tebow (there, I said it!).  The entire offseason was then devoted to helping our young quarterback… The Jaguars added 3 known quarterback gurus and the best wide receiver coach in the NFL to our coaching staff, a double-digit touchdown producing WR in Laurent Robinson, and the consensus #1 wide receiver in the NFL draft and centered our entire team around helping Blaine’s development. These efforts have spring-boarded BG11′s numbers in 2012 to… wait for it…  33rd out of 32 teams in yards per game, yards per attempt, 31st in completion percentage and 29th in total QBR.

The painfully, ridiculously obvious truth is that young or not, Blaine Gabbert is not a starting caliber NFL quarterback.  To throw the age out of the argument, EIGHT quarterbacks drafted in either last year’s draft with Blaine Gabbert or this year’s draft after Blaine Gabbert have higher ratings than he does.  Literally 25% of the league has a starting quarterback with as much our less experience than Blaine but with better results.  None of these quarterbacks have MJD commanding 8 man fronts from opposing defenses, either.


Enter Matt Barkley.  This 6 foot 2 inch, 230 pound, prototype pocket passer that came in to the college ranks with all of the hype and expectations that came along with being a 5 star high school recruit in today’s game.  Barkley os one of the rare exceptions who not only met, but exceeded the once thought-to-be lofty goals set in front of him.   He finished his Junior season with some absolutely gaudy stats.  For example, he threw for more touchdowns and passing yards than the 2012 #1 pick Andrew Luck, as well as 3 less interceptions.  This kid is the real deal.  In drafting Matt Barkley, the Jaguars will finally have their QB of the future. Not a talented player who has a bad throwing motion like Leftwich, not a career back-up who can run but not throw like Garrard, and not a highly talented guy with all of the physical tools but none of the on-field production like Gabbert.  Barkley is a physically gifted and polished signal caller who has developed in a pro style system at USC and by all accounts his skill set will easily transition to the NFL.



In the NFL today, if you don’t have a top 5-7 QB in the league, you have almost no chance of winning the Super Bowl.  Jacksonville can’t let the bust that is Blaine Gabbert prevent them from pulling the trigger on a franchise-changing talent like Matt Barkley. Let’s not forget the Carolina panthers drafted quarterbacks in the 2nd and 6th round in 2009, and did not hesitate to take Cam Newton #1 overall just one year later.The Redskins gave up 3 first round picks for their franchise QB, and STILL drafted a QB in the 4th round.  Every year that we hopelessly pretend that Blaine Gabbert will be successful is one more wasted year.  The Jaguars organization can’t let one bad decision in drafting Blaine Gabbert cause another mistake in not drafting Matt Barkley.  He will rival Mark Brunell as Jacksonville’s best signal caller in franchise history.

Here’s to the Jaguars’ future pro bowler, Matt Barkley!!


Go Jags!!

- Brad Barrell



Dick's Sporting Goods presents "Hell Week":

Tags: Blaine Gabbert Gene Smith Jacksonville Jaguars Matt Barkley

  • T4jags

    Always love reading your well thought out logic backed up with facts and comparative stats!

  • Joyce

    Another well written article, Brad.

  • conch

    Always enjoy reading your articles.

  • Jagfan

    You are so right! They got rid of the best quarterback and coach we have ever had at the Jags and continue to keep infuriating the fans with these experiments at quarterback. The jaguars made the unbelievable decision to pass on Tebow, (who as long as he is a backup quarterback, why couldn’t he be our backup?) who could have sold a lot of season tickets as well as Jaguar jerseys. Meanwhile, Coughlin has two Superbowl rings as Headcoach with the giants since we canned him, and one as an assistant coach before that. How many rings do our coaches and managers since Coughlin, have?

    Maybe the management is what really needs to be changed???

    • T4jags

      Love him or not, Tebow would have brought so much excitement and attention to Jax! Jag management has left fans scratching their heads about a lot of decisions.

  • TCJagsFan

    Yeah, this is filled with all sorts of incisive, on the mark facts and information … NOT!

    Come on Mannnn!

    • G8rn

      Unfortunately, it doesn’t require much research or insight to understand the issues with Gabbert.

  • Mikey

    Geno Smith!!

  • freeze

    You are exactly right! Blaine isn’t working , Gene Smith is awful & should be fired, & matt Barkley would be perfect!

  • AJaginNYC

    Once again Mr. Barrell delivers a solid article that is right on point. We read from the same playbook. Blaine out ASAP. Keep up the good work and thanks for crunching the numbers so I don’t have to.

  • Masshole Jag

    The problem with the straight unbiased numbers is just that, they are just numbers. Numbers don’t tell the whole story, never have and never will. The cesspool that our team has become does not hinge on just Gabbert. With that being said, Gabbert has definitely played like absolute garbage at times, but some of his troubles have definitely been a result of the horrendous play around him. Is it talent? If yes, get Gene the hell out of here. Is it the scheme and coaches? If yes, I would wait the season out and see if something clicks. Personally, I like the coaching staff we have brought in and think we should keep them on if Gene is canned. The point is, I think your POV takes a look at one aspect of this team and uses it to base an entire argument on a multifaceted issue.