There’s nothing like trying to squeeze every last drop of productivity that you can out of a worn-down and underperforming roster. But that’s the job that head coach Gus Bradley is tasked with as GM Dave Caldwell begins to rebuild a mediocre-at-best roster for the Jacksonville Jaguars. One of the primary deficiencies of the Jaguars is at quarterback, where Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne represent one of the worst quarterback tandems in the league.
So, how do the Jags solve this problem?
According to Nate Silver for Yahoo! Sports, the Jags are going to look to the draft. Even if the team was open to spending big money in free agency at one position, the quality of available quarterbacks is so poor that it is likely the Jags would pass anyway. Silver believes that the Jags, who own the second overall and 33rd overall selections, may spend one of those two picks on a quarterback. Whether it’s Geno Smith, EJ Manuel, or Matt Barkley, Silver believes that the Jags need to bring one of those guys in.
And it goes beyond the simply lack of productivity.
According to Silver’s article, the culture in Jacksonville is becoming cancerous with Gabbert at the helm. He quotes a former Jaguars assistant who calles him “Blame Gabbert” because he never takes any of the blame for what is going on around him. While it is true that the organization has continually said that Gabbert needs more talent around him to be successful, Gabbert has always stepped up to the plate where his own deficiencies are concerned.
Because of the general approach of national sports media to misread the Jaguars, I think it is wise to take Silver’s – and his disgruntled source’s – words with more than a grain of salt. But that doesn’t mean the Jags may not be looking to replace Gabbert.
While the team has harped on open competition all offseason, it would prudent for them to make that competition more rigorous. With the dearth of possibilities this offseason, however, it will be difficult to bring in someone who can really push either Gabbert or Henne to up their game. According to a high level Jaguars source, the team is open to anything to get better competition at quarterback. I doubt they will go about trading draft picks to land a mid-level starting quarterback, so Bradley may be left trying to squeeze out what little productivity he can from Gabbert and Henne in his first year on the job.
- Luke N. Sims
You can also find me on Twitter @LukeNSims