Bloggers and national writers are all guilty of one thing during the NFL offseason – over analysis. It’s easy to get lost in old tape and statistics from the last season, and then project the following season using small nuggets.
May 13, 2013; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert (11) reacts during organized team activities at The Florida Blue Health
So here we are, in one of those articles. The victim of this particular article is none other than the Jaguars’ “franchise” quarterback – Blaine Gabbert.
When a team drafts a quarterback in the first round, fans usually have a honeymoon period that lasts the entire first season. I know because I succumbed to it just like everyone else. During the honeymoon, while the young quarterback may struggle and play inconsistently, fans just focus on the flashes of brilliance and ignore the frustrating plays.
Blaine Gabbert managed to really test the patience of fans at the end of his rookie season, mainly because he didn’t show steady improvement and he certainly didn’t flash enough to warrant any excitement for the foreseeable future.
Nonetheless, with the hire of Mike Mularkey and the ascension of new owner Shad Khan, fans managed to muster up some hope for Blaine Gabbert in 2012. Let’s take a quick glance on how Blaine performed in his 10 starts before ending up on injured reserve. For conciseness, I utilized the new metric QBR currently being championed by ESPN.
Gabbert 2012 QBR
I chose to use a line graph to illustrate the most frustrating aspect of Gabbert’s tenure in Jacksonville – his inconsistency. While it comes up during every game from play to play, it’s also evident from game to game. While not being a complete train wreck, Gabbert hovers around mediocrity only to deliver a historically awful performance. His first quarter of play in Oakland seemed to indicate he was going to have a breakout game, but he ultimately had to leave due to a shoulder injury. He followed that up with a good performance against Green Bay, but then played well below par against Detroit and Indianapolis. Gabbert seems unable to string together consecutive good plays throughout a game or consecutive good games throughout a season. With a new coaching staff that has no reason to invest in him, Gabbert must find a way repeat success when he finds it or he may be looking for a new team in 2014.
– Daniel Lago
Yell at me on Twitter @dlago89