Air Jordan 7s ” Gabbert said “It makes everything more fun
In his first official day back to work in the Jaguars building, Blaine Gabbert didn’t look all that different. The Missouri native wore his St. Louis Cardinals cap, had a standard pinch of Grizzly smokeless tobacco in his Air Jordan 7s mouth, and the long, golden locks were trimmed back a bit, not falling much beneath his shoulders.
But inside, things were totally different. Gabbert is Air Jordan 3s feeling more comfortable in his own skin, a little less guarded now that he’s not an NFL newbie.
The Jaguars’ 22 year old quarterback, the youngest in NFL history to start 14 games as a rookie, comes across as invigorated and refreshed. He’s eager to begin laying the foundation for Air Jordan 1s what he expects will be a big step forward in his development, though many people remain skeptical after a 5 11 season and a league low 65.4 passer rating.
Despite enduring a ton of criticism, including fans who lamented the Jaguars not acquiring Tim Tebow recently in a trade to compete for the starting job, Gabbert has conditioned himself to leave the past in the rearview mirror. He refuses to get drawn in to negativity.
“A lot of people think they can do your job, but in reality, there are 32 starting quarterbacks in the NFL and those 32 have proven at some point they can do that job,” Gabbert said in a one hour interview with the Times Union. “That’s the mind set I have and other quarterbacks have. We’re here for a reason. We’re put in that position because people trust us. They know we can make plays when need be.
“I didn’t really listen to all the criticism. Some of it was necessary, some of it probably unnecessary. Everybody is going to have their opinions. Controversy sells. You watch the news. Every day there’s some type of controversy going on in this country. People watch it for that. It’s kind of sickening, but that’s what people like to see and hear.”
No doubt, the Tebow frenzy underscores that point, but Gabbert didn’t get too caught up in it because the Jaguars made him aware of what was going on behind the scenes.
“One thing I’d say is I think the media took it and ran with it,” he said. “A lot of people didn’t know the facts. [General manager] Gene Smith and [coach] Mike Mularkey kept all of us quarterbacks extremely informed. We knew it was going to sort itself out. We weren’t too worried about it. He ended up with the Jets. He made that decision. I’m sure he’ll do great there.
“It’s part of our job description to deal with things of that nature. If [Tebow] happened to come here, we’d still go out there and football Air Jordan Women Size would still go on. Nothing would change. He’d be just another guy in the locker room that’s there to help us. No way, shape or form is that disrespectful. It’s just part of the business. People come and go.”
Tebow aside, Gabbert’s sights are set on diminishing any controversy about his future worthiness as the team’s franchise quarterback. After a season in which the offense was last in the NFL in passing and total yardage, it’s clear that improvement by the Jaguars hinges on Gabbert completing a lot more than 50.8 percent of his passes.
Between the NFL lockout, David Garrard’s surprising release, and becoming the starter in Week 3, Gabbert was placed in an awkward, no win position in 2011. Unlike successful rookie counterparts Cam Newton or Andy Dalton, he didn’t have the benefit of being properly prepared in training camp or preseason to take over the No. 1 job.
None of that matters now because, shaky rookie season or not, Gabbert has a clean slate with Mularkey and a new offensive staff. The upheaval from last year’s dysfunctional coaching situation is gone. Yes, he has to learn a new offensive system, but it’s also a chance for Gabbert to show critics that he can flourish in a more stable environment.
“There’s guys that get criticized a lot worse than I do, but it’s part of the game, part of the position I play,” Gabbert said. “You’re the most scrutinized person on the field. The NFL brand is No. 1 in the world. Being a starting quarterback on an NFL team, you’re going to get scrutinized every move you make. That should be in the contract, ‘You’re going to get criticized on every play.’ But that’s what makes it fun, makes it Jordan Winterized 6 Rings competitive.
“I know I’m going to improve this year. I’ve already improved immensely from our last game [against the Indianapolis Colts], just having the chance to review every pass play, every run play, all the checks [at the line of scrimmage] that I had to make. It’s going to help in the long run, having that experience in a shortened year.”
Gabbert learned plenty in those 14 starts. Whether it was the ill fated pass against the New Orleans Saints on a corner route to Jason Hill that was intercepted, or playing through an undisclosed foot injury (“It was more along the lines of turf toe.”) in his last 12 games, Gabbert received a far bigger football education than in his three years at Missouri.
“A lot of fans don’t know what injuries you have, or what things go on,” he said. “It doesn’t matter if you have a broken this or sprained that. Everybody has those at some point and time. It’s your job to be out there playing.”
Really, all that matters now is that Gabbert takes a step from rattled rookie with too little pocket presence a perception that slightly chafes him to a more polished quarterback in 2012. It doesn’t mean there won’t be more growing pains, but that must be accompanied by more wins and an offense carrying a bigger load.
“Winning cures everything,” Gabbert said. “It makes everything more fun, makes life a lot easier.”
Plenty of quarterbacks with fabulous pedigrees, like John Elway, Troy Aikman, Drew Bledsoe, Donovan McNabb and Eli Manning, posted rookie numbers every bit as bad as Gabbert’s. They quickly took their game to a much higher level. TT is and will be the”talk of many towns” and is nationally followed because of his determination on the field. Here in Jax, we remember GS saying a high 1st rd pick would need to be ready to start (QB) and not a project QB. That was 2010, then in 2011, he gets Gabbey! Guess what,every time you see the T/U writing about Blaine you read, “youngest rookie QB to start in the NFL” and only 21 years old. I believe we all saw he was NOT ready. I guess that means GS missed on that 1st rounder, AGAIN, because of what he said in 2010. This is why TT is relevant here. Once Gabbert shows up or is traded this type of banter will end. I personally am glad Jax did not draft him or trade for him. (And just about every other media. He’s the World’s most recognized athlete.
With Jacksonville it will be much moreso. Every week that those tarps stay up, it will be a “story”. In Jacksonville, in Miami, in cities that don’t have an NFL franchise but want one. In the National Media. When that theme begins getting pounded in the National Sports Media, particularly ESPN which might as well just admit it’s an extension of the League’s Media Dept., Jaguars Fans will need to look out. Because that will be the signal that re location talk within the League Offices is heating up.
Those who are bothered by it need to just let it blow past them. Because it isn’t going to go away.
SOS Thanks for proving my point. I said the QB gets the credit/blame (mainly from the media or mindless fans), not that they deserve it. My point was that they have to deal with that criticism and scrutiny. The coach is the only one who should be singled out, or place it on the shoulders of every player. Yet Tebow fans put every win on him, and make excuses for him when the team loses.
And actually, the Broncos spent a 2nd, 3rd, and 4th round pick on Tebow (trading up). They managed to get a 4th when they quickly got rid of him after two seasons. That’s a net loss of a 2nd and 3rd round picks. Sounds like it was really worth drafting him. Now, the Jets are even saying he could be playing special teams, TE, and backup QB. Gene must be kicking himself for not taking him 10 overall.