Something to keep in mind before Jaguars fans run quarterback Blaine Gabbert out of town after only 24 starts: He’s younger than Landry Jones and Tyler Wilson and just a few months older than Ryan Nassib and Zac Dysert.
Those are just four names mentioned as possible draft picks next month that would help pave Gabbert’s exit. But his age — he turns 24 on Oct. 15 — should be considered because it certainly has by new general manager Dave Caldwell and new coach Gus Bradley.
As the Jaguars prepare for the start of their off-season program Tuesday, Gabbert knows he’ll face competition to remain the team’s starter, it’s just a matter from whom. Sitting in a conference room in the Jaguars’ offices on Thursday, he portrayed a confident but realistic attitude.
“The best guy is going to win,” he said. “That’s why this sport is so intriguing to people and so fun to be a part of. The competition is daily. Every practice will be a mini-game. You need to put your best foot forward regardless of the situation. That uncomfortable feeling is a good feeling and that’s why good teams are successful — because they have that competition.
“It’s going to be a blast.”
Gabbert’s first two years have been anything but a blast — a 5-19 record and now getting ready to work with his third head coach/coordinator/position/playbook combination in as many years.
Meanwhile, five of his colleagues drafted in the first and second rounds in 2011-12 — Andy Dalton, Colin Kaepernick, Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III and Russell Wilson — have started playoff games. (Christian Ponder was injured for Minnesota’s wild card game loss at Green Bay).
The comparisons are natural, but the circumstances are different. It’s fair to say Gabbert’s career has been stuck directly behind an eight-ball.
“Of course, the cards I’ve been dealt hasn’t been the ideal situation anybody wanted to come into, but I’m certainly not the first quarterback to go through this and I certainly won’t be the last,” Gabbert said. “It’s part of the business.”